Guidelines for Managing your .PST and Exchange Mailbox

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Exchange mailboxes now have 15 GB of space, which means that you can now move messages currently stored in .PST files into your Exchange mailbox for easier access. Check out What's New With Email for more details about how to migrate your .PSTs back into your Exchange mailbox.

Before moving your .pst to your Exchange mailbox, or requesting larger mailbox quota, you should delete all out-of-date and irrelevant messages. Please take the steps below to reduce the size of your Exchange mailbox:

  • Use Managed Folders for Records Retention.
    Managed folders are being introduced as a feature of Exchange 2010 and should be used to store email records for one, three, five and ten years. When you have emails that are considered records per policy, you can drag and drop them in a folder to store for the appropriate retention period. In most cases, when the retention period has expired, you'll see a line through the message indicating that it no longer needs to be retained.

    More information about Managed Folders and how to use them can be found in these videos:
    Introduction to Managed Folders
    How to Use Managed Folders

    For more information about records retention policies, please see the UM System Records Management FAQ.
  • Delete messages that have met their records retention requirements and all non-record messages that are no longer current or relevant.
    For more information on the retention requirements for specific records, see the UM System Records Retention Guide. Messages that are not records and can be deleted when they are no longer useful include:
    • Resources material - material that has been created or received for reference purposes.
    • General routine department business correspondence - messages that have short-term administrative or operation value used to provide information or for the completion of a request or action such as:
      • routine requests for information
      • meeting notices and reminders
      • administrative notices
      • invitations and responses
      • interoffice activities
      • "while you were out" messages
    • Draft documents
    • Courtesy copy informational messages - messages you receive to keep you informed on a matter, but you do not need to act on.
  • Attachments, particularly larger ones, can take up large amounts of storage in Exchange.
    Sort your messages by attachment size, and take the following steps:
    • Delete all messages with attachments that are no longer needed or do not contain records.
    • If the content of the email message is not needed to complete the record, move the attachments to the appropriate on your network or hard drive, then delete the original message from Exchange.
    • If the email message has additional information, and/or the recipients of the message, or the date and time the message was sent are important, then keep the email and the attachment in your mailbox. Keep only the message with the final version of the attachment in your mailbox.
  • If you have multiple messages on the same topic with the same subject (message thread), delete all of the messages except for the final message which contains all of the previous messages.
  • Forward all personal messages and photographs/attachments to a personal email account, then delete the originals from Exchange. If you do not have a personal email account, you can save them on removable media before deleting them from Exchange.
  • Set the Deleted Items folder to empty when you exit Outlook.
  • Move email records out of the Sent Items folder into appropriate folders and delete all remaining messages.
  • Complete or delete messages in the Drafts folder.
  • Delete messages in the Junk Email folder.