Email Hosting: How to resolve mail over quota messages

Email Hosting: How to resolve mail over quota messages

Email Hosting - Mail Over Quota Resolution

Stop me if this situation sounds familiar:

You have an email address that has been faithfully delivering email to you on a regular basis. Whether you use webmail, a desktop email client or another mobile device, it has worked forever and it stops all of a sudden.

Now most people would typically call their email service provider and wonder what’s going on. Barring things such as the domain, web hosting or email services expiring, you’ll most likely hear something along the lines of:

“I see that the email account is over quota”

So, what does that mean? The best way to describe is by using an analogy of a bucket and water.

The bucket (or your email address) has been filled to the brim with water, on in this case, email messages. Because of this, email messages can’t get through to your inbox. Instead, it’ll bounce back to the sender. This would be the equivalent of water spilling on the ground in our bucket/water scenario because, of all intents and purposes, the bucket is full.

How do you resolve this quickly?

There are many ways to answer this question and it all depends on how your email account has been set up.


For POP3 users – a really popular way of delivering mail – your emails are stored on a local device. This means that your email client pulls in your messages on your local device and deletes the original copy on the server.

However, if you use the’s webmail (, all you need to do is log into your account and delete old and/or large email messages in your inbox. Once the messages have all been deleted, your quota should reset and your inbox can start retrieving mail again.

The same applies for users that set up a email on a separate email client, like Outlook or the Gmail app. All you need to do is delete old messages on your device to start receiving emails again.


For those using IMAP – a set up that’s becoming increasingly common – it’ll be more complicated than POP3 users. IMAP stores your messages on a “cloud server” and allows you to access it from anywhere. All the messages in your inbox will remain there until you delete them off the server.

If you use IMAP to access your messages from multiple devices, the simplest way would be to delete messages in your inbox. However, you can also opt to keep old messages on your local device by creating offline or personal folders within your mail client – i.e. Outlook, Thunderbird or MacMail.

These folders will only exist within your machine and while you can access your inbox from anywhere, messages stored within these folders will not be accessible on all of your devices.

The process of setting up offline folders is different for each client and to simplify things, I have gathered a few third-party videos off of YouTube:

For MacMail users: make sure that you create the folder in the location marked (On My Mac)

Once you’ve created your offline folders, all you need to do is drag and drop the email messages from your inbox to the offline folders. These will automatically remove these off the server and free up space so you can start receiving messages again.

With IMAP, you may also see some emails that have a line drawn through it. This is typical of messages that you have already deleted. In order for it to be completely cleared, the mail program just needs to tell the server to purge these messages. You can do this by:

  • Outlook: Click Edit > Purge > Purge Marked Items in All Accounts
  • MacMail: Mailbox > Erase Deleted Items

This will delete those messages permanently and free up room in your inbox.


Ultimately, the steps are fairly similar, regardless of how you’ve set up your email account. The main difference is that IMAP allows you to keep the messages that you want and de-cluttering your inbox. We know that your email is an important tool that you use and with the tips that I outlined, you can continue with your day building your business online.

If you have any questions, the Support team is always here to help and you can contact us at 1-866-221-7878 or email

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