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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 Archiving when I no longer need instant access to outdated material.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 askTheAdmin.com today. Stop by and see what we are all about!

  1. Rafiq Mohamed
    September 3, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    does it have a new version compatible for outlook 2010?

  2. Jacko
    April 5, 2015 at 4:48 pm

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

    Pants.

  3. muotechguy
    February 9, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    What version were you using of Outlook?

  4. joe greer
    February 9, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    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.

    • paulhogan
      July 15, 2016 at 8:34 am

      Hi Joe

      If the tool mentioned in this blog did not work for you, you can also try another utility, SysTools Outlook Duplicate Remover which can easily remove duplicate mails, contacts, etc., with out any size limit. Can even try the tool by downloading the demo version first.

  5. Paulo
    December 7, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    Thanks for this, keep up the good work

  6. RB
    December 1, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    This page really helped me a lot! Thank you!

  7. MRK
    November 4, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    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.

  8. NSR
    October 21, 2009 at 4:01 am

    tx.... this works good

  9. Baz the Raz
    October 19, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    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!

  10. cb
    August 27, 2009 at 3:29 am

    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

  11. shashi
    August 26, 2009 at 12:15 pm

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

    • SandyP
      August 26, 2009 at 2:08 pm

      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.

  12. Bananas
    August 6, 2009 at 4:20 am

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

  13. Praveen
    July 29, 2009 at 2:34 am

    Excellent stuff by Vaita ... thankz

  14. Leighton
    July 1, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    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.

  15. Sandeep
    June 11, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    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!!

  16. MonteCito
    May 30, 2009 at 7:05 am

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

  17. tee
    May 30, 2009 at 2:45 am

    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.

  18. Franklin
    May 4, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    Doesn't work on Outlook 2007

  19. Rajib Ghosh
    April 25, 2009 at 6:02 am

    Hi there!

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

    Regards

  20. HomerP
    April 20, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    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.

    • WTH
      April 20, 2009 at 10:13 pm

      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.

      • response
        August 12, 2009 at 3:54 pm

        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.

  21. alex
    March 9, 2009 at 7:54 am

    thanks!! just got read of 2500 duplicates!

  22. vtlam
    February 10, 2009 at 12:41 am

    Great advise, thanks.

  23. Sohail Ahmed
    February 1, 2009 at 6:29 am

    You saved my hours.
    Thanks

  24. Matt Short
    January 12, 2009 at 4:12 am

    You saved my a*s big time

    Matt South Africa

  25. Matt Short
    January 12, 2009 at 4:07 am

    Thanks bud

  26. Nick
    January 8, 2009 at 11:28 am

    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!

  27. moneytoo
    November 16, 2008 at 9:42 am

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

  28. rjtb
    October 25, 2008 at 5:41 am

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

    RJTB

  29. Herry
    September 21, 2008 at 8:16 pm

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

  30. C Farnum
    September 12, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    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.

  31. Frank
    September 2, 2008 at 7:06 am

    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

  32. Thomas
    September 2, 2008 at 10:20 am

    For me this program helped a lot -

    topalt.com/deduper-outlook-duplicate-remover

    • aqeela
      October 30, 2009 at 4:19 am

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

  33. Colin Carmichael
    August 27, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    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.

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