Moving Oversized Messages From UW Exchange Local

This page provides information on moving messages that are larger than 25 MB out of your UW Exchange Local mailbox in preparation for the upcoming migration to a new cloud-based version of the service, UW Exchange Online. To ensure that you don't lose any data that you need, you must find any oversized messages in all folders in your mailbox, including sent mail and deleted items. If you want to preserve that data, you must move it from UW Exchange Local before your mailbox is migrated.

Why You Must Move Oversized Messages

Over the next few months, UW-IT is moving the UW Exchange service from a local installation of Exchange Server 2010, known as UW Exchange Local, to a cloud-based version of the service, UW Exchange Online. Eventually all UW Exchange Local users will be migrated.

On November 20, 2013, UW-IT lowered the UW Exchange Local message size limit from 60 MB to 25 MB in preparation for the migration. The 25 MB limit is set by Microsoft for the cloud-based version of the service. After migration, the 25 MB limit remains in effect for UW Exchange Online. You cannot send or receive messages larger than 25 MB, however existing oversized messages remain in your mailbox. When the migration begins, messages larger than 25 MB will not be migrated from your UW Exchange Local mailbox to the cloud-based UW Exchange Online, and they will not be accessible to you unless you move them to other storage. 

What Is Message Size?

The message size is the total size of the message itself (the words you write), the message header (To, From, Cc, Bcc, Date, and Subject) plus all of the attachments. When you attach a file to a message, the message size can increase by more than the size of the attachment.

If You Don't Use Outlook

This page contains instructions for the Windows-based versions of Outlook (2010 and 2013), the Web client Outlook Web App and the Apple client Outlook 2011. If you do not have access to any version of Outlook, contact your local UW Exchange support group for assistance.

Finding Existing Oversized Messages

The easiest way to find your oversized messages is to search across all the folders in your mailbox for messages above a specified size. Different versions of Outlook provide this capability in different ways, and in some cases you are not able to search across all the folders in your mailbox. If you cannot search across all folders, you must examine each folder separately.

Outlook 2010 or 2013

In Outlook 2010 and 2013, you can search across all the folders in your mailbox for all messages above a specified size. The following procedure searches across all of the folders in your mailbox.

To find oversized messages in Outlook 2010 or 2013

  1. StepsActions
  2. In the Folder tab, click New Search Folder.
  3. Under Organizing Mail, click Large mail.
  4. From the Search mail in list, click your email address, and then click OK.

    search-folder 
    Outlook displays the list with the largest messages at the top. The messages are grouped into categories by size: Enormous (> 5 MB), Huge (1 - 5 MB), Very Large (500 KB - 1 MB), and so forth. You need only be concerned about the messages in the Enormous category that are larger than 25 MB.

  5. In Outlook 2010, point to each large message to see a popup that reports the message size and other information. Alternatively, you can display the Size column:
    • From the View menu, click Reading Pane, and then click Below.  
      With the reading pane at the bottom of the window, the Size column is visible on the right.

     
    In Outlook 2013, you might have to change some settings to easily see the message size (see the next procedure for details).

  6. If you have oversized messages in your mailbox that you need to keep, see Options for Moving Your Data

To display message sizes in Outlook 2013

  1. StepsActions
  2. On the ribbon, click the View tab.
  3. In the Arrangement group, click Add Columns.
  4. In the list on the right, make sure that Size is present. If not, locate it in the list on the left, and then double-click it to add it to the list on the right.
  5. In the Maximum number of lines in compact mode field, enter 3 or more, and then click OK.
  6. The size is displayed for each message in the message list.
  7. If you have oversized messages in your mailbox that you need to keep, see Options for Moving Your Data.

Outlook Web App

You cannot create custom search folders in Outlook Web App. You can create a search folder to find your oversized messages using Outlook 2010 or 2013, if you have access to a Windows-based computer. The folder will show up the next time you log in using Outlook Web App. Then you can execute the search and save each oversized message individually from Outlook Web App, since it does not support exporting multiple messages.

The light version of Outlook Web App does not support search folders, but it does display the size of the messages, so you can open each folder and sort by size as described in the procedure: To find oversized messages in Outlook Web App light (below).

To find oversized messages in Outlook Web App with search folders

  1. StepsActions
  2. Use Outlook 2010 or 2013 on a Windows-based computer to create a custom search folder, as described in the procedures on this page for Outlook 2010 or 2013.
  3. While still in Outlook 2010 or 2013, make sure that cached mode is turned off:
    1. On the File tab, click the Account Settings button, and then click Account Settings from the menu.
    2. On the Email tab, double-click your UW Exchange account name.
    3. In the Change Account dialog box, make sure that Use Cached Exchange Mode is not checked.
      • If it is not checked, click Cancel to close the dialog box.
      • If you checked the box, click Next, OK, Finish, and Close to return to your mailbox. Then close and reopen Outlook to make the change take effect.
  4. Log in to your UW Exchange Local mailbox using Outlook Web App (do not use the light version).
  5. At the bottom of the folder tree menu, find the Search Folders icon, and then click the arrow to the left of the icon to expand the search folders list.
  6. Click the search folder that you previously created to display your oversized messages.
  7. To see the approximate size of each message, double-click the message and add up the sizes of all the attachments.
  8. If you have oversized messages in your mailbox that you need to keep, see Options for Moving Your Data.

To find oversized messages in Outlook Web App without search folders

  1. StepsActions
  2. Open your inbox.
  3. From the Conversations by list, click Size, and then scroll to the top of the list.

    The messages are grouped into categories by size: Enormous (> 5 MB), Huge (1 - 5 MB), Very Large (500 KB - 1 MB), and so forth. You need only be concerned about the messages in the Enormous category that are larger than 25 MB.

  4. To see the approximate size of each message, double-click the message and add up the sizes of all the attachments.
  5. Repeat this procedure in any other folders that you think might contain oversized messages that you need to keep.
  6. If you have oversized messages in your mailbox that you need to keep, see Options for Moving Your Data.

To find oversized messages in Outlook Web App light

  1. StepsActions
  2. Open your inbox.
  3. Find the Size column on the far right of the browser window, and then click the Size link in the column head to sort by size.
  4. Repeat this procedure in any other folders that you think might contain oversized messages that you need to keep.
  5. If you have oversized messages in your mailbox that you need to keep, see Options for Moving Your Data.

Outlook 2011

In Outlook 2011 you can search your entire mailbox for all messages above a specified size. The following procedure describes how to create a smart folder that searches across all of the folders in your mailbox.

To find oversized messages in Outlook 2011

  1. StepsActions
  2. Make sure that the Size column is visible:
    1. From the View menu, click Reading Pane, and then click Below
    2. From the View menu, click Columns, and then make sure that Size is checked.
      The Size column is visible on the right.
  3. In the upper-right corner of the screen, click in the search box to ensure that the Search tab is visible.
  4. On the Search tab, click All Mail to ensure that the search goes across all folders in your mailbox.
  5. Set up and execute the search:
    1. Click Attachment, and then click Greater than 10 MB.
    2. To the right of 10000, click the plus sign to add another search term.
    3. Click Item Contains, and then click Account.
    4. Click None, and then click the name of your UW Exchange account.  
      Search results are displayed in the message list.
  6. Click View, click Arrange by, and then click Size.
  7. Click View, click Arrange by, and then click Largest on Top.
  8. Look at the Size column to find any messages larger than 25 MB.
  9. If you have oversized messages in your mailbox that you need to keep, see Options for Moving Your Data.

Options for Moving Your Data

For each oversized message, decide if you still need that message and/or its attachments. If not, you can simply delete the message. If you need the keep the data, you have many storage options. Contact your local UW Exchange support group for the recommended method for your department. Whatever storage method your support organization recommends, you must save your data in one of the following ways:

  • Save individual messages with attachments or just the attachments (Outlook 2010, 2011, 2013, and Outlook Web App)
  • In Outlook 2010 and 2013, drag multiple files to a desktop folder or create an Outlook Data File (.pst) of your entire mailbox
  • In Outlook 2011, export one or more Apple Mail files (.eml), each containing a message and its attachments (Outlook 2011), or create an Outlook for Mac Data File (.olm) of your entire mailbox

Note: You cannot create .pst files or .olm files using Outlook Web App. You need a desktop version of Outlook (2010, 2011, or 2013).

After you have moved your oversized messages out of your mailbox, move them to the storage medium recommended by your UW Exchange support group. See Sharing Large Files for some examples.

Saving Individual Messages

To save individual messages in Outlook 2010 and 2013

  1. StepsActions
  2. Save the messages or just the attachments:
    • If you need both the message text and the attachment and you want to save them together, click the File menu and then click Save As to make a local copy.
    • If you want only the attachments, right-click an attachment and select Save All Attachments.
  3. After you have saved the files, open messages in Outlook and attachments in their respective applications to verify that the files are good.
  4. After you have verified that the files are good, delete the oversized messages from your mailbox.
  5. After you have deleted the oversized messages, we recommend that you permanently remove them from your mailbox by deleting them from the Deleted Items folder:
    • To permanently delete a single message in from the Deleted Items folder, right-click the message and then click Delete.
    • To permanently delete all items from the Deleted Items folder, right-click the Deleted Items folder, and then click Empty Folder.
  6. Contact your local UW Exchange support group for the recommended long-term storage option for your oversized files.

To save individual messages in Outlook 2011

  1. StepsActions
  2. Select the message that you want to export.
  3. Drag the selection to a folder in the Finder.

     
    The message is exported as an .eml file

  4. After you have exported the file, open it in Outlook 2011 to verify that it is good: Control-click the file, click Open with, and then click Outlook.
  5. After you have verified that the file is good, delete the oversized message from your mailbox.
  6. After you have deleted the oversized messages, we recommend that you permanently remove them from your mailbox by deleting them from the Deleted Items folder:
    • To permanently delete a single message in from the Deleted Items folder, right-click the message and then click Delete.
    • To permanently delete all items from the Deleted Items folder, right-click the Deleted Items folder, and then click Empty Folder.
  7. Contact your local UW Exchange support group for the recommended long-term storage option for your oversized files.

To save individual messages in Outlook Web App

  1. StepsActions
  2. Save the messages or just the attachments:
    • If you want only the attachments, right-click each attachment, select Save Link As (or something similar depending on your browser), and then click Save.
    • If you need both the message text and the attachment, you must save them separately, as Outlook Web App does not support saving them together. In Outlook Web App you cannot save messages locally in the native Outlook message format. There are several workarounds:
      • Use your browser's save feature:
        1. Double-click the message to open it in a separate browser window.
        2. Right-click in the message window, and then click Save Page As (or something similar depending on your browser).
        3. Select the format that you want to save to. The choices vary according to what browser you are using.
        4. Click Save (or something similar depending on your browser).
      • Use your browser's print feature to print the message to a PDF file, a OneNote file, or other available file type.
      • Select the message text, use your browser's copy feature, and paste the text in to Microsoft Word or another text editor.
  3. After you have saved the files, open messages and attachments to verify that the files are good.
  4. After you have verified that the files are good, delete the oversized messages from your mailbox.
  5. After you have deleted the oversized messages, we recommend that you permanently remove them from your mailbox by deleting them from the Deleted Items folder:
    • To permanently delete a single message in from the Deleted Items folder, right-click the message and then click Delete.
    • To permanently delete all items from the Deleted Items folder, right-click the Deleted Items folder, and then click Empty Folder.
  6. Contact your local UW Exchange support group for the recommended long-term storage option for your oversized files.

Saving Multiple Messages in Outlook 2010 and 2013

In Outlook 2010, and 2013, you can select multiple messages and then drag them to a folder on your desktop. Alternatively, you can export your entire mailbox to a .pst file.

Note: If you have a large mailbox, it can take more than one hour to create a .pst file of your entire mailbox. Email is not usable in Outlook during the process.

To drag multiple messages to a desktop folder

  1. StepsActions
  2. Create a folder on your desktop for the large messages that you want to save.
  3. Select the messages that you want to save:
    • To select a group of contiguous messages, hold down the Shift key, and then click the first and last messages in the group.
    • To select a group of noncontiguous messages, hold down the Ctrl key, and then click the messages that you want.
  4. Drag the messages to the folder that you created in step 1.
  5. Check the folder on your desktop to ensure that the files are safely saved there.
  6. In your mailbox, the group is still selected, so right-click the group, and then click Delete.
  7. After you have deleted the oversized messages, we recommend that you permanently remove them from your mailbox by deleting them from the Deleted Items folder:
    • To permanently delete a single message in from the Deleted Items folder, right-click the message and then click Delete.
    • To permanently delete all items from the Deleted Items folder, right-click the Deleted Items folder, and then click Empty Folder.
  8. Contact your local UW Exchange support group for the recommended long-term storage option for your oversized files.

To create a .pst File of Your Entire Mailbox

  1. StepsActions
  2. Create the file:
  3. After you have saved the .pst file, open it in Outlook to verify that the files are there.
  4. After you have verified that the .pst file is good, delete the oversized messages from your mailbox.
  5. After you have deleted the oversized messages, we recommend that you permanently remove them from your mailbox by deleting them from the Deleted Items folder.
    • To permanently delete a single message in from the Deleted Items folder, right-click the message and then click Delete.
    • To permanently delete all items from the Deleted Items folder, right-click the Deleted Items folder, and then click Empty Folder.
  6. Contact your local UW Exchange support group for the recommended long-term storage option for your oversized files.

Exporting Multiple Messages in Outlook 2011

In Outlook 2011, you can save multiple messages as individual Apple Mail files (.eml). You can also create an Outlook for Mac Data File (.olm) of your entire mailbox. Alternatively, you can mark a group of large files as a category and then export that category as a .olm file, but this method is more complex than the first two methods, which are described here.

To save multiple messages as .eml files

  1. StepsActions
  2. Select the messages that you want to export: hold down the command key command-key-icon and click to select multiple messages.
  3. Drag the selection to the desktop or a folder in the Finder.

     
    The messages are exported as individual .eml files

  4. After you have exported the files, open them in Outlook to verify that they are good: Control-click each file, click Open with, and then click Outlook.
  5. After you have verified that the files are good, delete the oversized messages from your mailbox.
  6. After you have deleted the oversized messages, we recommend that you permanently remove them from your mailbox by deleting them from the Deleted Items folder:
    • To permanently delete a single message in from the Deleted Items folder, right-click the message and then click Delete.
    • To permanently delete all items from the Deleted Items folder, right-click the Deleted Items folder, and then click Empty Folder.
  7. Contact your local UW Exchange support group for the recommended long-term storage option for your oversized files.

To create a .olm file of your entire mailbox

  1. StepsActions
  2. On the Tools tab, click Export.
  3. In the Export window, select Outlook for Mac Data File (.olm).
  4. Select Items of the following types, and then check the boxes for the desired item types (you need only check the Mail box to export your mail messages). Click the right arrow to continue.
    Outlook displays the Export dialog box, which asks if you want to delete items after the export.
  5. In the Export dialog box, make sure that No, do not delete items is selected.
  6. Click the right arrow to start the export.
  7. When the export is complete, click Done.
  8. After you have saved the file, open it in Outlook to verify that it is good:
    1. From the File menu, click Import.
    2. Select Outlook Data File (.olm), and then click the right arrow.
    3. In the next dialog, select Outlook Data File (.olm) again, and then click the right arrow.
    4. Locate the file, select the file, and then click Import.
  9. After you have verified that the file is good, delete the oversized messages from your mailbox.
  10. After you have deleted the oversized messages, we recommend that you permanently remove them from your mailbox by deleting them from the Deleted Items folder:
    • To permanently delete a single message in from the Deleted Items folder, right-click the message and then click Delete.
    • To permanently delete all items from the Deleted Items folder, right-click the Deleted Items folder, and then click Empty Folder.
  11. Contact your local UW Exchange support group for the recommended long-term storage option for your oversized files.

Sharing Large Files

Email is not the best option for sharing files. If you need to share a large file, use one of the following methods:

  • Save the file to an available UW shared drive, such as Nebula's I: drive or a department's shared drive. Non-Nebula users can now use the Nebula I: drive for their own files; send email to help@uw.edu.

  • Save the file to UW OneDrive for Business (formerly UW SkyDrivePro) or UW Google Drive, share it with another person, and send them a link to it.

  • If you just need to show someone a file and not send it to them, consider using the sharing feature of a conferencing tool such as Lync. For more information, see the Microsoft article Share your desktop or programs in a Lync Meeting.

More Information From Microsoft

Last modified: March 14, 2014