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Dealing With a Full Mailbox in Outlook 2010

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Dealing With a Full Mailbox in Outlook 2010


    We’ve all seen it. The dreaded “Your mailbox is over the limit.” message.

    This means that not only can you not receive any new mail messages, you can’t send any emails either. This usually happens right at the climax of a very important project. The question is: What can we do about it?

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    You could always ask your email administrator to increase your limits, but that could take some time depending upon how busy they are with other help desk tickets. Below I’ve offered ways to help yourself. Plus, if you’ve already done these steps below, then when you do request the help desk ticket for increasing your limits, you will stand a much better chance of getting them increased.

    Three Solutions

    The first thing that you can do is empty your Deleted Items folder. The following steps are if you are using Outlook, but the concepts work in almost any mail program. Like your trash can at home, if you don’t empty the Deleted Items once in a while, you won’t ever get the space back. Simply right-click on the Deleted Items folder and choose Delete.

    The next one that’s often overlooked is your Sent Items folder. Outlook by default, saves every mail message to your Sent Items folder. Most other mail programs have the same capabilities. What this means is that every single “Hey…what are you doing for lunch?” email is in there. All five years worth of them. You don’t need to hang onto those messages. Go ahead and delete them. This step may take a bit longer than emptying the Deleted Items folder, but it will get the job done as well. You may want to sift through the messages, since there will be some messages that you have sent that you want to retain.

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    The third option is to use the AutoArchive function of Outlook. This one could be an issue for you, since the criteria for most archiving is by date. There are some messages (an annual or biannual contract negotiation with a vendor, for example) that you need to keep. Instead of auto-archiving those, move the messages to another folder manually.

    Outlook is usually configured to store messages on the Exchange server, which is good because you can sign into any PC in your organization and still retrieve your messages. Likewise, you can sign into webmail while you are traveling and still have access to those same messages. Unfortunately, this is where those mailbox limits come into play.

    For less critical mail, create an archive for yourself , since we’ve determined that AutoArchiving may not be the answer.

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    Your Own Personal Email Archive

    The way to do this is to have Outlook open, then go to File > Account Settings. Click on the Data Files tab and click on Add. This will let you create a new .PST file. You can name it anything your want. (I would suggest something along the lines of “2011 Archives” vs. “Personal Folders”, which is the default name. And no, I don’t know how they got PST out of Personal Folders. It’s a mystery to me too…)

    When you go to create the new PST file, you may want to create it in your shared files drive letter (commonly called H: for home, P: for Personal or U: for Users — your mileage may vary depending upon your network administrator.) This will create a new folder icon underneath your normal mailbox icons on the left. Expand this folder and start dragging emails over to the new folder. This folder used to have a limit of 2 GB in size, although you could always create more PST files. In Outlook 2010, they changed its formatting, increasing the limit to 50 GB — more than enough space. (If you need more than 50 GB of email, you have bigger issues than “mailbox full” messages.)

    There are some caveats to this method of archiving. First, this PST file won’t be available to you from machine to machine, unless you saved it to your U: drive. Secondly, if the machine that you put it on gets corrupted or has a hard disk failure, say goodbye to your e-mail (unless it’s backed up…you do have a backup, right? ). Third, your email administrator or your network security may not favor you doing this. If there is a virus in the email system, they can clean the mail servers. If if makes it into your PST file, it’s a whole lot harder to eradicate it. Of course, you should have anti-virus scanning your email as it comes in, but it still is a concern.

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    If this still doesn’t do the trick, then you simply need a larger quota. Doing the steps above will help support your request for more space.

    (Photo credit: White Email Symobls with One Red One via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on December 18, 2020

    Can Technology have Biases Like Humans?

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    Can Technology have Biases Like Humans?

    Technology has taken a vantage leap in providing solutions for man. Before now, technology used to appear complex and would require a great deal of expertise to handle solutions available. Today, we have technology applicable in the simplest human activities as smart products with intelligent algorithms powering them as they make error-free judgments and provide intelligent and analytic solutions.

    Does technology have all the answers?

    This article from Credit Suisse, tells us that technology does not have all the answers because it has been found to exhibit “similar biases,” as humans. No one can discredit the impact of technology, but it is not totally free of human input and this is the reason we experience these biases in many areas we have technology holding foot.

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    Creating technological solutions transparently

    This article suggests that the process of creating technological solutions be made transparent and subject to contribution from many people who would end up as users of the product – male, female, young, old, learned, unlearned and all other preferences as we have them. It also underscores the importance of having women on product development teams. This approach is not sure to eliminate all forms of bias, but it is a good way to start in order to appraise the full benefits of technology.

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    Technology as the connecting tool

    Technology so far has been a major connecting tool amongst us humans. It is used and appreciated by all regardless of race, language and sex. In order to keep it less subjective to these arguments about human biases. I believe we should gather opinions on products and solutions before making them available to the public. This could be done by gathering input from intended target users and receiving feedback across the stages of production.

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    “Recognizing the problem is a start…success will depend on inclusive technologies that meet this vast untapped market.” This cannot be more apt especially at a time when we look up to technology for solutions. We should not muzzle our progress with technology by battling algorithm bias. The first way to avoid this battle is by reading this article here.

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