How To Make Sure My Email is Really Gone

Dear Computer Lady,

My question is regarding deleted emails.

I have Windows 7 and am using Windows Live Mail. Since my deleted emails don’t wind up in my Recycle/Trash, they must be still somewhere on my computer? Right?

I would like to permanently remove them, and, even though I’ve Googled it, I can’t find a way to do it.

I hope you can help. I really appreciate your newsletter and that you take the time to publish it … it’s very helpful.

Thanks …. Patti

Dear Patti,

When you are using an email program like Windows Live Mail, that program has its own Recycle/Trash folder. When you delete an email message, it goes into that trash email folder.

When you empty that trash folder in your email program, the messages don’t go into your recycle bin, instead, they are marked as deleted in your email program.

In many email programs, the messages are still on your computer until you compact the folders. I am not sure if this is the case with Windows Live Mail since it stores messages differently than other programs, but I can show you how to be sure they are really gone.

1. Open Windows Live Mail, and click on the left tab.

2. Point to “Options” in the drop down menu, then click on “Mail” in the sub-menu.

3. In the “Options” window, click on the “Advanced” tab.

4. Click on the “Maintenance…” button.

5. Make sure there is a check mark in front of “Compact the database on shutdown every… runs”. If there is no check mark there, click in the box to check it off.

6. If the number in that section is larger than you want (mine was set to 100) change it to a smaller number. I changed mine to 10.

7. Click “Close” and then “OK” to save your changes and close the dialog boxes.

8. Now, Windows Live Mail will automatically compact the folders every 10th time I run and then close the program.


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