User:Rewood/Mail Over Quota Problems

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Since NCSU changed its policy on over quota email from storing any messages that come after you've exceeded your quota to sending a 'failed mail' message to the sender, over quota mailboxes have been causing a lot of problems. Not only for the person with the over quota mailbox, but those sending messages to large numbers of people.

For example, when Vicki Pettit sends out a message that needs to go to all extension staff or to all the county directors, she doesn't want to have a handful of failed mail messages come back and which necessitate resending those few messages until they stop coming back. There are several things you can do to keep this from happening to you.

  • Manage your mail.
    • Delete messages you don't need.
    • Move messages that you don't need to access from outside of your office to your "Local Mail" folders.
    • Handle messages with attachments immediately. Save the attachment if needed and delete the message.
  • Keep a watch on your quota.
    • Visit the IMAP Quota Information page frequently. You can get there from the IT Help Aids -> Communications page.
  • Get more quota.
    • If 20 MB is not enough for you, you can get more. Additional quota currently costs $0.35/1 MB/year.
    • Go to: to increase your IMAP Quota. To keep from being the cause of others exceeding their quota you can:
  • Use attachments wisely and sparingly!
    • Use attachments only when the formatting of the document is needed to convey the information. I've seen too many frivolous uses of attachments. For example, sending a Word and a WordPerfect attachment of a retirement party announcement.
    • Instead of sending a word processor file with the content of your message, copy and paste the content of the file into the body of an email message. This also completely solves the problem of incompatible word processors.
    • Another option is to put the document into HTML format. This will be MUCH smaller in size and available to all users. Combined with the next suggestion can reduce the size to negligible.
    • NEVER send attachments to large numbers of recipients. Put the file(s) that you want to attach on a web server (see: Sharing Files via the Web on how to turn part of your unity file space into web space). Then send the web address of the files you want them to get. This has several advantages:
    1. files can be updated after 'sending';
    2. the load on our mail servers is greatly reduced;
    3. recipients can get them when they need them.

What to do if you are over quota

The most common problem the helpdesk gets related to users being over quota is that Netscape won't let them delete their messages. This is caused by the user having their Mail Server preferences (Edit -> Preferences -> Mail & Newsgroups -> Mail Servers, select your mail server & Edit, IMAP tab) set to move their messages to the Trash folder when deleting. What happens is that Netscape copies the message to the Trash folder before deleting it from the Inbox.

If you are over quota, then there isn't room for two copies of this message. To solve this, you have a couple of options.

  • Change your Mail Server preferences so that when you delete a message it is removed immediately.
  • Use Webmail to delete your messages.