Outlook.com to update Sweep, Search, and more

By Kip Kniskern | In News | Posted January 16, 2014 3 comments

According to a new blog post on the Outlook blog, the Sweep feature in Outlook.com is used more than 7.5 million times per week. It allows users to clean out their inboxes using bulk delete of certain types of email, and setting up rules for how that email should be handled in the future. With the updated Sweep feature, rolling out to Outlook.com users “in the coming weeks”, a newly updated UI will provide a simpler interface, requiring less clicks to use.

Search is also being updated in Outlook.com:

With your email organized the way you want it, you can use the updated Search tool to quickly find email regardless of the category or folder it’s in. One of the most commonly-searched criteria is for people, so we now show your contact names and pictures together when you’re looking for them. 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.

We also provide suggested search criteria for the type of email you may be looking for (e.g. and has an attachment). Advanced search now contains more search criteria and has a cleaner UI, and filters that can be applied to the search results.

The blog post goes on to tout the “7th Annual National Clean Out Your Inbox Week”, and points out a number of other features improvements coming in the new update. You will soon be able to organize more easily by categories, and “automatically categorize all email from a particular sender in four clicks: click Categories, click the category name, click Apply to all from… and then click Categorize all, automatic filing, instant actions and keyboard shortcuts”. That same “”apply to all from…” functionality will also appear with the Move to feature, choosing to “Move all email from….” To a certain folder, and creating a custom rule for future emails.

The update also contains improvements to instant actions, keyboard shortcuts, mobile, and video and chat capabilities from popular services, including Skype, Facebook, Google, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Posted January 16th, 2014 at 10:08 am
Category: News
Tags: Outlook.com, Search, Sweep
  • uberlaff

    I would love to see these features accessible from my Windows Phone.

  • Nima Jahanbin

    What they need to do is to fix their spam protection and mail routing problems. I have been an Hotmail/outlook user ever since before it was even a MS product. I had all my mail from 8+ email accounts all forwarding to outlook.Com and used to use the allies feature to control all of them.
    Recently I have been getting
    – too many false positives when messages are marked as spam when they are not. It forced me to start looking through spam folder regularly when I used to just ignore it. I got about 1 false positive message a week for the past month.
    -too munch spam coming into account past the spam filter.
    -on 3 occasion during the past two weeks the emails never made it to inbox or spam folder. The original mailbox forwarding to outlook contained the message and it was forwarded but I guess they assumed that it was 100% spam so they didn’t even bother placing it within spam folder. unexceptable.
    Unfortunately I changed all my forwards to Gmail and even though I hate their interface and prefer not to use them I had to switch to them.

  • pfizerdiamonds

    I have had Hotmail/Outlook since 1999, and it has been my primary email for that long. I have Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, and a few others. The Outlook.com interface is the best. I almost never get spam, and Sweep had been excellent.