Back in April of 2008 I wrote a blog entry about how to remove RSS feeds in bulk from Internet Explorer 7 because at the time in IE you could only remove one feed at a time. That can be quite time consuming if you have a lot of feeds like I do.
The RSS feeds are stored in the Windows Common Feed List (WCFL) which is a central storage point for any RSS feeds you subscribe to on your system. If you allowed the RSS list to be synced between IE and Outlook then this WCFL becomes the key area for all the RSS feeds you read each day.
The problem two years ago was that you could bulk delete RSS Feeds from within Outlook, at the time Outlook 2007, but they would still be present in the WCFL and Internet Explorer. This certainly defeats the purpose of syncing the two sources to the WCFL.
Well it seems the same issue exists in IE8 and Outlook 2010. So I went back and used my posting from April 2008 to verify that the same procedures apply to IE8 and Outlook 2010 and they in fact do match up.
So if your looking for a way to bulk delete the RSS feeds in your WCFL the steps below will still get you there:
I recently went and removed 100% of the feeds I was subscribed to in Outlook 2007 – over 50 of them – and yes I know that is small compared to some. Information Overflow was in full force and I needed to create some space to refocus a few different things I do. I found removing all of my RSS feeds in Outlook is very easy:
In the above dialog, which you reach by clicking on the Tools>Account Settings>RSS Feeds Tab, you can select just one feed or multiple feeds – hit the Remove button and they are gone. Simple, straight forward and quick. Now it is well known out there on the Internet and that the Windows Common Feeds introduced with Windows Vista and IE7 list can be accessed by any application that is written to do so – such as Outlook 2007 does. If I subscribe to an RSS feed while browsing the Internet it will also be accessible in Outlook 2007 the next time I start it up. Nice and convenient. It was this feature in fact kept me from moving from IE7 to Safari – I could not add RSS feeds through Safari into the Common Feeds List – bummer by the way because Safari is much faster than IE7. OK – back to the story of this post – so when you remove a feed from Outlook 2007 it DOES NOT remove it from the Windows Common Feed list – just from Outlook 2007. Seems to be a bit of a disconnect as they will sync in one direction – IE7 to Outlook 2007 – but not Outlook 2007 to IE7 – such as in the case of a removal in Outlook 2007. So if I went to Google an answer to this issue – how do I mass remove/delete/unsubscribe from RSS feeds via IE7? The answer was not forthcoming. I even tried to search and find where the Windows Common Feeds data is kept on a Windows Vista computer and had no luck there. So my next step was to experiment and search for myself. It actually took less time then a Google search to find this directory of feeds. First thing I did was allow hidden files to be – well – unhidden:
I then browsed to the following directory C:\Users\User Name\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Feeds\ which contained several files (one for each subscribed RSS feed and a Feeds DataBase file.
With all instances of IE7 closed I simply selected all of the files in this directory and hit the delete button – after a brief confirmation:
They were all gone!
After you get rid of them your feed list in IE7 will look nice and clean:
So after experiencing some frustration with searching the Internet for how to do this I hope you find this blog post via your favorite search engine and save a few minutes in the process of cleaning up your Windows Common Feed list. Oh yeah – make sure you re-hide your hidden files!