cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

how to delete historic emails from server in a sensible manner

FIXED
gavin3g
Newbie
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎12-01-2023

how to delete historic emails from server in a sensible manner

HI,

 

I have been with Plusnet since 1996 as force 9.

I have always used outlook as mail server and always left copies of emails on the server

this has served me well as I can collect and retrieve mails when my pc packs up etc.

I have had a plusnet (rather than F9) email account since 2012

I now have the 75% warning

So its Ok to delete lots of very old emails.

question is HOW to select between dates in a sensible manner

the call centre advice was delete 1 by 1 or the whole lot, which having searched this forum  seems to be not possible.

So how do I delete say all mails before 2018?

many thanks

Gavin

4 REPLIES 4
Townman
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 23,211
Thanks: 9,725
Fixes: 162
Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: how to delete historic emails from server in a sensible manner

Hi Gavin,

A warm welcome to the forums.

Personally mass delete by date is not an approach I would take.  One imagines that there is good reason for you having kept your emails?  I would suggest a more structured approach, such as delete items by

  • Size
  • Sender
  • Subject

Which email client do you use?

All IMAP email clients facilitate searching by

  • Size
  • Sender
  • Subject
  • Date
  • Ascending / Descending

Remember that all folders count to your utilisation, including sent items.

I tend to sort by each of the above in the order given...

  • size first and get rid of the emails which people have used to ship documents / photos which would have been better shared using a file sharing service, such as OneDrive, Dropbox or iCould - this delivers the quickest rewards as often the attachments can be several MB
  • sender second gets rid of a lot of noise / reminder emails which only had relevance at the time...
    • Amazon (and others') delivery notices
    • Facebook (and other social media notifications)
    • Calendar reminders
    • Mailing lists you have subscribed to - this can act as a useful prompt to unsubscribe from them entirely
    • ... the list goes on
  • subject third is a tidy way of getting rid of related messages regardless of size, sender or date
  • date last (sort ascending) allows the decision to be made on age

Deleting can have performance considerations, in that a delete is not usually a delete, but a move to the deleted items folder.  You might consider doing this using webmail if the numbers are substantial, but webmail has been known to have some performance concerns when the sort sequence is not the default.  The following might also be helpful.

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.

 

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.

gavin3g
Newbie
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎12-01-2023

Re: how to delete historic emails from server in a sensible manner

Hi Townman, 

thank you for a through response.

 

I use outlook and all my mail is in ost/pst files.

 

i cannot find a sent items on webmail  using outlook pop3  to send I have never in 30 years found sent items on webmail, 

except when i briefly used smtp to have 2 machines up to date and synchronised - which was clunky and slow.

 

realistically it is only my OCD keeping them on the server as now it is only personal stuff not actually valuable business mail.

I cannot see on squirrel mail any opportunities to re-order or sort the mail spread over 3 mailbox alias's

 

Do I need to install another mail program to view, sort and delete mails?? good grief

 

thank you again

 

Gavin

 

 

Townman
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 23,211
Thanks: 9,725
Fixes: 162
Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: how to delete historic emails from server in a sensible manner

Fix

ALARM BELLS ringing!

If you are using POP3 there should (in general) be nothing on the server ... unless you have "fiddled" with the POP3 "keep on server" setting in the outlook account configuration.

Take a look at the account settings in Outlook for the POP3 account and modified the retention period.  The client should then tidy up the server contents.

From the 75% warning were there other mailboxes mentioned?

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.

gavin3g
Newbie
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎12-01-2023

Re: how to delete historic emails from server in a sensible manner

Aha, Yes thank you Townman

I do have keep messages on server ticked

 

I will look at retention period and if this will auto empty the mailbox then yippee problem solved. thank you