How can I remove Duplicate Emails from Outlook for Free?

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I have used many different email addresses in my 10+ years on the Internets. I started with a email address from Brooklyn College, moved on to Hotmail and then several custom domains. I would ping-pong between different corporate emails and amusingly geeky personal ones. But being an Admin by profession I have kept all my craptastic forwards geektacular jokes “Historical Emails”.

I have folders with email messages dating back to 1996. Now I try and stay neat and productive, creating necessary folders for projects or contacts. Archiving when I no longer need instant access to outdated material. But that just doesn’t happen when I am putting out fires around the virtual office all day. And the end result is a inbox full of CRAP! Looking through some of my older emails I found loads of duplicates and for some reason that REALLY annoyed me.

I went looking for a FREE Outlook Duplicate Remover. Easier said then done. All the ones I downloaded were crap-ware. Pure Trial Crap. Trial software is like what Crack is to the drug market. Give them a taste for free, let them see what we can do and then get them hooked. After you are hooked yank it away and ask for money.

But as always I did find what i was looking for – for free. It’s called Vaita’s free Outlook Duplicate Items Remover.

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Guess what it does?

Wow, you MakeUseOf readers sure are smart! It removes duplicate items from Outlook! I tried it on Outlook 2003 and it says it works with all versions of Outlook 2000, 2002, 2003 or 2007. I do not see that it works with Outlook Express.

Let’s check it out and I will show you how easy it is to use! After downloading and installing the small 2.11MB File you will be prompted to shut down Outlook to complete your installation.

Upon restarting Outlook you will have a new menu item as you can see below:

Once you click on the ODIR menu Or Hit Alt-O you will be greeted with it’s menu allowing you to simply select what folder you want to run ODIR against. You can do sub-folders but not all the way at the Personal Folder level. Meaning you might have to run this several times against several different folders.

In the instance above I selected a folder in by inbox labeled Sonicwall Alerts. All I do is hit the Remove Duplicate Items button and let the app do it’s magic.

Depending on the amount of messages or items in that particular folder is how long it will take. A folder with a hundred messages will take 30 seconds on a fast machine and a few thousand emails will take a few minutes. Once it finds the messages it creates a sub folder called ODIR_Duplicated_Items and moves the dupes there.

You can then decide if you want to /kill the folder or just individual items. As you and ODIR build a better relationship and you come to trust her… You can just have the folder disappear automagically.

I hear you muttering why did I say items and not messages in that last paragraph… That’s because this will work on Contacts, To-Do Items and Calendar entries! How sweet is that? Undo the damage you did syncing your new device! Are you curious as to how ODIR Works it’s magic? Check out this:

Do you have a similar tool you use? How do you handle Outlook dupes?

(By) Karl L. Gechlik is a superhero of the IT industry who wears many hats and changes in telephone booths. Karl mostly uses his powers for good and the occasional hysterical prank. Get your geek on & follow his geeky antics at the NEW today. Stop by and see what we are all about!

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36 Comments - Write a Comment


Colin Carmichael

I don’t care much about dupe emails… but contacts? Dear God, someone please help me de-dupe my Outlook contact list!

I had to get all the way to the end to discover in the last screenshot that it de-dupes contacts as well! But maybe there are better ways? I’d love an interface like the genealogy programs I use that let you pick and choose which fields to keep from each dupe before merging.



For me this program helped a lot –


This article specifically says FREE software, why would you post about something that is not free??



To put it bluntly: it doesn’t work for Appointments in Outlook 2007. I suppose it doesn’t work for other parts of Outlook 2007


C Farnum

Thanks so much! It worked REALLY well to help me clean up duplicates created by my Palm’s hotsynch escapades. It worked a bit more trouble free when I turned off Google Desktop.



It used to work for me with Outlook 2003 but it screwed up big time with Outlook 2007.



Used it with outlook 2007 and i am very pleased with the result.
Thanks for all the “research”!




vista sp1 & outlook 2007 sp1 -> worked great, no problem with this remover



THANKS SO MUCH! Been trawling Google for ages only to find hordes of shareware. This little app did the lot, and not once asked for a penny. I am so grateful to MakeUseOf and “vaita”… WELL DONE GUYS!


Matt Short

Thanks bud


Matt Short

You saved my a*s big time

Matt South Africa


Sohail Ahmed

You saved my hours.



Great advise, thanks.



thanks!! just got read of 2500 duplicates!



It doesnt work in the “deleted” folder either. I think its because this folder is a mix of sent and received emails and the app doesnt know what to do with them. Ah well, does work in other folder OK though, but the Sent folder it finds duplicates that are not really dups.


Its the deleted items folder!! Delete them!! Why do people continue to hold email in the deleted items folder. Sorry pet peave… some goes for Notes as well.

PS. This program 100% in Outlook 2007 for my Inbox.


Many people HAVE to hold onto “deleted” emails:
Any lawyer, for example, will have to retain copies of communications.
Additionally, any party with reasonable notice of potential litigation must refrain from destroying documents and must preserve them or risk serious ramifications come court time. So hitting “delete” but keeping documents in the Deleted Items folder for two years may be reasonable.
This is common for many corporate employees. Either that or they just hold copies of everything server-side, if they have the IT capability to do that.


Rajib Ghosh

Hi there!

Thanks a lot for finding and reviewing this gem. Saved me a whole lotta time and effort.




Doesn’t work on Outlook 2007



most awesome dude…
Worked perfectly with Outlook 2007 in Exchange 2003 (SBS 2003) environment. Removed 32767 duplicate emails from just one folder and this was quite legitimate. Was very slow, but expected given the size of this users mailbox and the number of duplicates that were glaring obvious.

Outlook Duplicate Items Remover is GREAT! Thanks Vaita.



This is really a great tool. Thanks. I will share it with all my friends and social networks like friendfeed.



Thanks Alot for this article. This is my life saver…. was able to remove all the duplicate emails my stupid server had POP’ed when had leave a copy on server… This works great!!



If you are having problems in Outlook 2007, try moving your emails to Personal Folders and running it in Outlook’s Offline Mode. The problem seems to be when it is trying to connect to the Exchange Server.



Excellent stuff by Vaita … thankz



I can’t see anywhere that it does remove duplicates from subfolders. It only does the folder one clicks on?



Excellent Post.Can we delete all the duplicate emails or it is limited to only 10. Please let me know.


It will delete all the duplicate emails in a particular folder. Last time I used, it found ad deleted atleast 3000 emails from one folder.



I am using Outlook 7 on Vista machine – when I run ODIR, I get the message that it is unable to read my pst or osi file and therefore can not delete duplicate files, the folders then does not appear at all in the ODIR windo


Baz the Raz

Yesterday I converted to Outlook 2003 from Outlook Express and with several mail accounts and identities it got complicated and messages were imported several times. ODIR is now removing 1000s of duplicated email dating back to 2000. Symantec 10.1 is going crazy finding all sorts of viruses, but I don’t know if they are fake positives or not as they have never shown up on previous full scans.

Anyway I’m really grateful to ODIR and Vaita… May the good Lord bless and cause your business to prosper!



tx…. this works good



This worked great for me a year ago when I used it to remove duplicates created by the migration from Outlook Express 2003 to Outlook 2007. Now I realize I am stuck with an ODIR folder in my “deleted items” folder that I can’t seem to delete or purge despite numerous attempts. I have tried uninstalling the ODIR add-in and it still is giving me a permissions problems when trying to delete the ODIR folder in the deleted items folder. The deleted items folder is growing and there doesn’t seem to be any recourse (no end in sight except migrate pst file to a biger HD and suffer performance). Maybe a more experienced ODIR user has a tip for me? Not much help from Microsoft. ODIR is really starting to suck.



This page really helped me a lot! Thank you!



Thanks for this, keep up the good work


joe greer

This didn’t work for me. I have thousands of duplicates in my in-box. When I use this tool, it says my in-box is empty. In fact, it believes all my mail folders are empty.



What version were you using of Outlook?



Well I just tried it and it hangs every time I try and run it. Windows 8.1 on a brand new HP laptop.


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