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Handling Large Attachments with Outlook 2010

With the move to Office 365, the maximum size of an individual e-mail message is 25 MB. Did you receive an e-mail from ITS notifying you that your mailbox has one or more large messages? If so, please follow the steps below to find and decide how to handle messages larger than 25 MB.

On This Page
Find large messages
Decide how to handle each large message
Delete a message and its attachments (two methods)
Delete attachments but save the message
Save some or all of a message's attachments
Move large messages to local storage

Find Your Large Messages

If you already know where your large messages are, skip down to the section on deciding how to handle each message. Otherwise, follow the steps shown here to find your large messages.

  1. From Outlook's File tab, select Info (it may already be selected).
    Select Mailbox Cleanup from the Cleanup Tools option under the File tab's Info section
  2. Click the large Cleanup Tools button, then select Mailbox Cleanup. A Mailbox Cleanup dialog box will open.
    Select the option to Find items larger than
  3. Select Find items larger than, and, in the field next to it, enter 9999.
    (This is the largest value the field permits. It will find all messages larger than [about] 10 MB.)
  4. Click Find. Depending on the total size of your mail store, you may have to wait a bit. A results dialog box will open, showing all the messages and their location.
    Dialog box with found messages that are 10 MB or larger
  5. In the results table, click the Size column heading to sort the list by message size.

The results table will include messages in your Deleted Items folder. That's okay for now, but when you finish reviewing the list, remember to empty your Deleted Items folder or permanently delete the large messages. If the Deleted Items folder is not emptied, the large email still exists there, so your mailbox will not migrate.

Decide how to handle each large message

Now it's time to decide what to do with each message. For each, you can:

Your goal is to end up with no messages larger than 25 MB.

When you delete a message (using any method listed here), you'll still see it in your list of big messages, but its location will have changed to "Deleted Items." Remember to empty your Deleted Items folder or permanently delete the large messages when you have finished reviewing your list. 

Delete a message and its attachments, quick "I'm sure" version

  1. Right-click a message, then select Delete from the menu that appears.
Delete a message by right-clicking and selecting Delete

When you delete a message (using any method listed here), you'll still see it in your list of big messages, but its location will have changed to "Deleted Items." Remember to empty your Deleted Items folder or permanently delete the large messages when you have finished reviewing your list.

Delete a message and attachments after checking to be sure

  1. Double-click a message. A normal Outlook message window will open. Here you can review the message text and the attachments.
  2. To delete the message and attachments, click Delete in the Message ribbon.

When you delete a message (using any method listed here), you'll still see it in your list of big messages, but its location will have changed to "Deleted Items." Remember to empty your Deleted Items folder or permanently delete the large messages when you have finished reviewing your list.

Delete a message's attachments but save the message

  1. Double-click a message. A normal Outlook message window will open.
  2. Click on an attachment. The Attachments Tools ribbon will appear. Depending on the attachment's file type, you may see a preview of the attachment.
    Delete an attachment by selecting the Remove Attachment button
  3. Click Remove Attachment.
  4. Repeat as desired for additional attachments.
  5. Click the X in the upper-right corner of the message window to close it. When prompted, click Yes to save your changes to the message.

Save some or all attachments, then decide whether to save the message

Saving an attachment does NOT remove it from the message, it only makes a separate copy of the attachment. When you have saved the attachments you want to keep, you must either (1) delete the message or (2) remove the attachments from the message, then save the now-smaller message.

  1. Double-click a message. A normal Outlook message window will open.
  2. Decide which attachments to save:
    • To save one attachment:
      1. Click on the attachment's name.
        Save an attachment by selecting the Save As button
      2. Click Save As in the Attachment Tools ribbon.
      3. Select the location to save to, then click Save.
      4. Repeat as desired for other attachments.
    • To save all attachments:
      1. Click on any attachment's name.
        Save all attachments by selecting the Save All Attachments button
      2. Click Save All Attachments in the Attachment Tools ribbon.
      3. Click OK in the Save All Attachments dialog box.
      4. Select the location to save to, then click OK.
  3. Decide whether to save or delete the message:

Move Large Messages to Local Storage

  1. If you do not already have an Outlook data file (PST) on your computer where you can store these messages, follow these steps:
    • Click the ribbon's Home tab.
      Create an Outlook data file by clicking New Items, More Items, then Outlook Data File
    • Click New Items, then More Items, then Outlook Data File. The Create or Open Outlook Data File dialog box will open.
      Create or Open Outlook Data File dialog box
    • Make sure the selected location is the Outlook Files folder in My Documents.
    • Enter a name for this new file, such as Large Messages.
    • Click OK. You should now see your new file at the bottom of the Mail section of the Navigation Pane.
      Outlook Navigation Pane
  2. Select the message(s) you wish to save.
  3. Right-click the selected message(s), select Move, then select Other Folder. The Move Items dialog box will open.
  4. Select the local location where you want to store the messages (if you created a PST file in step 1, select that file here), then click OK.
  5. Repeat as necessary.

 

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