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Manage Your Email Account Space

CUMC email accounts have a default space quota of 50 GB on the email system. Your quota includes not just messages but any attachments, calendar entries, contacts, etc.

Though it is possible to pay for a higher quota we recommend using information on this page to permanently delete unneeded messages and archive or save messages on your computer instead. Mailboxes storing a lot of items can also run into performance issues.

If you need to request more space please contact us at extension 5-Help, option 5 (212-305-4357). IMPORTANT: It is NOT possible to automatically receive a quota increase online. Beware of phishing emails and do not click on any link asking for account information in order to receive more space.

Quota Checking and Notifications
When your account reaches its storage limit, you will receive two automated emails that your mailbox is full. As soon as you see a warning please delete or archive items. If the quota is reached you will receive a final message stating that you can no longer send email from your account. At this point you will not be able to send or receive messages until you have made more space.

Checking Your Quota
Since Web Outlook only shows items stored on the mail system/cloud, this is the easiest way to see how much space you are using.
  1. Log in to Web Outlook 365 at https://outlook.com/cumc.columbia.edu
  2. Click the Settings (gear) icon in the upper right, then the Mail link near the bottom.
  3. Mail link at the bottom of Web Outlook's Settings menu
    Click to see a larger image

  4. In the far left select the General heading, then My account.
  5. Mailbox usage bar in Web Outlook's My Accounts window
    Click to see a larger image

  6. The Mailbox usage bar in the lower right shows the amount of space you are using.
  7. To return to your mail in Web Outlook, click on Options in the upper left.
Any folders listed under your main mailbox in Web Outlook contain messages that are stored on the mail server. It's a good idea to review these periodically and delete or move messages as described below.

Permanently Delete Messages
By default any messages that you delete will first be moved to a Deleted Items or Trash folder. This folder will appear under your main mailbox as a subfolder in the same column as your Inbox, Drafts, Sent Items, etc.
Messages in the Deleted Items folder are typically set to be permanently removed once they reach a certain age, however you can manually empty it at any time or even adjust the folder settings to empty whenever you close Outlook. TIP: Junk messages are automatically sent to your Junk E-mail folder, so be sure to check and empty this periodically as well.

Manually Empty Deleted Items - this can be done at any time in Outlook or Web Outlook by right-clicking on the Deleted Items or Trash folder, and using a normal left-click to select Empty Folder or Delete All from the menu that appears.

Automatically Empty the Deleted Items Folder on Exit
Outlook can be set to permanently remove all messages in the Deleted Items folder whenever you exit the program. Click the appropriate link below to see step by step instructions for the version of Outlook you use.

Outlook for Windows

NOTE: Outlook 2016 for Mac does not offer the option to automatically empty deleted items on exit.

Archiving and Storing On Your Computer
Messages and other account items can be kept on your computer rather than the server, either by manually moving them or setting up archiving. Either way you will still be able to easily view them in Outlook and include them when searching for information. They will not appear if you are using Web Outlook, a mobile device or other computer but can be moved back to the server by dragging and dropping into one of your folders.

For step by step instructions on archiving see the following:

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Last updated 8/02/2018