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Mailbox splitting

Background information

1. Why do ISD split mailboxes?

2. 50Mb isn't enough, can I have an increase or opt out?

3. Why 7 days, it's not enough, can't this be extended?

4. Are there any exceptions?

Mailbox split procedure

5. Does this mean that whilst I'm on leave my mailbox will fill up?

6. What's the procedure?

7. When and how is my mailbox split?

8. Where does my mail go?

9. I can't see my split mailboxes.

10. Is it only my Inbox that gets split?

11. My Inbox hasn't been split - why?

12. How can I check the size of my Inbox?

13. Getting Help

Why do ISD split mailboxes?

Over the last few years the use of email has increased significantly and email is viewed as an essential work tool by all at UCL.

In order for the IMAP system to run efficiently, it is important for all IMAP users to manage their mailboxes effectively. Not doing so will create performance issues for everyone.

One way to help is to keep your Inbox and Sent mailbox to a limit of 20Mb (50Mb for staff). To ensure that this happens, IS has implemented a policy whereby Inboxes that remain over 20Mb (50Mb for staff) for one month will be automatically split.

We would much rather not split users mailboxes and only do so if the warning messages are not acted upon.

Please note: this will not prevent you from receiving any incoming mail. However, you will lose the status of your email. For example, if you are in the habit of labelling your messages (high priority, urgent, etc), these labels will be removed once the mailbox has been split by the system.

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50Mb isn't enough, can I have an increase or opt out?

We have considered several options and the conclusion is that 20Mb is the optimum for students and 50Mb for staff.

If you can regularly ensure that no mail in your Inbox is more than 60 days old, you will avoid your Inbox ever being split. Please note that your current month and previous months email will remain in your Inbox and you will not lose any mail if your mailbox is split.

     

Why 7 days, it's not enough, can't this be extended?

IS considered a number of different options and the conclusion is that 7 days is the optimum. So this will remain until further notice.

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Are there any exceptions?

The following shows legitimate and non-legitimate reasons for exemption:

Legitimate:

1. I regularly receive very large attachments which cannot be sent in any other way (e.g. from suppliers, external sources).

Non-legitimate:

1. I like to see all my email in one place.

Reason: Staff can consult the web or visit our Training drop-in service for help in managing mailboxes.

2. It takes too long to file my email.

Reason: Staff can consult the web or visit our Training drop-in service for help in setting up systems to easily file email.

3. I'm too busy to file my email.

Reason: Staff can consult the web or visit our Training drop-in service for help in setting up systems to easily file email.

4. I don't know how to file my email.

Reason: Staff can consult the web or visit our Training drop-in service for help in setting up systems to easily file email.

5. I'm too senior to have to do this. I bring in a lot of revenue for UCL and should therefore have as much space as I require.

Reason: UCL has a lot of senior staff and hence it is not possible to allow unlimited Inbox sizes for this group of users without negatively affecting the entire service. Also, greater Inbox quota purely due to seniority and no other reason would contravene the spirit of equal opportunities.

6. I regularly receive large attachments from colleagues/students in UCL

Reason: There are other methods for sharing files with UCL members e.g. S: drive, Moodle, The Learning Technology Support Service or Desktop Support can provide advice in this area.

 

Does this mean that whilst I'm on leave my mailbox will fill up?

Only email that you have called down to your Inbox will be affected. So, if you are on holiday and do not read your email you will not be affected until you return to work.

If your mailbox does then exceed 20Mb you will receive the 1st warning message the next day, and will have 7 days following that to delete or move your mail to another folder.

 

What's the procedure?

Here's how the system works:

1. The size of each Inbox is checked once each day.

2. If your Inbox size exceeds 20Mb (50Mb for staff), a warning message will be sent asking you to reduce the size of your mailbox.

3. You then have 7 days (actual days, not working days) to delete or move mail out of your Inbox into other folders.

4. If you take no action and your Inbox size still exceeds 20Mb after 7 days AND you have mail over 60 days old, your Inbox will be split for you.

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When and how is my Inbox split?

The rule for splitting an inbox is that any email for the current month and previous month is kept, and remaining email is moved into monthly archives.

So, here's an example:

1. You received an email last week warning you that your Inbox is over 20Mb/50Mb.

2. You take no action and 7 days later (today), your mailbox is split.

What will you find?

3. Any email for this month (June) and the previous month (May) will remain in your Inbox.

4. However, any mail dated from April and beyond will be moved out of the Inbox.

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Where does my mail go?!

Your mail stays within your account, but is placed in different folders.

So, continuing the above example:

5. Your Inbox has now been split. In your folder list you should see an additional mailbox named '2007'. This mailbox will contain sub folders of any mail received in months prior to May (remember, in this example, the current month - June and previous month - May is kept in the Inbox. Anything older is moved out).

The structure will look like the following:

2007
   01-Jan
   02-Feb
   03-Mar
   04-Apr

If, for example, you only had older mail dated from April, then all you would see is:

2007
   04-Apr

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I can't see my split mailboxes

You will need to do something called subscribing, or refreshing your mailbox list. This informs your email application that you have new mailboxes which you need to see.

See our step-by-step instructions on how to subscribe/refresh your mailboxes. Click on the relevant link for the email application you are using.

 

Is it only my Inbox that gets split?

Yes. However, you will periodically receive reminders about your Sent and Trash mailboxes if either of these go over 20Mb (50Mb for staff).

Although we will not split your Sent or Trash mailboxes if you do nothing about the reminder we send, we do ask that you be diligent in deleting your Trash or splitting your Sent mailbox yourself. Otherwise, we could start seeing a detrimental impact on IMAP performance again.

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My Inbox hasn't been split - why?

You mailbox will not be split if:

a) you have run out of quota.

b) there has been a system outage.

c) your mailbox dips below the 20Mb/50Mb limit since the email was sent to you.

d) very occasionally a backlog can happen in the system where mailboxes are in a queue waiting to be split.

e) your mailbox is only split if you have 20Mb/50Mb of mail over a month old. So, if you received the warning message but only have messages dated the current month in your Inbox, then it will not be split.

 

Getting help