Clean Up Your Mailbox

How big is your mailbox?

Large mailboxes can perform poorly and act erratically. NACS has set a very high limit on our mailboxes so that you do not have to frequently clear out messages, but you do want to keep yours a reasonable size. Anything larger than 2GB can start to cause issues, so plan to stay near or below that size.

To see the size in Outlook, click on File > Cleanup Tools > View Mailbox Size. The third line for Total Size is your current mailbox. The sizes for each of your subfolders will be listed in the table below it, displayed in KB. A 2GB size will display as 2000000.

Cleaning Tricks

  • Don't forget to check your Sent Items folder. The messages here are not deleted on their own and can accumulate quickly. Check here more often if you tend to send a lot of messages with attachments. (See below for ways to avoid attachments.)

  • Don't worry about your Deleted Items folder unless you recently deleted large messages or are checking Mailbox Size to see if you've cleaned enough. Messages here are deleted automatically after two weeks so you do not need to regularly delete anything here.

  • In the list of messages for any folder, expand the window if needed to see more columns. Click the Size column to sort all your largest messages together.
    • If you don't see a Size column, right click the headers and click Field Chooser. Change to All Mail Fields if needed to find Size, then drag it to your column headers.

  • To highlight multiple messages for deleting:
    • For several messages in a list, click the first message to highlight, then hold the Shift key down and click on the last message. All messages between your click will be highlighted; press Delete.
    • For several messages not next to each other in the list, hold the Ctrl key down while clicking on the various messages. Press Delete the delete the highlighted messages.

  • For more help in finding old or large messages, click on File > Cleanup Tools. The second section lets you specify the age or size of an item, then click Find. You can highlight and delete messages from the list that is displayed.

  • There are some options for Archiving Mail if you are uncomfortable deleting more messages permanently. Contact the Tech Department for help with that. (Some of the default settings will store your archives on the computer's C: drive, which we'll erase anytime we image your machine, so we want to work with you on the setup.)

  • If you need to keep messages with large attachments that have been sent to you, consider saving the attachments to your H: drive so you can delete the message from your mailbox. We don't have as many limits on H: drive size as we do for mailboxes. If you also need the content of the message, print it to a PDF to save with the attachment in H:, or even just forward a copy of the message back to yourself WITHOUT the attachment.

Alternatives to large messages and attachments

In addition to making your mailbox large and erratic, large messages and attachments do the same for the recipient(s) of your message, who have to store or manage it. In addition, we have to maintain an archive of every NACS message for three years, so your large mail is also stored on our servers for a long time. Here are some alternatives:

  • Is the item available on a webpage? If so, consider sending just a link to the page instead of printing and attaching it. (If you fear the site will move before others can see it, you may not want to rely on the link.)

  • Are you sharing it with NACS staff? If so, consider putting it on the I: drive and directing others to access it there. Each building has a folder called Staff-AllStaff, which every staff member in that school can access. If you need to share with fewer staff and don't already have a folder for that purpose, just contact the Tech Dept to have one created for you. They're free!

  • Sharing with folks outside NACS? Perhaps the information could be posted to your webpage for others to view. This also allow easy access from outside the district and gives others a convenient place to locate the information in the future rather than combing through emails each time.