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Why move Microsoft Outlook email?

There are three main reasons in my opinion for moving email out of the Inbox

  • Overwhelm
  • Organisation
  • Inbox Size

Let’s look at each one.


Microsoft Outlook email arrives into the Inbox and sits there unless you take action and do something about it.

In my long training career when training Outlook in organisations, I would regularly see an Inbox with thousands of emails just sitting there. They had been read, and then left right where they were. No intention of tidying them up, filing them or deleting them.

When you open up Outlook in the morning and see 5000 or more emails in the Inbox, it can feel totally overwhelming.

How do I find the email I need? Do I really need to keep all of these, I must have a clear out soon. All thoughts that go through one’s mind. However, with this many emails to deal with, it becomes totally overwhelming and nothing gets done.


An organised person will move their email into folders. Now each person will use folders in a different way and that is fine. So long as it works for you.

Create folders for clients, colleagues, projects, people – the choice is yours. Then as soon as you have dealt with an email, move it to the correct folder and hey presto! The number of emails in the Inbox reduces nicely.

There are several systems out there for staying organised from three to five folder systems. Whichever you choose – if it works for you then it is the right system.

Inbox Size

Lastly Inbox Size. How much storage space do you have in your Inbox – how do you know when you are reaching the limit? Does everything in every folder you create count towards your Inbox quota?

If you work in a large organisation, the IT Team will let you know when you are reaching your limits.

If you are using Office 365 with an Exchange account, you can see how much space you have used by clicking on the File Menu and then looking under Mail Box settings.

With Office 365 comes 50GB of mailbox storage space for your email.

All email in your Inbox whether in the actual Inbox or in a folder that is stored under the Inbox counts towards this storage limit.

How do I take email out of my storage limit?

There are three ways to remove email from your storage quota.

Archive using the Online Archive

With Office 365 comes the ability to switch on the Online Archive feature. This is switched on by the administrator of the account. Once enabled any email that is filed in the Online Archive does not count toward your storage quota.

Archive to a .pst file

Before Office 365 one would need to archive email using Outlook’s Auto Archive settings. This would create a local file which can be saved on your PC or on the server (should you have one).

If the pst file is stored locally though and you lose the laptop or the desktop or it becomes unusable, the archive will be lost. EEK!

With the Online Archive that won’t happen.

Save As

You can also save an email out of Outlook and store it in a folder on your computer or server.

Open the email then click on the File menu and choose save as and then change the file format to Outlook Message Format. You can then save it to any folder of your choice.

Now you can delete the email completely from your Inbox and it will no longer count toward your Inbox Quota.

What are your reasons for moving your Microsoft Outlook Email? Is it one of the ones above or some other reason.

Do comment and let me know.

I am creating an online course for Outlook Email – you can get on the waitlist to find out when it will be released by clicking Here.



I have been asked to speak at the Practically Perfect PA Online Summit on April 5! I will be delivering a session on my Top 8 Time Busting Tips – you can register for the summit here and there is a 10% discount when you add the code vspeaker10 at checkout. There is a great line up of speakers and you get access to the recordings as well.