Manage Your Email Account Space
NOTE: Information below is for CUMC email accounts that have not been migrated to Office 365. Updated help with managing account space in Office 365 email will be posted in the near future.
CUMC Exchange email accounts have a default space quota of 1 GB on the email system. Your quota includes not just messages but any attachments, calendar entries, contacts, etc. While we would love to give everyone unlimited space, it is necessary to set a limit to make sure that there is enough room on the mail system for all CUMC accounts.
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
Checking Your Quota
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.
Since Web Outlook only shows items stored on the mail server, this is the easiest way to see how much space you are using.
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.
- Log in to Web Outlook at https://mail.cumc.columbia.edu/owa
- Find your main mailbox in the list of folders to the left of the window. It will be labeled with your name or full CUMC email address, and have subfolders such as your Inbox, Drafts and Sent Items underneath it.
- Hover your cursor over your name; a window will appear showing how much space you are using. In the picture to the right the account is using 6.02 MB of its quota.
Permanently Delete Messages
By default any messages that you delete will first be moved to a Deleted Items 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 folder, and using a normal left-click to select Empty Folder or Empty Deleted Items 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
Outlook 2011 for Mac
NOTE: Outlook 2016 for Mac does not offer the option to automatically empty deleted items on exit.
Archiving and Storing On Your Computer
For step by step instructions on archiving see the following:
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.
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