Email Best Practices
My Mailbox is Full
So your mail box has reached its quota or is "full"
The first thing to do is log into webmail and empty these folders:
- "Sent Items"
- "Junk E-Mail"
- "Infected Items"
You might have to empty the "Deleted" and "Trash" folder again after deleting messages or folders.
Look for folders that you might have created to save old messages. Delete or archive messages you no longer need. Save these to your computer instead of leaving them on the server. Look at the POP3 recommendations below.
Switch your main computer to use POP3
This is how you save messages to your computer. Email is best handled using a combination of permanent storage on your computer (POP3) and server storage which is flexible enough to leave some email on the server to retrieve from other devices.
This can be handled with a combination of Local Storage, POP3 and IMAP.
POP3 is the "best solution"
This stores all email locally on your computer in a PST data file. This is great for when you have one main computer and access email mostly from that computer.
To enable access to email from a cell phone, you should set "Leave a copy of the email on the server for 7 days" in the account properties. POP3 handled like this can be your best choice for email handling. Your mailbox will never be full since it is always downloading the email to your computer. Your email is now faster to search and backup.
IMAP is for mobile devices
This means that all of your email is stored on the server and you have IMAP folders to organize your email. It is inefficient to use IMAP alone. It should be combined with local storage or POP3.
You must clean up your server storage often. Empty your "Junk Email", "Sent", "Sent Items", "Deleted Items" and "Trash" folders. You can either delete the emails to empty them or move them to local storage.
Local Storage - PST Datafiles
You should always have some form of local storage! It should be on your most used computer.
POP3 automatically uses your local storage.
Local storage uses a PST data file on your local hard drive. If you have been using only IMAP, you may not have a local PST file. This means all of your email is stored on the server and your server mailbox will fill up fast. If you have been using POP3, you are already using local storage.
If you do have a local PST data file, it can be used to organize your email like a filing cabinet. Create folders there to organize your emails in a way that you want to save them. I like to organize emails by client or project. I recommend that you create a new PST data file with a name that you will remember in a location that you will find easily for backup. I keep mine in a folder location like this "e:\email\mike2015.pst"
If you have been using IMAP, you may have been creating IMAP folders on the server. They take up space and slow down your email retrieval.
To use local storage, you can copy and paste or drag and drop emails from an IMAP folder to a local data folder in your PST data file.
For advanced users using IMAP, you can use a second PST datafile to your Outlook and move your saved messages from IMAP to the new PST folder. You can save all incoming messages here and can also save sent messages to the PST folder.
Switching from IMAP to POP3
Switching is quite easy. First, set up a new PST data file. Go to "Account Settings" and choose the "Data Files" tab and then "add new". Choose a folder location and file name that you will remember.
Set up a new POP3 Account and choose "Use existing data file" and "Leave a copy of the message on the server for 7 days". Save the account and send/receive email. This will take a while since it is downloading all of your email. You can then remove your IMAP account from your computer. You can keep your IMAP account on your phone.