Outlook Mailbox Space Management


Learn more about mailbox management

Regular maintenance of your Outlook mailbox can make it easier for you to find important messages and will reduce the storage needs of the LCCC e-mail system.  These pages offer some simple maintenance items that can help you to get the best performance from your Outlook e-mail.

Four quick tips for trimming down your Outlook Mailbox.

Tip 1: Empty the Deleted Items folder

Every time you delete an e-mail message, it goes into the Deleted Items folder. This folder can grow quickly, so you need to periodically empty the folder. Since you probably intended to get rid of deleted items in the first place, permanently tossing them out is a painless way to cut the bulk in your e-mail box.

You can specify when and how you want your Deleted Items folder removed: You can have the system remove deleted messages every time you close Outlook, or you can remove them manually.

  • Clean automatically  (figure 1)
    To automatically empty your deleted items folder each time you exit Outlook:

    • Click Tools
    • Click Options
    • Click Other
    • Select “Empty the Deleted Items folder upon exiting”
    • Click “OK”
  • Clean manually (figure 2)
    If you prefer to have more control over when items are removed from Deleted Items, right-click on the Deleted Items and select the “Empty Deleted Items” command.

    Figure 1
    Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 2


Tip 2: Save attachments outside the mailbox

Attachments can take up a lot of space. In fact, a single 1 MB e-mail attachment can take up as much space as 200 e-mails without attachments.


Figure 3
Figure 3


If you don’t need to store attachments in your mailbox, you can use the “Save Attachment” command on the File menu and save the attachments to a convenient location on your computer. Once you’ve saved the attachment, you can delete the message (if you don’t need it anymore), or you can right-click the attachment icon and click “Remove” to keep the message but remove the attachment.

  • Click File
  • Click Save attachments . . .
  • Select the directory on your computer where the attachment will be saved
  • Or, simply right-click on the attachment and select the directory where it will be stored

Before you start saving attachments to your hard disk, make sure you have a location in mind that you’ll remember later.  For example, if the attachment is a photo, you may want to save it in the My Pictures subfolder of My Documents. Or, the attachment may be related to a project file you have already created on your computer. When you save the attachment, make sure you give it a name that will help you remember its contents and context.

Tip 3: Archive the Sent Items folder regularly

Keeping the messages you send can be a useful way to track who said what to whom. But, you don’t necessarily need to keep this kind of record in your mailbox—which is where a copy of the messages that you send are stored (Sent Items). If you need to keep some of your sent messages, they may be archived on your computer. Archiving removes the e-mails from your mailbox and stores them on your computer’s hard drive.

To specify archive settings for AutoArchive, right-click the Sent Items folder, click Properties, and select the AutoArchive tab.

If you prefer to archive manually, click “Archive” on the File menu, and scroll to select the Sent Items folder.


Tip 4: No response is the best response

Don’t respond to junk messages or chain letters. Also, don’t click links within the type of e-mail that say things such as “Click here to remove yourself from this mailing list.” When you respond or click these “remove me” links, you’re letting the sender know that there’s someone at home at your e-mail address, and you’re likely to encourage more of this type of junk e-mail.

A Final Note…

Managing your mailbox will be an ongoing process—so sticking with it will keep you under any limits imposed by the network administrators and benefit you by keeping better organized.