How do I manage email disk usage? Print

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Keeping Email Disk Usage to a Minimum

For most businesses email is one of the main sources of communication between clients.If not managed properly it doesn't take long for email to eat up disk usage within your hosting account. Especially if you have a lot of users/email accounts.

Most businesses should have some sort of email protocol or policy that everyone follows. For example, I use Outlook as the main email application. Using the POP protocol, everything is downloaded to the local computer so that I can save, archive and backup all email. Everything else is secondary (Webmail, phones, tablets, etc.). If there was ever a catastrophic server failure of the hosting server, it wouldn't matter because I would have all email downloaded and backed up on my in house systems.

Based on the example above, I also have multiple data/archive files going back many years and because Outlook allows me to load and unload these data/archive files, as needed I save precious system resources by not having EVERYTHING loaded at all times. If I need to lookup an email from some year in the past, I simply load the appropriate data file and I can then serarch for the email in question.

Because the POP protocol actually downloads all email to the local system, we need to make sure that email on the server is still available to other applications such as our Webmail application, and our mobile devices (phones, tablets etc.). To do this, we need to tell Outlook to leave mail on the server after downloading it (at least for a short time). The amount of time will vary for each user and can be adjusted accordingly. To manage these settings simply follow thse instructions:

  • In Outlook, open the `Account Settings` for your email account and click the `More Settings` button and then finally on the `Advanced` tab.
    Here you will see the following settings. Please make sure the checkboxes at the bottom are set as follows (set the number of days to your personal preference):

    Outlook 2007 Setup Screen 13

Following these instruction will allow you to strike a balance between disk usage on the server and being able to access email remotely when needed.

NOTE: If you use the Webmail application at all, you may also need to use it to empty any trash that may be stored there.

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