Keeping your inbox down to a reasonable size requires some attention and planning. These tips will help you to reduce the volume on a daily basis.
Checking your Quota
If you get close to your quota for email use we’ll send you an email. As you work on reducing the amount of email to get under quota, it’s helpful to be able to check how you’re doing. You can find your quota usage in one of two ways:
Empty your Email Trash
As much as 30% of our email usage on campus is email sitting in the trash, waiting to be emptied. Empty the trash, and then check to see how you’re doing on your quota.
When you delete a message in Thunderbird it doesn’t actually free up any space until the folders are “compacted.” You can set Thunderbird to compact the folders automatically:
You can also manually compact folders by clicking on your inbox and selecting “File→Compact Folders.”
Empty out the Junk Mail Folder
If you have a Junk folder in your email, don’t forget to empty it occasionally:
Empty the trash after this.
Use Local Folders in Thunderbird
In Thunderbird you have the option of storing messages in “Local Folders.” This puts the messages on your computer rather than having them up on the server, where they use up your quota. Keep in mind that Local Folders are not accessible from any computer other than the one they’re stored on, but this is often an ideal place to store old emails that you’re not quite ready to let go of.
If you’ve got years worth of messages, we suggest creating one folder for each year’s mail.
To create and use local folders in Thunderbird:
Repeat this process for each batch of messages you’re offloading to local storage.
Sort your Email by Size
One mistake that many people make when trying to slim down their email is to start randomly deleting messages, usually starting with the oldest messages. After deleting a slew of messages, they find themselves still over quota, and don't understand what's happening. What we find is that going over quota is often related to a few large email messages, usually ones with large attachments. And, of course, if you very recently went over quota, chances are it's because one of these big messages just recently came your way. Simple solution? Order your email by size:
Don’t Forget About your Sent Mail Folder
Don’t forget that email that you send is kept in a sent folder, and that it contributes to your quota usage. The above tips can be used on your sent mail, too.
Errors When you Try to Delete?
If you are trying to delete email and the system either doesn't delete it or tells you there's not enough disk space to delete it, it's often because your options for deleting specify that it should be moved into trash: the system is trying to copy your files into the trash folder, but of course you're already over quota so it's getting an error. The solution? Instead of moving things to trash, mark them as deleted and then purge them:
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