Mailbox Management

Help your users to manage their mailboxes – best practice and top tips

We know that ongoing issues with users exceeding their mailbox storage capacity is a challenge for Local Administrators. We want to help and have provided some information, best practice and top tips that you can share with your local userbase.

Good practice for Local Administrators

  • Remind users of the NHSmail policies as well as local policies, to highlight good email management practices.
  • Implement local processes to highlight users at risk of exceeding their storage capacity and support them appropriately with managing their mailbox.
  • Regularly review any existing top-up agreements in place.
  • Follow the leaver and joiner guidance to ensure appropriate action is taken with organisation data and mailbox sizes before transition to another organisation.

Note: All mailbox upgrades are removed when transferring accounts to another organisation.

Best practice and top tips for users

  • Be proactive in managing your mailbox – the Acceptable Use Policy (section 3.1.12) confirms responsibilities around managing a mailbox.
  • Review and delete unwanted emails on a regular basis.
  • Regularly review your mailbox usage, to highlight when you are approaching your mailbox limit and take immediate action to remain within the limit.
  • NHSmail is designed for the exchange of information and is not a storage solution – use local email archiving solutions and save attachments in a locally approved document storage tool.
  • Use alternative tools for sharing attachments, such as Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Teams to avoid using additional mailbox quota.
  • When sending attachments by email, use tools which will reduce the file size.

Important message for users

  • Advise users that they must be proactive in managing their mailbox in advance of it becoming full, or they are at risk of not being able to receive / send important emails.
  • Deleting / archiving emails once the mailbox limit is reached will not immediately free up storage space. Once emails are permanently deleted (from the deleted items folder) they sit within an area known as the ‘dumpster’ where they will remain for 180 days for the purpose of official investigations.

Note: Any emails within the dumpster are included in the overall mailbox limit.

Mailbox report is available to Local Administrators which provides details of used quota of a mailbox, allowing you to proactively support your users managing their mailboxes before they reach their storage capacity.

The report also shows if the mailbox is being used regularly so you can identify shared mailboxes that are no longer required.

Please see the Admin Reports guidance for more information about this report.

For users that require an increased mailbox capacity please follow the guidance here.

Last Reviewed Date 8/11/2020
Updated on 28/06/2022
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