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Your Mailbox is almost full!

Posted on 2016-10-13
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Last Modified: 2016-10-17
win7pro machine, Outlook 2007 .ost file, auto archive hasn't been working, so I have been dragging emails from .ost folders to the Archive .pst folders.  That usually works, but the last couple of days, I keep getting the almost full message. Is there something else I need to do/run to get the .ost file size reduced?  We can certainly look at why Auto Archive is not working, but I'd prefer to not focus on that at the moment, as I think I had a question on that about a year ago and was never able to resolve it. Something to do with our Server, I have to manually move mail for everyone, not just my .ost.
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Question by:wfcrr
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by:ScottCha
ScottCha earned 250 total points
ID: 41841886
First of all, it isn't the messages in your .ost.  It's the messages in your mailbox on the server.

An .ost is simply a copy of the mailbox on the server on your local machine to reduce network traffic and improve performance.

Secondly, it isn't necessarily the number of emails you are moving but the SIZE of the emails that are still in your mailbox on the server.  That is what you need to look at.

Use this command on the Exchange server to get the sizes of the mailboxes and the number of emails they have in their mailbox.

Get-Mailbox | Get-MailboxStatistics | where {$_.ObjectClass –eq “Mailbox”} | Sort-Object TotalItemSize –Descending | ft @{label=”User”;expression={$_.DisplayName}},@{label=”Total Size (MB)”;expression={$_.TotalItemSize.Value.ToMB()}},@{label=”Items”;expression={$_.ItemCount}},@{label=”Storage Limit”;expression={$_.StorageLimitStatus}} -auto


If you still want to try to try to reduce the size of the .ost file on the local machine simply swith from "offline" to "online" for mailbox.  This will get rid of the current .ost, create a new one and re-populate with the current contents of the mailbox.
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Ivan earned 250 total points
ID: 41841891
Hi,

when you right click on mailbox --> Data file properties --> folder size, is that size the same as the one you get report in email notification?

If not, maybe your outlook was setup not to pull all emails from server? Cant remember if that was option in 2007 tho..maybe that is only for 2013/2016.

Anyway, if size is not the same, log via OWA, and check size there.
If size in OWA and Outlook is not the same, then I would suggest running scan ost (https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Repair-Outlook-Data-Files-pst-and-ost-25663bc3-11ec-4412-86c4-60458afc5253) and if that does not help, maybe even creating new profile.

PS: You can compact ost, but that will not do anything with notification that you get. If you want to do it, here is a guide: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/289987

Regards,
Ivan.
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by:ScottCha
ID: 41841894
Finally, you are going to want to consider upgrading your Outlook client.  The office 2007 suite is only going to be supported for the next year or less.

Also, if you upgrade your Exchange server to 2016, Outlook 2007 will not be able to connect to it.
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Expert Comment

by:Viswanath Chilukuri
ID: 41841904
Hi
Some times the Archiving will wont work because of the .ost file will get corrupt,So first Delete the .ost file form the local machine in user profile(C:\Users\userid\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook) and reconfigure the outlook and try to auto archive once then it will work fine.

Regards'
Viswa
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by:John Hurst
ID: 41841908
While you are considering upgrading to get more space, you can / should have remove large attachments:  Save large attachments, then remove the attachments.
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by:efrimpol
ID: 41841939
Also, which version of Exchange do you have (2003/2007/2010/etc.)?

Each version had limits on how big the datastore can be. Cant remember exactly with 2003, but with Exchange Service Pack 2, it increased the datastore to 75GB.

When was the last time an defrag was run on Exchange to clear up the "white space"?

Also, do you have hard limits on the mailbox size for each user. You may have set limits to 4GB (which is usually the default). Increasing the limit may assist, but that brings me back to original question of the version of Exchange.
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by:ScottCha
ID: 41841952
Do not just delete the .ost file.  Set Outlook to Online mode then offline.  This is the correct and supported way of removing an .ost.


Next there is NO REASON to defrag your Exchange database to "clear up" white space.  The white space is simply space that is there to be used.

Doing an offline defrag for no reason is simply asking to corrupt your database for no good reason.
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by:wfcrr
ID: 41841956
@ScottCha, Two questions, do I run that command in EM Console or EM Shell? Also, how to do run the command?  Regarding switching from "offline" to "online" for mailbox, do I do with from within Outlook 2007?  Idiot proof instruction is much appreciated.

@efrimpol, Exchange 2007.

@Ivan, no, when properties shows a lot more size than the message shows.  Also, how do I scan the ost? When I read the link you gave, it talks about SCANPST.EXE....does that scan the pst or the ost?  

I'd like to NOT delete the .ost to save from having to rebuild the index, and, re-find the .pst file which is YUGE!

I know I'll need to upgrade, will probably start a whole other question for that....
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by:efrimpol
ID: 41841975
Maybe i might have jump the gun on the offline defrag, as this is usually a tool that is used when you experience issues with Exchange, so my bad.

I have, however, used a product from Barracuda called the Message Archiver. This is an hardware appliance that works with Exchange (in my case, Exchange 2003), that strips incoming and outgoing attachments, moves them to the Archiver, and places a "pointer" in the email.

This dramatically reduced the size of my Exchange Database from 74Gb to about 23Gb, at the same time, boosting Exchange performance, both on the server and for the clients.

The initial "run" took several days, but afterwards, after 30 days, it would just archive automatically.

There is also an Outlook plug-in that "brings" back the original attachment(s) should you need it.
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by:efrimpol
ID: 41841980
Because my clients' mailbox settings were unlimited (the highest mailbox took about 9Gb), I never had to worry about running out of space after implementing the Archiver.
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by:ScottCha
ID: 41841990
The command I provided is to be run in the Exchange Power Shell.  You may want to "> results.txt" so that it's easier to read.

Yes, you do the offline / online thing in the Outlook client.  And it's not actually online/offline...it's cached / un-cached.  Got my terms mixed up.

Here is how to do it.

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Turn-on-or-off-Cached-Exchange-Mode-78c1b9a7-9677-4655-ab97-d20ca35e29f9
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by:wfcrr
ID: 41842041
@ScottCha, sorry to be dense, but, how do I run a command in Exchange Power Shell? Or, how to get Power Shell up?  Also, when I do the Offline/Online thing, wonder if I should wait til after work to run that? Will it cause Outlook to be unavailable for a long time?
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by:ScottCha
ID: 41842079
Forget offline/online term...it's cached/un-cached.  I incorrectly used the wrong term.

Outlook will always be available, but it will take some time for the data to be copied down to the new .ost file.

You start Exchange Power Shell by going to "Start/programs/Microsoft Exchange" and choose the Exchange Command prompt icon.

Forgive me here, but if you don' t know how to start the Exchange Power Shell, are you sure you're the right one to be working on this?  

The command I'm having you run will not make any changes to your system, so there's no danger there.
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by:wfcrr
ID: 41842107
Thanks for the input, yes, I am the one to do this. I try to avoid running anything that is over my head and have learned to not dink with things beyond what you guys tell me to do.  If I get to the point where I need a pro to step in, I do hire someone. That is an area I need to some help, need a pro I can rely on, as the one I've used in the past kind of breaks stuff.

One more question before I start Outlook doing the cached/uncached thing. Does that take up alot of space on the hard drive while the process is running?  The hard drive has about 9GB space left, wondering if the process will fill up the free hard drive space, or does this process not do that?  

Here is the result of the thing you had me run on Power Shell. I only showed the two problem accounts
   
User  Total Size (MB)  Items  Storage Limit
----              --------------- ----- -------------
User1       2998           45806    IssueWarning
User2      2006              9968    IssueWarning
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by:ScottCha
ID: 41842122
Ok, just wanted to make sure.

It shouldn't.  When you go into un-cached mode the current .ost file will be removed and when you go back into cached mode it will be recreated and repopulated.

9GB is not a log of room though.  Before doing this you should try to get the user to clean things up.
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by:wfcrr
ID: 41842143
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by:ScottCha
ID: 41842589
Sure.  I'd go through those steps and see if those suggestions help free up some space on this drive.

How big is the drive btw....?
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by:wfcrr
ID: 41842595
Drive is 111GB and I used the last suggestion, ran CCleaner and now have 22GB free space. Pretty happy with that.

I am still waiting to do the uncached/cached thing.  I figure it will cause indexing to have to run for hours.  Is that right?  Also, I think I may move the 9GB archive.pst file to another drive, to free up space, and wonder if that should be done prior to doing the uncached/cached thing.
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by:ScottCha
ID: 41842721
Not a large drive by today's standards.....

You can move the .PST but don't put it on a network drive.  That is unsupported and can cause the .PST to become corrupted.

Doesn't matter when you move it.
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by:wfcrr
ID: 41842884
Problem.....

I just did this. Turned Cache mode off by unticking, hit "Next" and it said I need to exit and restart Outlook 2007. Did that, then restarted Outlook, it asked for my password repeatedly, I kept entering the pass and it kept asking for pass, finally just closed the password window and Outlook opened, looked normal but said "Offline".  Next I turned Cache mode on by ticking the box, clicked Next then exited and then restarted Outlook.

Problem now is it still stays Offline...what do I do now?
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by:Edwin Hoffer
ID: 41843085
Dear user
To reduce the size of OST file you can also refer Microsoft KB article. for more info. on it.
https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Reduce-the-size-of-Outlook-Data-Files-pst-and-ost-e4c6a4f1-d39c-47dc-a4fa-abe96dc8c7ef

https://support.microsoft.com/en-in/kb/289987
Hope this might be helpful to resolve your problem.

Thanks & Regards
Edwin Hoffer
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by:Gerald Connolly
ID: 41843190
@wfcrr - from one of your previous replies, i am not sure you understood, that the .ost is not the problem, but it is the size of the mailbox on the server. Mailboxes are normally created with a size quota, and it is this that is causing the error message. The size is the total sizes of the emails in the mailbox including their attachments.

The first thing to do is to right click on the column headings in the list of emails and add the size column (if you havent already done that) then click on the size heading to sort emails by size!

Email column headers
Sorting out the BIG files will give you immediate relief, the hundreds and thousands of small files will take a bit longer

Other ways of reducing the mailbox size is to write rules to move emails directly into the .pst files automatically
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by:wfcrr
ID: 41843601
Here is what is confusing me: I have been moving large blocks of email from the .ost file and dragging them into the Archive.pst file. In the past, that was all I needed to do. Now, for some reason, it makes no difference. I can drag hundreds of MB of mail from the .ost folders into the .pst folders and no difference, at all.  When I go and look at both sets of folders, the mail really is no longer in the .ost folders, it is in the .pst folders, but, I still get the almost full message.  Today it is 3017MB, yesterday day was 2996MB and I moved ALOT of mail yesterday. Kind of freaking me out, because limit is 3072MB,
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by:efrimpol
ID: 41843612
When you say "moving large blocks of email". Are you moving or copying? Copying is not solving the problem.

For now, open your mailbox.

Right-click on the Archive folder and select "Close". It's ok. You will not lose any information.

Restart Outlook and let us know what is the mailbox size now.
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by:wfcrr
ID: 41843646
I will try the Close Archive suggestion in a little while. Trying the Compact Now on the .ost. Seems to be taking a long time. Once that is done, how can I check the file size of the .ost? Confusing yesterday was the file size showed different (larger) than the message reports. Email message stated 2996mb yesterday, but when I right click properties, and size it was 3960mb. If I go look in the folder AppData>Microsoft>Outlook the .ost file there is over 6GB
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by:efrimpol
ID: 41843791
Yes, the .OST and .PST files can be of larger size because they do not have the size limitation being placed on the mailbox by the Exchange Server.

Below link explains this:

https://www.msoutlook.info/question/ost-content-and-size-explained
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by:wfcrr
ID: 41843961
Compact Now finished with the .ost....finally.  3001588KB  is the size of the Mailbox when I right click, properties, folder size.  How can I tell what the emailed message will show tomorrow?  The mailbox size does seem smaller than it was (forgot to check before I started Compact Now), but it is still really close to the limit size of 3072MB.

Regarding the Archive.pst, if I Close it and then move it to a different internal drive, will that present challenges in getting it to appear again, and, how does that affect the indexing?
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by:efrimpol
ID: 41843991
All you have to do to open the Archive.pst is point to it.

File / Open / Open Outlook Data File and point to the new location.
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by:Gerald Connolly
ID: 41844629
@wfcrr - dragging huge blocks of emails from the Mailbox (the .ost is irrelevant) to the .pst only works if you are moving the big emails, moving 100 x 20KB emails will only realise 2 MB in your mailbox, but you might find one email that is 20MB

so as i said before, sort on the email size and work on the big emails.
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by:Edwin Hoffer
ID: 41846075
Dear User
I found an Informative Blog on Google that will help to crop your mailbox size, I think it will help.

Thanks
Edwin Hoffer
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by:wfcrr
ID: 41846652
I think Compact Now probably did the trick? I am not sure. I had moved about 600MB of mail, but seems like it wasn't recognizing that I had moved all that mail.  I wonder if Compact Now somehow caused it to recognize?  Once I ran that, the message stopped appearing in next days email.
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