Nugget 14 – Top Tips for managing Outlook

Does Outlook take an age to open? Do you keep seeing Outlook go Not Responding?
You are probably reaching the limits of your mailbox/Outlook. Time to run a clean-up but just don’t know where to begin?

If your business is using Microsoft Exchange then your mailbox limits should be set on the server, If not then your mailbox is limited to 2GB for Outlook 2002 and earlier, 20GB for Outlook 2003-2007 and 50GB for Outlook 2010.

Although these limits are in place the larger the mailbox the slower it becomes and the more likely it is to have problems. Cleaning out your mailbox will result in faster loading, searching and access to your emails.
Below are simple ways to manage your email.

Checking your Mailbox size:

You’ll first need to know how big your mailbox is. To get an overview of the total size of your mailbox and each individual folder you can open the Folder Size information within Outlook.


  • Outlook 2007 and previous:           Tools -> Mailbox Clean-up…
  • Outlook 2010                                  File -> Mailbox Clean-up…
  • Click the button: View Mailbox Size. This window will show you all the file sizes of your inbox and folders.

From the Mailbox clean-up window you can also autoarchive old emails, empty your deleted items folder and even resolve conflict emails.

Cleaning Out Your Trash:

On your Deleted Items folder right click and select “empty Folder” to permanently delete emails. Alternatively you can delete an email permanently by pressing ctrl + delete on the email rather than just delete. This way you avoid filling up your Deleted Items.
Remember the deleted Items folder should be for email you no longer need, it is not a folder to store email.

Removing Attachments from messages

You could choose to remove attachments from emails and only leave the original message in your mailbox.


To do this:

  • Open the message in Outlook, right click the attachment, and select Remove.
  • Then save the message when prompted.

***Note that there will be no indication that there ever was an attachment after this action is taken.


Compact your PST file (This can take a few minutes to run)


  • Right click the top folder of your mailbox (normally your name, personal folders or your email address) and choose Properties
  • In the properties dialog click the Advanced button
  • Now press the Compact Now button, this may take a few minutes to complete depending on how big your mailbox is.