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The Care and Feeding of Your Email Part Deux

Gallant keeps his stored mail well below the quota.

Like most other things in life, your email is subject to physical limitations. Sure, it’s hard to imagine that these 1s and 0s take up any space at all, but they sure do. Now also understand that your email provider (which could be Google, Optimum, Apple, or any number of other services) gives you a finite amount of space to store your mail on its server. These numbers vary, from a stingy 5 GB from Apple (iCloud) to a more generous 15 GB from Google (Gmail). Of course, you always have the option to buy more storage. Note that this extra storage is NOT on your computer, but the amount of space allocated to your account on your mail provider’s server.

So why does all this matter? 

It matters, because, if you go “over quota,” your email will no longer be functional. And then you’ll find yourself scrambling to free up some space or buy more storage from your provider. (Note that not all providers – including Optimum – offer this option.) 

So how exactly do email messages take up space?

Generally, email messages are tiny, at least in the big scope of things. However, once attachments are factored in, these can hog up the space you’re dished out. And understand that sent messages, junk email messages, the trash folder in your mail client, and the infamous “Archive” or “All Mail” folders, both evil locations where your email messages from the year one are stored.

So, what do you do when you receive the dreaded “running out of space” message?

First of all, you need to act quickly! If you go over the line, not only will you be unable to send email messages, but you also won’t be able to receive them as well. And far worse, the emails that people send when you’re down won’t be waiting there when things are back on track. 

So, first thing, is to empty your junk folder. And then empty your email’s trash. (Which is different from your computer’s trash.) After that, you can start cleaning out your inbox and sent folders (as well as the Archives folder) and again, emptying your mail client’s trash along the way. Pro tip: If you need to delete blocks of emails at one time, sort by “sender” so you can get rid of all the Groupon and CVS emails you never opened. 


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2 thoughts on “The Care and Feeding of Your Email Part Deux
  1. Scott

    Always enjoy your monthly’s…. I see most of my emails are auto duplicated in the archive folder, which I seldom open beyond coming up in a ‘search’. If I delete all archive message, does this effect the same message in in box?


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