I've deleted email, why am I still taking up too much space in the mail spool?

This article is intended for users who still read email on legacy SEAS servers. It does not apply to Google@SEAS.

Did you receive this message from CETS?

We'll check back in a week, and if you have more than 250 MB of messages older than 30 days, we'll move the oldest messages into a new folder for you. You will be able to read the message using webmail or your usual email software. We won't delete any messages, and we won't move any messages less than 30 days old.

Most mail services have a storage limit, and when you are over your limit you can't receive any new mail. We don't do that, because we don't want to block new mail that might be important.

When using the IMAP protocol to read email, deleting messages is actually a two-step process:

Some email clients hide messages marked for deletion from view, but require a separate step to remove them permanently. If you've been deleting email but remain over quota, this may be the cause. You will need to EXPUNGE these messages to regain space.

To further complicate matters, some email clients simply move messages to another folder when you delete them (such as Trash). This provides a way of restoring them if you change your mind. These messages continue to take up space and you will need to permanently empty your Trash folder.

Follow the instructions below to free up space in your INBOX. Be sure to save any message you want to keep, either by individually deleting the ones you don't, or moving messages to other folders (it may be necessary to delete some messages before you can successfully create folders and move mail to them).


To delete messages safely online, visit https://webmail.seas.upenn.edu.

Select the folder you want to review in the lefthand pane.

To delete individual messages:

To delete all messages in a folder:

Webmail moves deleted messages to your Trash folder, where they still take up space. To completely remove the messages:

It may be necessary to perform this operation repeatedly in small batches until you have regained enough of space to process larger numbers of messages.

Webmail may not show all of your email folders by default. To see if you've missed any:


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