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unarchived mailbox contains emails deleted a long time ago

Rising Star
Posts: 81
Thanks: 19
Registered: ‎14-09-2007

unarchived mailbox contains emails deleted a long time ago

We are having a constant battle to stay within the mailbox limit. My husband's mailbox keeps getting archived because it is the biggest but each time it is unarchived, it contains emails that he deleted long before it was archived, i.e. some from weeks and months ago.

E.g. the last time it happened, he had about 100 emails in his inbox before it was archived. When it was unarchived there were over 1,000. It then takes a lot of time and effort going through them all again and sorting them and deleting those that aren't needed. After the last episode, he hadn't finished clearing them all back out again before it got archived again. We are now waiting for it to be restored. No doubt he'll now have to clear out again all the ones he's just recently re-deleted. He does empty the deleted folder so they are not coming from there.

Has anyone else seen this and if so, was it ever resolved? We just seem to be going round in circles. Support don't seem to understand what I'm saying so it's really frustrating.

Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 26,473
Thanks: 10,117
Fixes: 1,586
Registered: ‎21-04-2017

Re: unarchived mailbox contains emails deleted a long time ago

Hi @cassuki

I'm really sorry to see you're having a lot of problems trying to clear your mailbox. 

Were those deleted emails still in the deleted items folder at There may be more than one deleted items folder even though you might not be able to see it straight away, if you go to Settings at the top right, you should be able to see all your folders that are hidden or unhidden. I'd make sure they're all checked as unhidden.

If you've checked that ^ I'd next ask, do you have your emails set up on a mail client using IMAP? If that's the case, were the emails you've deleted in webmail still on one of your devices in the client? I'm thinking it's possible the client is trying to reconcile things and putting the mail back onto the server.

Also assuming you've not tried this already, I'd setup your emails on a mail client using POP3 as you should be able to set it to automatically delete everything from webmail in one swoop and move the emails to the device itself. You'd then effectively have webmail as a clean slate and start afresh again. 

The caveat here though is that those emails you've moved using POP3 will only be viewable on that device not others.

If you're unsure how to setup your emails on a client, you can find some help Here.

Finally I've prodded the mail unarchive request to a colleague and we'll get the mail restored as soon as we can.

Let me know how things go. Smiley

From 31st October 2022, I no longer have a regular presence here as I’ve moved on to a new role.
Anoush Mortazavi
Posts: 22,347
Thanks: 9,212
Fixes: 147
Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: unarchived mailbox contains emails deleted a long time ago

I’ve escalated this case to ask for clarification in a couple of points. I’m concerned by the suggestion that the mailbox is getting archived again before your husband has had chance to delete contents.

When a mailbox is restored … it will not be archived again for at least 4 weeks. That would seem like a reasonable length of time to address utilisation. Sorting mail items by size is a useful approach to making a difference quickly. Using SHIFT+DEL is also highly proficient at deleting, as that avoids the MOVE to the trash folder.

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