Managing Server Inbox Size

Managing your email space on the server:

  • Large email files on the server are unwieldy. They take longer to loaded and process, and use valuable disk space on the ITS server.
  • IMAP clients manage your mail on the server. There are options that you can set in your email client to tell IMAP how to handle deleted messages and whether your mailboxes should be expunged or purged of deleted mail when you exit. Most POP mail client programs have a setting which allows you to leave messages on the server after retrieval, usually. a check box labeled “Delete messages from server after retrieval” or “delete mail from server after X days.” For information on retaining email on the host server, see the information at the end of this guide.
  • You should use IMAP if you access your email from more than one computer. Otherwise, you will need to develop a strategy for managing your email so you understand where it is and to make it available to you from multiple locations, if appropriate, when you need it.
  • If you have a Mines email account AND a non-Mines ISP (Internet Service Provider) email account you may want an email program with a “profile” feature that will allow you to retrieve email from multiple accounts without having to change settings each time you want email from one account or the other.
  • Some types of email attachments/files that tend to be large and can quickly exhaust your quota on the server are:

Images — gif, jpg, bmp, xpm, etc.

Audio — mp3, wav, etc.

Video — mpg, avi

Executable Programs — exe, bat

Spreadsheet and Database files — xls, mdb

Compressed files — zip, tar, gz, Z

Word Processor files — doc, wp, etc.

  • Whatever your strategy for managing email, the goal is to remove your mail from the ITS server. One advantage of good email management is that accessing mail through the ITS server, no matter what application you use, will be faster and more efficient because your server inbox is small and not cluttered with unneeded messages. (Note: Poor management of your inbox on the server and your disk usage can cause erratic email client behavior.)

Configuring your email program to automatically check for new mail:

If you set your email client to automatically check for new mail on the ITS server, we recommended a frequency of no more than once per 15 minutes. If you access your email via a dial-in connection, we recommend you manually retrieve email when you connect. Multiple IMAP sessions and automatic intervals of less than 10 minutes are not permitted because this combination of settings can cause problems. If you receive a lot of messages, large email messages or messages with large attachments it puts an added burden on the server.

For example, if your client is configured to retrieve your email too frequently, your client program may try to start a new retrieval session while a previous session has not completed which can result in lost messages, duplicate messages, locked or corrupted mailboxes, and other strange email behavior. Setting a longer automatic interval does not preclude you from manually checking for new mail, it only effect the time period used by the Automatically Check Email option offered by most email programs.

Time out setting:

Many email programs have a “time out” setting that define how long the program will wait before disconnecting a session on a slow or non-responsive network connection. The default is usually set to a very small value — 30 seconds or so — and is probably not adequate for Mines email. A minimal time out setting of 2 minutes should be adequate.

NOTE:  Make certain to set a time out setting that is lower, or less, than the setting you have chosen for the interval defined to automatically check the server for new mail.

Important Note for sending email via Non-Mines Connections:

The ITS mail server blocks the “relay” of mail from one computer to other hosts. If you connect to the campus network through an ISP (Internet Service Provider), this will affect you, unless you always use the VPN. If you connect through a system attached either to the Mines network this will not affect you unless the IP address you’re using is not registered. This configuration prevents spammers from using Mines resources to route spam to other sites. If you are connecting through an ISP and want to send and receive email through your Mines account, you will need to configure the outgoing email server in your email client to be that of your ISP’s server. Typically, this will be something like or, where isp is the name of your service provider (such as or Contact your ISP if you don’t know the name of your outgoing, or smtp, email server. Your incoming mail server should still be (or Your “reply-to” address can still be your Mines email address.

If you have questions about this change or your configuration, please contact ITS via the Mines Help Center.