Managing A Large Exchange Mailbox

Have you ever seen these messages?

  • Your mailbox is becoming too large.
  • Your mailbox is almost full.
  • Your mailbox is full.

As your mailbox grows, you will receive warnings: first you'll be unable to send mail; then you won't be able to receive it and people trying to email you will get a non-delivery report.

The UW-IT Local Exchange mailbox was limited to 2GB, which includes all mail, tasks, contacts, and calendar items.  Exchange Online increases that limit to 50GB. 

 Large attachments

Often what's taking up your quota is email large attachments. To delete attachments from messages in Outlook:          
  1. Double-click on the desired message to open it in its own window.
  2. Click on the attachment you want to remove with the right mouse button.
  3. Select Remove from the menu.
  4. Close the message window.
  5. Click OK when asked Do you want to save changes?

Sort by size

Click in the blue bar that says Arrange by:  Date and choose Size.  This will put the largest messages at the top. You can then save the attachments to your H: or I: drive and be able to delete the message(s) taking up so much space.

Find large folders

See where your usage lies. Right-Click on Mailbox - (your name) and select Properties. On that window, click the Folder Size button. It will show you how much space your Outlook files are using and which folders are taking the most room.

Use Deskmail

You can transfer mail from your Exchange account to your Deskmail account by following these steps.  Do not drag-and-drop or use the Move command  to move mail between Exchange and Deskmail as you could irretrievably lose your files.

Prune Sent and Deleted Items folders

You can see big space savings by pruning back your Sent Items folder. When you're done with your deletions, remember to empty your Deleted Items folder in order to actually see the space savings.

Re-checking your quota usage

Outlook 2010: Click on orange File tab and look for the Mailbox Clean-up status bar which will show your usage.

Outlook Web Access:  hover over your account name with the mouse, above the Inbox.

Other options:

The Managing Your Email link on the UW Email page

The Records Retention pages for information on what emails must be retained and for how long

Last modified: August 22, 2014