Full email Inbox issue explained

So you keep on getting warning that your inbox is full, but you’ve tried to clear all your old messages

Once you understand how email works you can be free of this problem forever.

First you need to find out which type of email system your are using: POP or IMAP

Secondly you need to understand that you have inboxs – One on the server, One on your computer

Here is the difference:

POP Email

As an email arrives there are several steps

  1. Firstly a copy of the email is “pop”-ed over from the service inbox to your inbox in your email software (Outlook, thunderbird, Mac Mail, etc)
  2. Secondly the original email in the server inbox is disposed of.

Step 2, where the original email is disposed of can be set to happen several days after the first step.

The most common reason people get a Full inbox error with POP is that the number of days the original email is stored on the server is set too long. Here is a guide to changing the amount of time emails are stored

If you would like to see how to setup Outlook with POP email just take a look at our guide here

As an email arrives there are several steps

  1. Your email software checks all emails on your computer and the server and mirrors any changes that have occurred since last check

Emails are only deleted from the server when syncronisation detects that you deleted an email on your software, or if the emails are shifted to local folders on your computer only.

The most common reason people get a Full inbox error with IMAP is that you leave too many emails on the server. Some customers create lots of folders for storing different emails, but they create these on the synchronized inbox, rather than on local folders.

It’s common to have the following folders:

  • Inbox
  • Sent item
  • Trash or Deleted Items or Bin
  • Spam
  • Drafts

If you have more than these, or if these have become over full, it’s time to shift them to a local folder which only exists on your computer

IMAP Email






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