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Knowledge Center Article


Managing Faculty/Staff E-mail Mailbox Usage (Article #100)

Created on May 28, 2003
Last Modified on May 28, 2010
Technical Level:  Novice
Audience:  Faculty/Staff


Every faculty and staff member receives a limit, or "quota," in the amount of space in each mailbox. Quotas are essential in maintaining the stability and resource allocation on the Exchange (e-mail) server.

Current quota sizes are available at

It is important that you regularly watch and maintain the amount of space your e-mail is using. If you exceed your quota, you will not receive any e-mail messages (they will be returned to the sender as "undeliverable") until you free up space in your e-mail account.

To check your current usage:

  1. Open Outlook (or use Outlook through Virtual Workspace)
  2. Right-click the “Mailbox - Name here“ icon in the upper left of the screen (at the top of the folder listing)
  3. Choose Properties from the drop-down menu
  4. Click Folder Size
  5. A window will appear, describing the total usage for all folders, and usage per each subfolder.

To reduce your e-mail space usage, consider doing some of the following:

  • Check the following folders and delete or move old messages within each: Inbox, Sent Items, Deleted Items
  • Use your "Personal Folders" (PST file) more often to store/archive messages. Information on using PST files is available in Article 137: Using Outlook Personal Folder (PST) Files. By default, faculty and staff have a .pst file stored on the H: (personal) drive. Since the H: drive has a larger quota than e-mail, many more messages can be stored there. (NOTE: Personal Folders are not accessible via Outlook Web Access.)
  • Sort folders by Size.  In particular, the Inbox and Sent Items can have a single message large in size which consumes a large amount of space.
  • Delete or move attachments to personal folders, as they are generally large and add substantially to the size of your mailbox. You can easily find messages with e-mail attachments by clicking on the paperclip in the column headings above the message list in Outlook. This will sort your messages and group those with attachments together, allowing you to more easily move or delete those messages.
  • Limit the number of discussion lists to which you belong. List services can create large volumes of email.
  • Take a training class on managing e-mail quotas or archiving e-mail.
  • Make sure your Journal is turned off; if it was on, delete all Microsoft shortcuts contained within the Journal as this takes up space as well. To turn off the journal, do the following:
    1. Go to the Tools menu in Outlook
    2. Choose Options
    3. Click Journal Options
    4. Make certain that all items are unchecked. This will ensure that nothing is being logged (recorded in the Journal).
  • Use autoarchiving or have Outlook automatically delete messages from your Deleted Items folder:
    1. Go to the Tools menu in Outlook
    2. Choose Options
    3. Click the Other tab
    4. Click AutoArchive
    5. There will be a number of automatic archiving options there to choose from

The OTS Help Center can assist you setting up any of these processes. OTS Training also offers documentation and a class on managing quotas.

Additional Keywords: over quota bounceback returned to sender email

Categories:  University Policies, E-mail, Computer Accounts

Software:  Microsoft Outlook 2000, Microsoft Outlook XP, Microsoft Outlook for Macintosh 2001

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