An internally used tool at Microsoft called the Microsoft Outlook Thread Compressor has by finally made available to the general public by its creator, Ewan Dalton. The Thread Compressor (or “TC” for short) is an add-in for Outlook 2000/XP/2003/2007 which removes unnecessary emails from your inbox. The tool basically looks at the body of your email and removes those that have redundant data. This is most useful when you’re dealing with a long chain of emails and replies – such as those found in discussion lists. You see, in those cases, the person replying often leaves the body of the email to which they’re replying intact. Since each new email on the thread includes the entire conversation history, there’s no need to have every individual email saved. And by deleting the ones you don’t need, you can save a ton of space in your inbox and archives.
Since the tool was originally built back in 1999, it may look a little…uhhh…retro by modern standards, but don’t let the appearance fool you – this may easily be the most useful Outlook plugin you’ve installed in a long time.
Of course, anyone choosing to use the tool must do so at their own risk because – be warned! – it does delete email. That’s its purpose. For that reason alone, the legal department at Microsoft was hesitant about it being released to the public.
Note that Microsoft does not support the tool nor can they be held responsible for what it does.
That said, you can get the Microsoft Outlook Thread Compressor for free from here: http://threadcompressor.co.uk/default.aspx. You’ll find installation instructions and more information on that site, too.