E-mail Disk Quotas
Each user on the Exchange server is given a limit on how much mail they can store. The quota limits are as follows:
Students - 10 MB
Faculty and Staff - 200 MB (will receive a warning at 155 MB)
- When you have come close to exceeding your quota, you will be advised via an automated email message to remove items from your Exchange mailbox.
- When you have exceeded your quota by a small percentage, you will no longer be able to send mail out.
- When you have exceeded your quota by a slightly larger percentage, you will no longer be able to receive mail.
- Upon receiving a message that you have gone over the quota, you should immediately rectify the problem, to ensure that you can continue to both send and receive your email messages.
- By periodically checking your mailbox size (one good time to do so is right before going on vacation for an extended period), you can take a pro-active approach to managing your Exchange quota, and probably avoid running into the problem at all.
Table of Contents
Checking folder size
General recommendations on solving quota problems
Checking folder size and going over quota
There is no need to respond to the email notification that you have exceeded your quota. It is an automated message there simply to alert you to the problem, and prompt you to fix it. There are several solutions to quickly eliminating this situation. However, it is the responsibility of the user to do so.
- Your first step upon receiving the email warning should be finding out how much mail you have, and which sections of your Exchange folder are the problem areas. To get a snapshot of your folders' size, using Outlook, right-click on the top level of your folder list, called "Outlook Today - [Mailbox - Last Name, First Name]," and select Properties (see the image below). If you have the Outlook Bar displayed, you can also right-click on the Outlook Today icon and go to Properties.
Now click on the Folder Size button in the lower left-hand corner of your Mailbox Properties window. After a quick folder calculation, you should see a screen similar to that below, with the Total Size being the critical amount to which you should pay attention. When this number reaches 250,000K (250 MB), you will officially be over quota. If you have anything near the limit, you may want to consider cleaning things up now to avoid going over quota. You should scroll through the list, looking for the largest items. The first number is the size of the items in the immediate folder, while the second is the size of all the items in both the immediate folder and any subfolders within it. Typically you'll find a few large folders, (for example a few thousand K or more), and you should note which folders these are. Often they will be the Deleted Items folder, the Inbox, or the Sent Items - though any folder is a potential culprit.
Recommended actions, based on folder type
Instructions on how to perform the more elaborate recommended actions are found later in this document. After performing one or more of these actions, recheck your quota status as specified in steps one and two above, to see if you have eliminated the problem.
Deleted Items folder: Right-click on the deleted items folder, and select "Empty Deleted Items Folder." Items you delete from "Personal" storage space (including your Exchange Mailbox and Archive Folders), are not truly removed from your Exchange quota until you empty your deleted items folder. Public Folder items and your Personal Address Book do not affect your Exchange quota.
Journal folder: The journal should be turned off unless you have learned how to use its advanced features, and have specified only those items which you want tracked (time management per document). If you see items in the Journal, and didn't intentionally set it up to track anything, you should delete these items and turn off the Journal. Click on Journal, then select "By category" from the View>Current View menu. Right-click on each category and select delete. (it's likely there is just one, called "none"). Answer Yes when asked to confirm deleting all items in the category. When finished, don't forget to empty the Deleted Items folder. Then disable the journal by going to Tools>Options, clicking on the Journal Items button, and un-checking all checked boxes.
Sent Items or Inbox folder, and any custom mail folders you have created:
Remove attachments from messages
Sort by Size to Archive or Delete
Archive Mail Items to Archive Folder
Calendar, Tasks, or custom folders containing appointments or contacts:
Delete or Archive to Archive Folders any old appointments or completed tasks
Detailed instructions on the most popular quota maintenance techniques
Sort by Size - adding custom fields to archive or delete: Sorting folders by size allows you to perform efficient archiving and deleting, and help quickly determine what messages have larger attachments, that you may want to remove from your mail quota Often you can find 2 or 3 very large items within seconds using this method, allowing you to clean up your Mailbox size very easily. To sort by size, click on the folder in question, select Customize Current View from the View>Current View menu, and click on the Fields button. You should then be at the screen below.
Now click on the Size field from the "Available fields" on the left, click the Add button to move the field to the left side ("Show these fields in this order"), and click on OK, then on OK again to return to your newly customized view with the "Size field" now added on the far right side of your view.
You can then reposition the field to the left by dragging-and-dropping (you will see double-red arrows indicating where the field will be placed when you drop it), or resize it. Then you should click on the Size field to Sort by Size. Click once more on Size to change the arrow to point down (see the image below). This sorts in descending order,with the largest messages on the top.
Now you're ready to delete entire messages,
remove larger attachments from your mail quota
Remove attachments from messages: Eliminating or moving large attachments is one of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce your Mailbox size. The first step is to sort by size. Then the methodology depends on:
If you want to keep a copy of the attached file - Open the message, right-click on the attachment and select "Save-As." Then choose a location for the file (preferably somewhere on the Y drive so it will be backed up) and change the name, if you like. Once you're done, you should go back and
remove the attachment from the mail message
, or simply
delete the entire message
, if you want.
If you want to delete the attachment but keep the email message - Open the message, right-click on the attachment and select "Remove." Then close the item and say Yes when asked to save changes. This keeps the original email intact but removes the larger attachment file from your quota.
If you want to delete both the attachment and the message - simply delete the message as usual.
Archive Mail Items to Archive Folder: Your Outlook configuration should include a folder called "Archive Folders". This is a folder that you can use as additional "archive" space, to keep your Mailbox size under control. Since there are certain negative aspects of archive folders, and an aggregate quota exists even on this space, this technique should not be used to replace sound Mailbox maintenance (deleting Sent Items you don't need, removing attachments that you've already saved on your F drive, etc...), just as a complement. Please note that if you're checking your mail over the web (e.g. Outlook Web Access), you won't be able to see emails in your archive folder.
Just as with your Exchange Mailbox, archive folders can contain any number of folders with various types of items within each folder (appointments, contacts, mail items, notes, and so on). However, because this file sits on the another drive and not on the Exchange server, it does not take up any of your Exchange quota. Therefore, periodically "Archiving" items into this folder that you need to keep is one way to help you manage your Exchange quota.
While you do have the option to set up an automated Archiving mechanism in Outlook, we do not recommend that you do so unless you become well trained in how Outlook handles this automated process. Otherwise you'll find yourself missing items without understanding why - or where they went. In fact, since often you will want to selectively archive, you may be better keeping this manual mechanism in place even once you have learned how to automate the archive process. You can find more on automated archiving from the Outlook Help menu.
To archive mail items to an archive folder:
- First create a subfolder containing mail items in the archive folder (either via the File>New>Folder menu command, or by right-clicking on the folder and selecting New Folder). You will want to call it Archived Inbox, Archived Sent Items, or something else reflective of what is being stored in the folder.
- Next you'll want to select the messages you want to move. Typically the easiest way to move a group of messages is either sorting by size (see
how to sort by size
, above), sorting by date (by received date for incoming mail folders, and by sent date for outgoing mail folders), or sorting by person (using the From or To field). This will allow you to easily group a sequence using shift + click (to select a sequence of messages) or control + click (to select a group of individual messages).
- Then you'll be able to either delete the group pf messages, or archive them by dragging them from the existing Exchange folder onto the newly created archive folder subfolder (the default left mouse click drag-and-drop is a move, but if you use the right-click method, be sure to select move not copy).
- Now you can recheck your exchange quota and see where you stand.
Delete or Archive appointments or completed tasks to Archive Folders
This is very similar to the technique for
deleting or archiving mail items
, the only difference being the way you view or move the items. As mentioned in C above, we do not recommend automated archiving unless you are very experienced with the process. In addition, while you do have the "export items to an archive folder file" technique available to you, we will not be covering that here.
You probably won't need to export items from your Tasks or Calendar very often, due to the relatively low quota size they typically take up. In fact, many people just delete these items when necessary.
To archive task or appointment items to an archive folder:
- You will create a new subfolder just as in C - step 1 above, though you'll want to have it contain items of type "Task" (Archived tasks) or "Appointments" (Archived Calendar)
- Step 2 varies a bit, as you'll usually want to sort tasks by task completion date to determine which items to archive. For your calendar, consider using the View>Current View>By Category menu option, and sorting by the recurrence field. If that field is sorted such that the recurring items are at the bottom, then you find the oldest items at the top of the category. Since many people have only one or two categories in their Calendar, this is a nice way to lump together your old appointments (using shift+click to select a sequence of messages or control+click to select a group of individual messages).
- Then you can easily follow step 3 in C above to delete or move the items to the Archived Tasks / Archived Calendar folder in your archive folder. In the case of your Calendar, change back to your original view and you're all set.