Remember to take out the trash!

If you really like saving all of your email, you might seriously consider getting a Gmail account. With today’s emails sometimes weighing in at 5 megabytes and more, email programs (Outlook, Outlook Express, Thunderbird, etc) can get extremely sluggish. Sluggish performance eventually leads to corrupt data which means you lose all your email.

You can take steps to avoid this, however, by following a few simple email cleanup rules (or get Gmail).

  • Many computer users regularly empty their “recycle bins” to delete unwanted files, but I recently discovered that many email users don’t realize that email has a trash as well.
  • When you delete a message from your Inbox, it doesn’t disappear. The message moves to the email trash or deleted items folder. To permanently delete unwanted email, you need to Empty deleted items or trash folder by either RIGHT clicking the appropriate folder or using the Empty Deleted Items option found in either the File or Edit menus. Then your deleted emails are truly deleted.
  • Most email programs are setup to keep a copy of every email you have ever sent. If you have never peeked in your “sent” folder, you may be surprised! Remember to clean this folder out occasionally as well by highlighting the messages then pressing Delete on your keyboard…then empty the deleted items as well.
  • If you really don’t want to lose pictures or videos people send you vial email, you should save them to your My Documents folder then delete them for your email program (unless you use Gmail). Read my tip on how to do this by clicking here. 
  • Lastly, most desktop email programs keep track of your email via database files you never see. Use the program’s Compact folder option (usually found in the File menu) at least once per month to keep these files running lean and mean.
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