How much space does email take up on my hard drive?


Active Member
I'm doing some housekeeping and trying to manage how much space is taken up storing email on my hard drive. My ISP has recently sent me an email telling me that I need to reduce the amount I have on their server (I have an IMAP account). They tell me that I have 1.3Gb on their server. If I go into my email client (Windows 10 Outlook) and total it up under "properties" it comes to about 0.6Gb.

This is a big discrepancy! Does email read in a client get stored in some other format? What might explain this discrepancy?

Any information explanation or advice would be gratefully received!


Active Member
Yes just a bit more explanation. If you delete items from your inbox or any folders they will go to the Deleted folder which by default does not delete them from the server automatically. They still exist taking up space in the deleted folder. You have to manually empty this folder in outlook by right clicking and selecting 'empty folder' it will ask you for confirmation just to make sure, select yes. Easiest thing to do is to set up a rule to delete stuff once a week/fortnight/month automatically.


Active Member
Thanks for the explanation and tips on deleting emails and the other replies.

So the discrepancy between my ISP's log of server space occupied and my calculation by using 'properties' in Outlook isn't because the email viewed in my (IMAP) Outlook app is a different file type? The IMAP system holds all emails on the ISP's server, doesn't it?

The attachments are there both there in webmail and Outlook so I don't think it's that. I don't leave much in my Outlook 'Trash' folder for long and empty it when I remember to. I'll set up an auto system as suggested.


Active Member
Thanks for your reply oneman.

Accessing my webmail using my browser lets me see my inbox but unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a way of finding the size of the inbox. In my Outlook client, I can get to a figure for its size through properties. This facility doesn't seem to be available in the webmail.

It's the size of the discrepancy that baffles me. One of the figures has got to be wrong, hasn't it?

I'm a bit puzzled by the IMAP system as opposed to the POP system. In POP I think that email is downloaded on a once and for all basis from your ISP but IMAP always holds it on the ISP's server until you delete it in webmail? In what file type is "IMAP email" viewed in a client on your computer?

Any help in understanding this would help.

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