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E-mail account size

Posts: 6
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎06-10-2014

E-mail account size

Hi - I'm new to the forum, but hope someone can help Smiley

I'm getting e-mails from Plusnet telling me that my Plusnet e-mail account is getting too large, so clearly I need to do something about that, before they start archiving and then deleting stuff that I want to keep. 

My e-mail program is Apple Mail and I only have 1 e-mail account with Plusnet.  The suggestion that Plusnet give in their e-mail is that I should delete some larger or older files, but what I'd like to know is whether I can archive some of the older stuff on my hard-drive (on which I have plenty of space and which I back up sporadically to an external hard drive), rather than delete it.

I must admit I had assumed that once I'd read an e-mail, it was no longer kept on Plusnet's servers, but clearly that's not the case. It also doesn't seem to make any difference if I move an e-mail to a folder within Apple Mail - i.e. it still shows when I view my Webmail account.


Can anyone help please?!

Thank you



Aspiring Hero
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Registered: ‎22-08-2015

Re: E-mail account size

Hello @mushroompicker and a warm welcome to the forums Smiley

Is your Mac Mail setup using POP3 or IMAP?

If it's POP3 you should be able to remove a copy of messages from the server after retrieving a message.

If you're using IMAP then I believe there is an archive feature in Mac Mail however I've not figured it out yet. Perhaps the community can better help on that.

You could move to POP3, though the disadvantage of that is if you have any other devices using your Plusnet mail address they won't be able to pick up your messages if your Mac sees them first.

Let us know how you get on.
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Re: E-mail account size

A small addition to the above by @Anoush:

If you are using POP3, then the usual default is to delete mail from the server once it is downloaded to your computer, but this can be changed to "retain".

However, your description suggests you are using IMAP which is designed to keep e-mails on the server (so that it can be accessed by multiple devices). Email clients (such as Apple mail) will also allow you to create "local" folders on your computer (which can replicate the server structure if needed), and you can then "drag and drop" emails to move them from the IMAP folders on the server into the local folders, which will remove them from the server. This is probably best done manually rather than by automatic processing rules in Apple Mail, where entering an IMAP folder could trigger a rule to move emails older than "x" days to the corresponding local folder.


Plusnet FTTC (Sep 2014), Essentials (Feb 2013); ADSL (Apr 2009); Customer since Jan 2004 (on 28kb dial-up)
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Posts: 6
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎06-10-2014

Re: E-mail account size

Hi both - thank you for replying to my query.  According to Apple Mail, my Plusnet account type is POP (it doesn't mention a 3 anywhere), whereas my iCloud account is IMAP.  But on the other hand I am able to access my Plusnet e-mails on my iPhone, so all rather confusing so far.  But looking into Mail/Preferences - "Accounts" tab (for my Plusnet account), then selecting Advanced, there is an option to "Remove copy from server after retrieving a message".  That was not previously selected.  I can then choose "Immediately", "After 1 day", "After 1 week" or "After 1 month", or "When moved from inbox".  

For the time being I have selected "When moved from inbox", as I assume that when I drag an e-mail from the Inbox to a folder, that will result in its deletion from the server.

Assuming this works, it seems a lot easier than PlusNet's official suggestion of logging into Webmail and deleting unwanted e-mails.  Might be worth Plusnet publishing an idiot's guide to e-mail account settings for the main e-mail programs? 

PS - I've now tested this by sending myself an e-mail from my work account - and when I dragged it into a folder in Apple Mail and refreshed my Webmail account, it disappeared from Webmail, so appears to be working.


PPS - there is also a button in Mail/Preferences/Accounts/Advanced called "Remove Now".  Rather rashly perhaps I clicked on this with the result that my entire Webmail account appears to have been wiped blank.  Not a problem, as it's all on my hard drive, but (unsurprisingly) I can now see no mail on my iPhone.  Not a big deal for me, but perhaps a warning to others reading this to be careful with that button!!