We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

We've partnered with Certified Experts, Carl Webster and Richard Faulkner, to bring you a podcast all about Citrix Workspace, moving to the cloud, and analytics & intelligence. Episode 2 coming soon!Listen Now


Is there a limit on the number of items you can have in a mailbox?

Relinda asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
Currently we are having an issue with 1 users Outlook account.  This user is no longer recieveing email and a message keeps popping up saying his mailbox is full.  He has over 2GB of e-mail but we have no restrictions in place on how large in GB a user's mailbox can be.  In fact we have another users whose mailbox is 3GB.  This user that is having the issue though does have a very large number of items.  His total number of items is 20,123, far more than any other user in our organization.  I wanted to know if this could be the cause of the problem?  Can Outlook or Exchange only support a certain number of items? Or could there be something else causing this?  
Watch Question

Expert of the Quarter 2009
Expert of the Year 2009
Number of items? No.
However Outlook has performance issues if there are more than 5000 items in the key folders (Inbox and Sent Items mainly).
If those items are in those folders then that will cause a problem.


Not the solution you were looking for? Getting a personalized solution is easy.

Ask the Experts
1.Are the person who has 3G of mailbox on the same mailbox store as this person in question?
2. You said he cannot receive emails, can he send?
3. Any pst file involved?
As far as i know the limit is not the mailbox items that you have but the mailbox size !

My question is :How do you know that you don't have restrictions regarding the size?

Back up your user's mailbox size delete one or two "big" emails (5-10MBytes) and check if he/she can send/receive emails after the change.


To Mestha: Yes this could possibly be our problem.  This user definately does have over 5000 items in his inbox.  Even when he tried to delete things it was telling him Mailbox full so it would not allow it.  He had to hold shift and permanently delete them.

To flyingsky:  Yes the person with the 3G is on the same mailbox store as the user in question.
He could send but not recieve.
Yes an Archiving is set-up on this users inbox but it was only archiving items 2 years or older, but yes there is an archive.pst

To Timoros: When our server was set-up no default limits were set.  I have checked these settings myself.  That is how I know.  The user is currently deleting the emails so it should not be a problem for him anymore but I just wanted to know this information for myself.  That way if I run into something like this again I will know why it is happening.  Also I would like to try and prevent something like this from happening in the future.
That is an interesting Blog.  Thank you I will certainly check that and get back with you to see if maybe there is a problem there.
Access more of Experts Exchange with a free account
Thanks for using Experts Exchange.

Create a free account to continue.

Limited access with a free account allows you to:

  • View three pieces of content (articles, solutions, posts, and videos)
  • Ask the experts questions (counted toward content limit)
  • Customize your dashboard and profile

*This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


Please enter a first name

Please enter a last name

8+ characters (letters, numbers, and a symbol)

By clicking, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.