Monday, May 2, 2011

How to remove duplicate emails in outlook

Today I created a new pst file to hold upcoming new emails, so I tried to move all emails from remote exchange server to local pst file (local personal folder). Unfortunately I did one copy then did the move, so in old pst file I got 2 copies of one email, these duplicate emails doubled the size of pst. I firstly think I can sort by date, and they manually delete them. Sorting by time can work, because duplicate email has same subject, same timestamp, and so on.  However, there are more than one thousand email, I could not remove duplicate emails in this way.

After asking Google, there are couple of commercial software is able to do this. However, there is a free outlook COM addon which is called Outlook Duplicate Item Removal (ODIR). It actually not only supports emails, but also supports other outlook items like appointments, tasks, contacts and etc. For receiving emails, it uses internet email ID (unique email identifier) to determine if there are duplicate emails in inbox. I downloaded it from and started the removal effort.

Installation is easy as other windows program though it requires to close outlook for installation. Following the instruction and launch outlook then I can see new menu item "ODIR". However, clicking the "Removing duplicate items..." from ODIR menu takes a very long time to respond on my PC (Windows XP SP3, outlook2003), but finally after many minutes wait with patience, I saw the UI of this addon. From there, I can select the folder which needs removal.After submit the removal request, it is pretty fast to get the job one (created a new folder and moved all duplicate stuff to this new sub-folder). However, opening the ODIR window was a big problem for me.

I will try to uninstall ODIR after finish the removal, or at least disable this add-on.

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