How to clean up your Mailbox

Email mailbox cleanup

There are a few mailbox housekeeping tasks that you should do regularly to keep your email down.

These are not only good practice but will also help speed things up if you are searching for a particular email message.

The usual suspects which contribute to an untidy mailbox are the "Sent Items" and "Deleted Items" folders. 

If you use Lync you may also have a sizeable "Conversation History" folder.

And if you receive or send meeting requests with attached files that will bump up the size of your "Calendar" folder too.


Good practices

  1. Regularly check your mailbox folder sizes and tidy up any that are large.
  2. Set your "Deleted Items" folder to be emptied automatically when you log out of your email.
  3. If you send or receive email messages with attached files, save the attachment(s) to your file drive and then remove them from the email if you need to keep the message.
  4. Regularly check your "Inbox" folder and delete anything you don't need to keep.  Don't use messages in your "Inbox" as a To Do list, use the "Tasks" function instead.
  5. Only keep received or sent emails that you will need to access later, and store them in meaningful subfolders. Or even better, Save As .MSG files in your networked or cloud-based file drives, where they will be backed up.
  6. Regularly check your "Sent Items" folder and delete anything you don't need to keep.
  7. Do not send Calendar meeting invitations with embedded attached documents - send the documents in a separate email and then delete it when sent, or even better, send a link to accessible shared files.
  8. Keep track of any large messages lurking somewhere in your mailbox by regularly checking the "Large Mail" folder, and storing and removing any file attachments as above.
  9. Regularly review and empty your "Junk Mail" folder.  Make sure there aren't any messages there that you want to keep first.
  10. If you use Lync, regularly check and empty the saved Lync conversations in the "Conversation History" folder in your mailbox
  11. If you are an owner or member of a shared mailbox, apply the same good practices there too. But first check with the other members that messages are ok to be deleted.

For further details and screenshots for all these points see the full guide at How to tidy your university email


You can also use the new Clutter feature if you wish - for more details see Clutter