Clean out your inbox even faster with Outlook.com’s improved Sweep and Search features

The average Outlook.com customer gets more than 10,000 personal emails a year – and 80 percent of them are, well, let’s just say, less than urgent. We’re talking newsletters, sales offers and updates. In the coming weeks, Outlook.com is rolling out improvements to existing features, including Sweep and Search to deal with such clutter.

Many users are familiar with Sweep – it’s used 7.5 million times every week to delete, or block, email in bulk, reports Mike Schackwitz, Outlook.com principal group program manager, on the Outlook Blog.

To make Sweep simpler, the user interface is being updated to require fewer clicks in order to use it, he says.

With your email organized the way you want it, he writes, “You can use the updated Search tool to quickly find email regardless of the category or folder it’s in.”

When using Search, one of the most commonly searched for criteria is for “people.” With improved Search, when looking for people in your email, results will also show contact names and pictures together.

“Searching for a contact will find all email from any email address they have, so you don’t have to remember whether that email came from their personal address or their work address,” Schackwitz writes.

Outlook.com will also provide suggested search criteria for the type of email you might be looking for, such as one with an attachment. “Advanced search now contains more search criteria and has a cleaner UI, and filters that can be applied to the search results,” he writes.

Sunday, Jan. 19 is the start of the seventh annual “National Clean Out Your Inbox Week,” so it’s as good a reason as any to get better organized and declutter. Head over to the Outlook Blog to read more about Sweep and Search changes, and learn other useful Outlook.com tips.

You might also be interested in:

· How OneNote makes life easier for one family on the go
· It’s easy – and safer – to set up separate accounts when your family shares a PC
· New MakerBot 3D printers, using Windows 8.1 3D driver, appeal to a wide audience

Suzanne Choney
Microsoft News Center Staff