Overcoming the Quandary: Outlook Mailbox Full After Deleting

This article demystifies the predicament many Outlook users face – a mailbox insisting it's full despite rigorous deletions. Fusing a relatable first-person narrative, an exploration of potential causes, and 5 proven fixes with backgrounds and steps, this guide empowers users to reclaim their mailbox space.


By Ivy / Updated on February 2, 2024

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User Case

As I diligently worked on cleaning up my Outlook mailbox, and meticulously deleting unnecessary emails to create a more streamlined and organized digital space, I encountered an unexpected hurdle – a persistent "Mailbox Full" warning. Despite my efforts to declutter, the system claimed that my mailbox was still overflowing.

This situation left me puzzled and frustrated, wondering why the mailbox was not reflecting the cleanup I had undertaken. In search of a solution, I sought to understand the reasons behind this issue and find effective fixes to restore the efficiency of my Outlook mailbox after deleting messages.

Outlook Mailbox Full After Deleting

Why Outlook Mailbox Full After Deleting?

The issue of an Outlook mailbox appearing full after deleting emails can be attributed to several reasons, contributing to the accumulation of data even after deletion. Here are some key factors:

1. Retained Items in "Recoverable Items" Folder:

  • Deleted emails are initially moved to the "Deleted Items" folder.
  • Permanently deleting emails only moves them to the "Recoverable Items" folder, leading to continued storage.

2. Automated Archiving Settings:

  • Automatic archiving settings might be configured to move items to archive folders instead of truly deleting them.

3. Cached Exchange Mode Limitations:

  • In Cached Exchange Mode, Outlook stores a local copy of your mailbox, and changes may take time to sync with the server.

4. Deleted Items Size Threshold:

  • The "Deleted Items" folder might have reached a size threshold, preventing further deletions until it's reduced.

5. Issues with Email Server Synchronization:

  • Problems with synchronizing changes between the Outlook client and the email server can result in discrepancies.

6. Large Attachments or Emails:

  • Emails with large attachments may occupy significant space, impacting the available mailbox size.

Addressing these reasons involves a combination of adjusting settings, manually clearing folders, and ensuring proper synchronization between the Outlook client and the email server.

5 Fixes for Outlook Mailbox Full After Deleting

1. Check Outlook Mailbox Quota

A full mailbox might be attributed to reaching the allocated mailbox size limit.


1. Go to File > Account Settings > Account Settings.

2. Select your email account and check the mailbox size limit.

2. Compact Outlook Data Files

Deleted items might still occupy space; compacting data files reclaims space.


1. Go to File > Account Settings > Account Settings.

2. Under Data Files, select the file to compact and click Settings > Compact Now.

3. Empty Deleted Items Folder

Items in the Deleted Items folder count towards mailbox size. You can navigate to Home > Empty Deleted Items Folder.

4. Verify Server Settings

Incorrect server settings may disrupt synchronization.


1. Go to File > Account Settings > Account Settings.

2. Select your email account > Change > More Settings > Advanced.

3. Ensure server settings are accurate.

5. Repair Outlook Data Files

Corrupted data files can lead to abnormal mailbox behavior.


1. Go to Control Panel > Programs > Programs and Features.

2. Select Microsoft Office > Change > Repair.

Recover Deleted Outlook Emails with MyRecover

In the quest to resolve the perplexing issue of Outlook declaring my mailbox full after deleting messages, I also explored the invaluable process of recovering deleted emails. Utilizing the robust data recovery tool, MyRecover, became a pivotal aspect of my strategy.

📢Features of MyRecover:

  • Comprehensive Email Recovery: MyRecover excels in retrieving emails deleted or lost due to various reasons, ensuring a high success rate.
  • User-Friendly Interface: The tool boasts an intuitive interface, making it accessible even for users without extensive technical knowledge.
  • Diverse Email Formats: MyRecover supports a wide array of email formats, allowing for the recovery of messages from various platforms.

Operating Steps:

  1. Download and Install: Begin by downloading and installing the MyRecover software on your system.
  2. Launch the Application: Open the MyRecover application and navigate to the email recovery section.
  3. Select Email Source: Choose the source from which you wish to recover deleted emails (Outlook in this case).
  4. Scan for Deleted Emails: Initiate a comprehensive scan to locate and identify deleted emails within the Outlook mailbox.
  5. Preview and Recover: Once the scan is complete, preview the recovered emails to ensure accuracy and select the desired messages for recovery.
  6. Save Recovered Emails: Finalize the process by saving the recovered emails to a designated location.


Bid adieu to the frustration of a seemingly full Outlook mailbox. Armed with these 5 pragmatic fixes and the prowess of MyRecover for email retrieval, you can reclaim your digital workspace. Say goodbye to clutter and welcome an organized and efficient Outlook experience.


1. Can reaching the mailbox size limit lead to data loss?

No, reaching the size limit prompts warnings; it doesn't result in immediate data loss.

2. How often should I compact Outlook data files?

Regularly compacting data files is advisable to maintain optimal performance.

3. Why does repairing data files help in this scenario?

Repairing data files addresses potential corruption, ensuring smooth mailbox functioning.

4. Can server settings affect mailbox size calculations?

Yes, incorrect server settings may lead to synchronization issues affecting mailbox size calculations.

5. Is MyRecover effective for retrieving emails deleted a long time ago?

Absolutely, MyRecover's deep scanning capabilities make it adept at recovering emails deleted even some time ago.

Ivy · Editor
Ivy is an editor of AOMEI Technology, she covers backup & restore,hard disk & partitions management and cloud files transfer and so on for AOMEI. She is an outgoing girl and enjoys helping people find solutions to their problems. She loves traveling, eating, reading and so on. She usually hangs out with friends at her leisure time.