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Manage your mailbox I: Find its size and trim it down

Mailbox and folders, Outlook items and sizes

Your mailbox is made up of folders. Mailbox size is affected by what's inside the folders.

As you can see in the picture, your Mailbox is made up of folders. The size of the mailbox is influenced by the size and quantity of what's inside the folders. As you send and receive messages, make appointments, add contacts, or create tasks, these folders fill up; so, your mailbox starts to fill up too.

If you store your e-mail on a server, your mailbox size limitations are usually set by a system administrator. (If you're not sure where your e-mail is stored, that's okay. We'll show you a quick way to check in the practice at the end of this lesson.) Size limitations can vary greatly and can be anywhere from 1 megabyte (MB) to 2 gigabytes (GB) or more. To find out the specific size limitations for your e-mail, you may need to do a little research. Your e-mail service provider may have a Web site on which this information is posted, or you can ask your system administrator, IT department, or ISP (Internet service provider).

Once a mailbox reaches its upper limit, an administrator may start limiting functionality: For example, at 90 MB you may get a warning; at 100 MB you may no longer be able to send e-mail; and at 110 MB you may no longer receive e-mail.

Outlook sets a limit too: 20 gigabytes (GB), which is a lot of e-mail. If your mailbox gets that big, Outlook won't let you add any more data. The solution? Time to tidy up.

We'll tell you how to see mailbox size next. You'll also get a chance to see the size of your own mailbox in the practice session at the end of this lesson.

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