Email archiving – Mailbox sizes, usage and you (POP/IMAP)

As with everything on a computer, like your word documents, excel spreadsheets and pictures as an example, emails all use disk space.  Typically, your average home or business computer has around 256Gb of hard disk space.  Usually, around 30 to 50 Gb is used for your operating system and the rest is used by your programs, files and pictures.  Emails are the same – they use your disk space, but they are also using disk space on the server they are held on.

When using IMAP or POP emails, there is usually a small space in which the email server provides to them.  If you’re being hosted with us (RJS Consultants) the initial size of a POP/IMAP mailbox is 1Gb.  Other sites like are similar, but they restrict their POP mailboxes to 200Mb.  As explained in a different post here: (link to ‘Email Types’), POP downloads emails to your computer, whilst IMAP keeps it on the server.  Archiving is mostly relevant to IMAP mailboxes as POP downloads the emails to your computer or other device anyway.

Over time, the mailboxes fill up which requires you to empty some of it to continue sending and receiving emails.  On the PC, the is easily done by copying your email to a local file called a PST.  This is made possible by using the Microsoft Outlook app that comes with Microsoft Office (not the ‘new’ Outlook app that is replacing Windows Mail).  A data file is created, which makes it possible to move your old emails to the data file, freeing up space on the server and allowing you to keep sending and receiving.

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