for Managing Your Outlook Email
for PC Users
Managing the Size of Your Outlook 2003 Mailbox
By default, most of the email you receive in your University of Montevallo
email account is stored on the University’s email server. Since the server can
only hold a limited amount of email, it stops working when it gets too full.
Therefore, it is imperative that all University of Montevallo faculty and staff
take steps to limit the amount of email they store on the email server.
Important Note: In Windows
XP, infrequently used menu choices are not always visible. You may have to
click on the two down-arrows at the bottom of a menu to see all the choices.
Brief Description of How Outlook Stores Email
All faculty and staff who have a University of Montevallo email account have
a Mailbox which is stored on the server. No one has more than one
Mailbox. However, depending on how your account is configured, you may have
more than one Inbox, more than one Sent Items folder, and
so on. In such cases, there will typically be an Inbox on the server, and
another stored locally on your computer. The same applies to Sent Items,
Deleted Items, and so forth. For the purposes of this exercise, however, we are
only concerned with cleaning out the contents of folders that are stored on the
How to Tell Where Your Email is Stored
- Open your Outlook Folder List. (In Outlook, click Go on
the menu at the top, then choose Folder List.)
- You will see something similar to this:
Here you see an example of an Outlook Folder List. At the very top is the
Mailbox itself. Note that the Mailbox has a minus sign (-) next to it. The
minus sign indicates that all subfolders contained within the Mailbox are in
view, indented beneath it. If no subfolders are visible in your Folder
List, look for a plus sign (+) next to your Mailbox and click it. This will
display your subfolders.
Outlook users need to regularly clean out the subfolders indented under
Mailbox because these are the places that store your email on the server.
Two Ways to Reduce the Amount of Email Stored on the Server
There are two ways you can reduce the amount of email you have stored on the
- Deleting email
- Moving email
Your Mailbox has three subfolders that tend to accumulate email:
- Your Inbox. Obviously, this is where your email is delivered,
and it stays here until you move it or delete it (or auto-archive it). Go
through your Inbox regularly to see if there is anything you can delete.
One effective way to achieve this task is to order the emails in your inbox
by subject or by sender. This method will allow you to consider how you
wish to deal with related emails by viewing them together.
Tip: To sort your email by sender, or subject, simply click From
or Subject in your Inbox. Clicking Received will
return your email to received order. This method also works in any of the
subfolders of your Mailbox.
- Your Deleted Items. When you delete an email, it goes here.
Depending on how your account is configured, deleted items can stay here
quite a while. It is therefore a good idea to empty your Deleted Items
regularly. Just right-click the Deleted Items folder in the
Folder List and select Empty “Deleted Items” Folder.
- Your Sent Items. Many people aren’t aware that when they send an
email, a copy is saved in their Sent Items folder. After a while, a
lot of email can get saved here. Periodically, go through this folder and
clear out items you don’t need.
Many of us have email that we want to save, rather than delete. The best way
to reduce the amount of email you have saved on the server without deleting it
is to save old email to a Personal Folder on your hard drive.
Creating a Personal Folder
- With Outlook open, click File on the menu at the top.
- Choose New then Outlook Data File.
- You will see the New Outlook Data File box:
- Highlight Office Outlook Personal Folders File (.pst), then click
- You will then see this window:
- Here you can either accept the default name, or give your Personal
Folder whatever name you want. Click OK when you’re done.
- In the next window, you can customize the name the folder will be
displayed with in Outlook. You can also alter the security settings.
Just accept the defaults if you aren't sure what to do here.
- Click OK when you’re ready to proceed.
- Now your Personal Folder will appear in your Outlook Folder
List, using whatever name you gave it in Step 7.
- You can move your email here from your Inbox, just by dragging
- Don’t forget to backup your Personal Folder regularly. Just have
Windows search for any file that ends in pst, and burn those files to a CD.
(Tell Windows to search for files named *.pst. (The * functions as a
If you have any questions about any of the procedures in this document,
please contact the Technology Services Help Desk at
(205) 665-6520. The Help Desk is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a
week. Alternatively, an email can be sent to
Updated November 2009