Managing Email Mailbox Size

Best Practices for Managing Email Mailbox Size

Your Exchange quota includes all your email, attachments, calendar data, task items and more. You will see even better performance if you keep your mailbox well under that size.
Remember that your Sent mail folder counts too, and may be very large! If you are experiencing problems with your email program or mobile device loading very slowly, you may want to periodically archive mail from your Sent folder.
Although email programs like Outlook and Macmail offer an Auto-Archive option, for most users it is simpler to just create folders for email you need to save, and manually move them there from time to time, for long-term storage. Consult your ITS building technician for assistance.
If you could use some guidance in Inbox management and reducing your mailbox clutter, remember the "4 D's":
  • Do it—Determine whether you will take action on it or file it for reference.
  • Defer it—Wait to deal with it until later.
  • Delegate it—Forward to someone else.
  • Delete it—Remove it from your Inbox.
Do not use your Deleted Items folder as a storage location for emails you need to keep. If you wish to keep a message, file it to another folder. That way, you can safely empty your Deleted Items folder occasionally.  If you do not empty your Deleted Items folder from time to time, you may see delays and slower performance in your Exchange account.
Save your email attachments locally (on your computer) or on network storage, then delete the messages they are attached to.

Tips and Tricks to Manage Email

  • Deleted/Trash Items. The obvious first choice is the Deleted Items folder.  Make sure that your Deleted Items folder is emptied regularly. As a business best practice, don't get in the habit of using the Deleted Items folder as a holding pen for "just in case."
  • Sent Items. The second choice is the Sent Items folder. Make sure that you purge your Sent Items folder at some point. Occasionally, users have a copy of every email they have ever sent. Go ahead, pick a date, and delete all sent items prior to that date.
  • Large Attachements. Look for items with large attachments. Although each deleted email helps with cleanup, deleting a message with a 5MB attachment helps a lot fmore than a 4KB text-only message. You may have either sent or received multiple messages that have a different version of the same attachment. Delete the messages containing the earlier versions of the attachments when you only need the final one for reference.
  • Contiguous blocks of emails - select the first email. hold down [Shift] then select the last message in the block.
  • Non-contiguous blocks of emails - Select the first email. hold down [Ctrl], (on Macs it's [⌘]), then select non-contiguous blocks of emails.
Outlook 2010 & higher
  1. Select the File tab and then navigate to Mailbox Cleanup  >  Cleanup  >  Tools  >  Mailbox cleanup...
  2. Click the View Mailbox Size button
  3. Select the Server Data tab
  4. Total Size (including folders) indicates how large your mailbox is
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  2. 2
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*Refer to University Archives retention policies.
  1. In your email program, select the folder that you want to clean up.
  2. Sort the message items by selecting the Date column heading or by selecting the Received column heading.
  3. Select the most recent message that you want to delete (you want to delete this message and all messages older).
  4. Scroll to the oldest message, hold down the [Shift] key and click the oldest message. All messages from the oldest to the most recent one that you want to delete should be selected.
  5. Select the Delete button on the toolbar to Delete the selected messages. Alternatively, you can press the Delete button on your keyboard.
*Refer to University Archives retention policies.
  1. In your email program, select the folder that you want to clean up.
  2. Sort the messages by size by clicking the Size column heading. The larger items will be listed at the top.
  3. Select messages that you don't need and delete them. Deleting a message with large attachments can quickly reduce the size of your mailbox.

Email Reduction Tactics


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