How-to: Sweep Your Hotmail Inbox

Hotmail SweepAside from confusing the world with Windows 8, Win RT and the launch of the Surface tablet that nobody’s allowed to touch, Microsoft has been quietly adding features to Hotmail.

In case your first reaction to Hotmail is ‘ugh!!!’ take another look. The big daddy of webmail has come along way from the weedy, insecure, mass-market webmail from the backwoods of Redmond. Which is why I still use it.

You can now clean your inbox with the very useful but poorly named Sweep. Sweep is an email add-on for bulk operations and basic mail rules.

You can use Sweep to file messages from a sender to a specific folder, delete all email from a sender, and schedule automatic cleanups.

For example, to keep all the mail from a certain sender, you can quickly move all email from them out of your inbox and into another folder. Choose a message in your inbox, click Sweep, and then click Move all from. On the next screen, you select the folder you want to move the messages into.

Sweep can also be used to create mail rules; you can select the Also move future messages check box for Hotmail automatically to file all messages from that sender as they come into your inbox.

Sweep to delete.
Sweep can also automatically delete messages that you don’t want, including the random junk that you can’t unsubscribe.

Choose a message, click Sweep, and then click Delete all from. On the next screen, there’s an Also block future messages check box which will delete all new messages from the email address. Click Delete all and Hotmail will automatically delete all the email from that sender, and all future messages if selected.

Schedule a cleanup
Sweep supports a scheduled deletion to automatically delete email from a specific sender after 30, 60, or 90 days. Using the Sweep option Schedule cleanup, select a message, click Sweep, and then click Schedule cleanup. Choose what you want to do with the sender’s messages, then click OK.

This an other new features are documented on the Hotmail main page. AJS

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