cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Re: Email being bounced saying mailbox is full but it is actually empty

johntoby
Hooked
Posts: 5
Thanks: 4
Registered: ‎31-07-2017

Re: Email being bounced saying mailbox is full but it is actually empty

I am having similar problems to @PeteBarker001 and also during the last few months.  I am a globalnet user of many years standing and, in my case, emails just stop arriving without any warning to me or senders.  I use Microsoft Outlook 365 as my email client.  I had moved my settings to IMAP and initially I blamed this but reverting to POP3 has not helped.  I had my third episode a few days ago.  I have not had much help through helpline.  I have been told that my mailbox is small but without the explanations given here.  I have also been told to empty my inbox but that the real problem is the large number of sent emails which I was told I could not do anything about!

I am not very competent technically and had hoped the change back to POP3 would solve it.  This time I had about 160 emails in my email client inbox and 250 in my webmail inbox.  I have cleared a number of emails from both the webmail mailbox and my email client and incoming emails now seem to be working properly.  I am now trying to understand things a bit more and have come across this thread.  I need to learn more about emptying and housekeeping my mailbox.

Advice would be much appreciated.  Thanks

5 REPLIES 5
dvorak
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 26,463
Thanks: 5,095
Fixes: 1,285
Registered: ‎11-01-2008

Re: Email being bounced saying mailbox is full but it is actually empty


Moderators Note


This topic has been split from another for better visibility.

Customer / Moderator
If it helped click the thumb
If it fixed it click 'This fixed my problem'
Townman
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 17,643
Thanks: 7,360
Fixes: 71
Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Email being bounced saying mailbox is full but it is actually empty


@johntoby wrote:

I am a globalnet user of many years standing and, in my case, emails just stop arriving without any warning to me or senders.

Advice would be much appreciated.  Thanks


Can you be sure that people sending to you all have not received a mailbox full warning which was the key point of the other person's thread you piggy-back posted on?  If it is the case that the mailbox is full, then they WILL have received a mailbox full non-delivery report.  Clearly you will not receive a warning ... where would it go?  I cannot go into an already full mailbox.

 


@johntoby wrote:

I have been told that my mailbox is small but without the explanations given here.  I have also been told to empty my inbox but that the real problem is the large number of sent emails which I was told I could not do anything about!

Advice would be much appreciated.  Thanks


The fair usage policy applies the the TOTAL storage of all email folders, not just the inbox.  Sent Items (if using IMAP they will be on the server) and the deleted items folder (until it is purged) count as well.  See below...

 


@johntoby wrote:

I am not very competent technically and had hoped the change back to POP3 would solve it.

Advice would be much appreciated.  Thanks


And that is where the problems start for many of us, we do not understand the technology we use, we use it inappropriately and then become unhappy when it does not work the way we think it should.  Email is a communications service - it is not either a document sharing or storage service.  When we seek to use it as such it will fail to meet expectations.  All too often we hear the phrase "so little storage in this day and age ... especially for sending photographs..." which so encapsulates inappropriate expectations.  The things we want to share should be in a content sharing service and we then only need to email the links to the shared item.  Similarly we should keep stuff we want to store somewhere more appropriate.

The expectation that switching to POP3 would solve things sounds as though technology will somewhat sort out the absence of email house keeping.  POP3 can remove email from the server and copy it to the local device, but more often than not we want to look at the email on a multitude of devices at home or on the move.  Therefore that model of POP3 will not solve the problem, because the "leave on server" setting does exactly that.


@johntoby wrote:

This time I had about 160 emails in my email client inbox and 250 in my webmail inbox.  I have cleared a number of emails from both the webmail mailbox and my email client and incoming emails now seem to be working properly.  I am now trying to understand things a bit more and have come across this thread.  I need to learn more about emptying and housekeeping my mailbox.

Advice would be much appreciated.  Thanks


What do you mean by your email client inbox and your webmail inbox?

Do you mean that when you look at your mailbox using the Plusnet webmail interface you see more mail items there, than you do looking at THE SAME mailbox using Outlook365?

 


@johntoby wrote:

... emails just stop arriving without any warning to me or senders.  I use Microsoft Outlook 365 as my email client.

Advice would be much appreciated.  Thanks


That following on from the above, presents the possibility that your mailbox is indeed not full but rather your Outlook365** setup simply stopped downloading from the mail service.

**And just to be sure on that point do you mean Outlook 2016 on your PC or Outlook.com via a web browser?  They are quite different!

 


@johntoby wrote:

I am now trying to understand things a bit more and have come across this thread.  I need to learn more about emptying and housekeeping my mailbox.

Advice would be much appreciated.  Thanks


Indeed we all should have a housekeeping plan, which includes...

  1. Culling dross in our mailboxes REGULARLY
    1. Delete the masses of inbound garbage
    2. Delete the nefarious sent items, especially those used to share photographs or large documents
    3. Delete stuff which is done with and does not need to be retained
    4. Empty the deleted items folders regularly, though Plusnet's server housekeeping does this weekly
  2. Avoid using email client "copy me too" options - the sent item will be in the sent folder so why bother?
  3. Have storage strategy for those emails you really must keep
    1. Set up LOCAL folders on your PC based email client for received and sent items, possibly segregated by subject if that suits your purpose
    2. Periodically MOVE mail items from the server inbox / sent items folders to your local mail folder
    3. Do it YOURSELF do not presume that technology (e.g. POP3 functionality) will do it for you 
  4. Establish a PC backup strategy so that the emails you have archived to your PC can be recovered if your PC breaks

Alternatively you could do as many others have - give all of your email to Google to store in their massive email cloud (I think you get 1TB - 4,000x that of a legacy Globalnet mailbox) and doo goodness knows what information mining on it.

Above all, take control yourself and do not believe that technology will or can do it all for you.

HTH?

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

johntoby
Hooked
Posts: 5
Thanks: 4
Registered: ‎31-07-2017

Re: Email being bounced saying mailbox is full but it is actually empty

@Townman

Thank you for all that  I am sorry to be slow thanking you but there was quite a lot to think through.  Yes, it does help although I hope I have been doing most of these things.

  • I ‘piggy-backed’ my response because I thought the other person’s concern was mainly about the small size of the Globalnet mailboxes. A concern that I share and had not become clear to me until now.
  • I had thought that it would be possible for a warning to be sent before the mailbox is full as I do understand that otherwise it will be too late.
  • I did ask other people but they had not received any notification of delay and the emails were later received as emails were cleared. The helpline agent also did not know whether her test message had been delivered.
  • I do use the Outlook app in Microsoft365 (and not Outlook.com) with folders for storage purposes. However, I do leave emails in my inbox until they are dealt with and hence can get a backlog.  Incidentally regarding the later point, the folders are included in my back up arrangements.
  • The difference in number of messages between the inbox in my Outlook app and the inbox using the Plusnet webmail interface was as stated. However, I found some on an iPad although they had been deleted from Outlook in my main computer.  I don’t know if these may have been responsible.
  • The change back to POP3 was agreed by an agent on the helpline as an effective way of trying to prevent a build up and I had accepted that I would not be able to use multiple devices in that way. However, I was unaware of the ‘leave on server’ setting in POP3 and this was not discussed.
  • I was told that I could not empty the deleted items folder through webmail but not that, if I archived them in Outlook, they would be removed from the Plusnet mailbox. I have now largely archived and emptied my sent mail folder.  However, I still have over 2000 sent message in my mailbox as reported on Plusnet and only 110 in the Outlook folder.  Perhaps the housekeeping has not happened yet.  There is also still a difference (260 vs 116) between the inbox figures.

I am reviewing all my Outlook files and archiving to make sure that I have full control but I think it would have been possible for more advice to be give, especially about the mailbox size when the problems started. 

Thank you for all that  I am sorry to be slow thanking you but there was quite a lot to think through.  Yes, it does help although I hope I have been doing most of these things.

  • I ‘piggy-backed’ my response because I thought the other person’s concern was mainly about the small size of the Globalnet mailboxes. A concern that I share and had not become clear to me until now.
  • I had thought that it would be possible for a warning to be sent before the mailbox is full as I do understand that otherwise it will be too late.
  • I did ask other people but they had not received any notification of delay and the emails were later received as emails were cleared. The helpline agent also did not know whether her test message had been delivered.
  • I do use the Outlook app in Microsoft365 (and not Outlook.com) with folders for storage purposes. However, I do leave emails in my inbox until they are dealt with and hence can get a backlog.  Incidentally regarding the later point, the folders are included in my back up arrangements.
  • The difference in number of messages between the inbox in my Outlook app and the inbox using the Plusnet webmail interface was as stated. However, I found some on an iPad although they had been deleted from Outlook in my main computer.  I don’t know if these may have been responsible.
  • The change back to POP3 was agreed by an agent on the helpline as an effective way of trying to prevent a build up and I had accepted that I would not be able to use multiple devices in that way. However, I was unaware of the ‘leave on server’ setting in POP3 and this was not discussed.
  • I was told that I could not empty the deleted items folder through webmail but not that, if I archived them in Outlook, they would be removed from the Plusnet mailbox. I have now largely archived and emptied my sent mail folder.  However, I still have over 2000 sent message in my mailbox as reported on Plusnet and only 110 in the Outlook folder.  Perhaps the housekeeping has not happened yet.  There is also still a difference (260 vs 116) between the inbox figures.

I am reviewing all my Outlook files and archiving to make sure that I have full control but I think it would have been possible for more advice to be give, especially about the mailbox size when the problems started.  However, you have helped. Thanks

Townman
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 17,643
Thanks: 7,360
Fixes: 71
Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Email being bounced saying mailbox is full but it is actually empty

Hello @johntoby 

It is helpful to clarify the details.

The problems with piggy-backing are (a) problems having similar symptoms do not necessarily have the same cause and (b) helping more than one person on the same topic concurrently is cumbersome.  Only where there is a common service issue does "me too" posting become proficient.

Mailbox full warning messages are sent in response to inbound emails.  There are no mechanisms for sending the same message to the already full mailbox.  Consider what should a mail service do with a mailbox which the user has abandoned, is already full and is still receiving emails?  Adding a mailbox full message to the inbox is only going to increase the over usage of the allowance.  There is no sense of "this mailbox owner ahs already had a mailbox full warning" nor if there were, the means of clearing the flag.

The backing off of email delivery is complex and can depend greatly on the sending server.  Transmission from the sender to the receiver can be backed-off for several days in the hope that the full mailbox condition might be addressed, at which point the delivery is reattempted.  Some services will notify mailbox full promptly, others will quietly attempt to send again for five or more days before giving up entirely.  Whatever, Plusnet's servers will have sent a mailbox full rejection message to the sending post room.

Differences in mail item counts on different device when all are operating as IMAP clients is typically a matter of them not all being currently in sync.  In my experience iDevices need a kick to synchronise (pull the list of contents downwards) and sometimes more than one kick.  I have also experienced the mail application needing to be unloaded and restarted to fully resync.

Change back to POP3 - sometimes the advice given by agents is not the most appropriate and such advice ought never to be given in isolation form what else you are seeking to do.  In a multi client situation, POP3 is rarely the right solution - a more reflective housekeeping approach is required.

I really do not know what the agent had in mind, but you can most certainly delete mail in the deleted items folder using webmail.  Deleting items can place strains on webmail but there

Culling mailbox contents

If you need to clean out your mailbox, may be because it is over quota, then as well as tidying up the inbox, you need to also look at the SENT ITEMS folder and then afterwards clear out the TRASH folder. However some times webmail performance can make this process very tedious, particularly if the delete action (actually a move to the trash folder) fails.

If you primarily want to delete emails, you can mitigate delete performance issues by doing an "immediate" delete (rather than a move to trash for deletion later) by holding down the SHIFT key when pressing the DEL key. This works in both webmail and most PC based email clients. WARNING SHIFT+DEL is not recoverable so be certain absolutely, that you do not need the email before pressing the buttons!

Alternatively, in webmail (Round Cube) Settings -> Server Settings there are some options worth exploring controlling how deletes are performed...

  1. Flag the message for deletion instead of delete
  2. If moving messages to "Deleted Items" fails, permanently delete them
  3. Compact Inbox on logout

Setting these options and using them together will avoid the over heads of moving items to the trash folder when you wish to delete them. They will simply be greyed out and remain in the inbox list. After logging out of webmail, they will then be removed from the mailbox.

Whilst this might be highly proficient, it needs to be used with care, for when they are gone, they are gone. Note also that Plusnet house-keeping clears out the trash folder weekly.

 

The real answers here are than we take full responsibility for managing our email contents and size, rather than seeking to rely on the characteristics of email technology configurations, especially where it is desired to access email on multiple devices.

NOTE: One of the dangerously overlooked aspects about changing to POP3 is that emails composed and sent from a POP3 client are only available on that client - NOT on the clients looking at the IMAP server - because POP3 does not play nicely with email server folders.

are options you can configure to lessen that load, or at least make it less painful...

 

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

johntoby
Hooked
Posts: 5
Thanks: 4
Registered: ‎31-07-2017

Re: Email being bounced saying mailbox is full but it is actually empty

Thanks, again @Townman 

I think I am clear on these points now and how to manage emails and the mailbox to avoid same problems.  I am going back to work on Outlook.

Thanks for your explanations