How to Reduce Your Mailbox Size

Outlook accounts for faculty and staff have a 2.0 GB size limit.  When your Outlook account reaches 1.6 GB, a warning message is sent; at 2.0 GB you can no longer send or receive email.  The following techniques can help to minimize your Outlook account size.

For additional assistance or information, please contact the CSI Helpdesk at 732-6311.

Empty Deleted Items Automatically

To make sure that your Deleted Items are emptied each time you exit Outlook:

  1. Choose Tools, Options, then click the Other tab.
  2. Verity that Empty the Deleted Items folder upon exiting is checked.

You can empty the Deleted Items folder at any time by right-clicking it and choosing Empty Deleted Items Folder from the Shortcut menu.


Delete messages that are no longer needed

Delete messages and folders that you no longer need by selecting them and clicking the Delete button on the toolbar.  The Deleted Items folder must be emptied before the file space is removed from your account


Delete attachments that are no longer needed

Large attachments such as graphic files or databases can require enormous disk space.  To delete an attachment while keeping the message, simply click the attachment to select it (be sure not to double-click or the attachment will open) and click the Delete button on the toolbar.

Delete Sent Items that are no longer needed

Select messages in the Sent Items folder that you no longer need and click the Delete button on the toolbar.


 Move messages or attachments to your local harddrive or a network drive

You can create a Personal Folder on your local harddrive or network drive that removes items from your Outlook file space but still leaves them available to you from within the Outlook program.  To create a Personal Folder:

  1. Choose Tools, Services, then Add.
  2. Type a filename, such as myfiles in a location such as My Documents\Outlook then click OK to close the Personal Folder window and OK to return to Outlook.

The new Personal Folder will be displayed in your folder list.  You can move messages or folders from your Outlook space to your local harddrive or network drive simply by dragging them from the Information Viewer onto the folder.  You can add to the Personal Folder at any time in the future.


The Outlook items in the Personal Folder are available to you only when the local drive or network drive is available to you.  If you use Outlook from another computer or Outlook Web Access, items in a Personal Folder are not available.

Note:  be sure to backup the files in the Personal Folder if they are not on a network drive.

Use Archiving

Outlook's  Archive feature will  move groups of files based on age to your local harddrive or network drive.  This feature is designed for files which you do not use regularly but that you do not want to delete and may need in the future.  You can add to the archive file at regular intervals and your existing folder structure is maintained in your new archive file. Archive items are not available to you in Outlook unless you add them as a Service.


You can archive manually anytime you wish or you can set AutoArchive to archive automatically at timed intervals.

Be sure to delete any files or attachments that you do not wish to save BEFORE archiving.


Manual Archive

To manually archive Outlook items:

  1. Choose File, Archive.
  2. Select Archive this folder and all subfolders.
  3. Select the folder or folders that you wish to archive.
  4. Use the Archive items older than box to select the Outlook items to archive.
  5. Set the file name and location, for example, My Documents\archive.pst

You can add to an archive file with subsequent archive operations.



AutoArchive will automatically move or delete items in specific folders that exceed a specified age.  You can automatically archive individual folders, groups of folders, or all Outlook folders. The process runs automatically whenever you start Outlook. The AutoArchive properties of each folder are checked by date, and old items are moved to your archive file. Items in the Deleted Items folder are deleted.

AutoArchive is a two-step process:

  1. Turn on AutoArchive by choosing Tools, Options, Other tab, and then click AutoArchive.
  2. Set the AutoArchive properties for each folder that you want archived.

Several Outlook folders are set up with AutoArchive turned on. These folders and their default aging periods are:

  • Calendar (6 months)
  • Tasks (6 months)
  • Journal (6 months)
  • Sent Items (2 months)
  • Deleted Items (2 months)

Inbox, Notes, Contacts, and Drafts do not have AutoArchive activated automatically.