User:Rewood/Managing your File Space on the IMAP Mail Server

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NC State's Unity IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol ) mail service provides you with convenient e-mail access from multiple locations. With IMAP mail, your e-mail remains stored within your own file space (your Inbox) on the Unity IMAP e-mail server.

Full time NC State EPA and SPA personnel with Unity IMAP e-mail accounts receive 30 MB of storage space on the server. That may sound like a lot of space initially, but without good mail management practices, you will eventually exceed the space limit.

Exceeding that limit results in delays in delivering your mail and problems deleting mail with some mail clients.

Here are some things you can do to manage your server space. When your mail accumulation exceeds 90 percent of your quota, your email client will display a warning message. At that point you must take steps to manage your mail. If you don't, you will not receive any more mail once you exceed 100 percent.

Undelivered mail will be stored for a time, and delivered as space becomes available. To check your IMAP quota status, go to: Request additional server space The 30 MB allocated may not be enough space to meet your needs. You may request more space in 10mb increments at the current rate of 0.35/MB/year. To request more space and verify current rates, visit:

The CES Helpdesk cannot provide Unity IMAP space for you. You will not automatically be given more space and you will not be billed without filling out the request form. Delete unnecessary messages All messages in your IMAP Inbox and its subfolders use space on the Unity IMAP server. Spend a few minutes on a regular basis to peruse your mail folders and delete unnecessary messages.

To sort messages by size and quickly find the largest files in a subfolder, click on the Size tab in Mozilla Mail's Index Panel. Watch out for attachments Messages that contain attachments can be very large. If you must keep an attached file, you can free up space on the IMAP server by saving the file into your local file space and then deleting the mail message.

Consider saving mail locally If you want to archive your mail but remove it from the Unity IMAP server, you can move subfolders and messages into your Local Mail box.

Be aware that mail stored in Local Mail is only be accessible from your local system and will only be backed up if that system is backed up.

The exact location of your local mail is defined under EDIT -> Mail & Newsgroup Account Settings in Mozilla Mail. The Local Folders option is listed on the left of the Mail & Newsgroups Account Setting dialog box.

To move mail into your Local Mail using Mozilla Mail

  1. Select the messages or folders you wish to move (you can shift-click to select continuous ranges of messages or control-click to select non continuous ranges)
  2. Drag the messages into the Local Mail folder area.
  • If you are moving entire folders, highlight Local Mail and release the mouse button.
  • If you are moving individual messages, highlight the appropriate folder within the Local Mail area and then release the mouse button.
  1. Dragging messages between your IMAP Inbox and Local Mail space copies the messages.

To clear space on the IMAP server, the final step is to delete the messages you copied from your Inbox and its subfolders Problems Deleting Mail Occasionally IMAP users have problems deleting mail from their IMAP space, usually when they use the option of moving deleted messages to the Trash folder.

This problem is explained in detail the NC State IMAP FAQ at

Briefly, this problem is caused because IMAP mail is deleted using a two-step process: it is marked for deletion first and removed from the server later, usually when you exit your mail client (e.g., Mozilla Mail).

However, sometimes the process breaks down and the mail is never actually deleted from your Inbox. It remains there, marked for deletion, and accumulates until your quota is reached. You will very likely avoid this problem if you do not use the option of moving your messages to the Trash folder when you delete them.

To change the way you delete mail in Messenger, edit the preferences for the server as described in the factsheet, Setup of Mozilla Mail Accounts.

Another option that seems to avoid the problem is to use NCSU Webmail occasionally, because messages marked for deletion will be deleted when you exit Webmail.

The Webmail address is:

You need to open each folder in Webmail to make sure mail is deleted from it. If you receive a message stating that your quota is nearly full and you don't think it should be, one way to make sure that deleted messages are really being deleted is to access your mail using the text-based email reader, Pine.

Messages marked for deletion will display in Pine and you can use the Pine "expunge" command to permanently delete those messages.

For detailed instructions on using Pine to expunge your messages, please see the factsheet Expunging Deleted Messages from the Unity IMAP Mail Server at To read more about IMAP mail at NC State visit