When so many of us rely so much on our email to operate our businesses or our personal lives, it is important to take preventative measures to avoid ultimate disaster of unrecoverable email.
I come to this subject as a matter of multiple events on my machine where one day I would open my mail to discover that all has been lost. The pit that wells in your stomach upon realization of this occurrence can be overwhelming. To recover in event of future losses, each of us should learn basics of maintaining and backing up our email.
One of important things to do in preventative maintenance, is to clean your folders and to empty your trash. Most people do not realize that when number of messages in a specific folder exceeds a certain threshold that they begin running on borrowed time.
What I do know is that I have repeatedly pushed my client to its limits to see where threshold might be. The Netscape 4.x Email Client will generally break at around 4,500 email messages in one folder, though it will become shaky at around 2,000 messages.
For users of other clients such as Outlook Express, Eudora and others, I cannot tell you top end of how well software will perform.
If there are more than 2,000 messages you wish to hang on to, you should begin filing your messages in separate folders below Inbox. This will help you to find your messages quicker and it will provide more stability to your email client.
There are three folders that you must pay regular attention to. They are Inbox, Sent Mail Folder and Trash Folder.
Most people fail to remember that their client is pre-configured to save a copy of all outgoing email. As a result, this folder can grow to unbelievable sizes before anyone thinks to clean it out.
It is important to mention Trash Folder in more detail since most people do not realize how it works.
Most email clients follow a general principle in their operation. Each email box is generally represented by two files. The first is a text rendering of all messages in box. The second is an indexing file that lists title of email and other identifying characteristics relative to each individual message.
When you look at contents of your email box, you are actually seeing contents of indexing file. When you pull up text of an actual message, software is finding message in message file according to software assigned Email ID as listed in indexing file.
Now, when you move a message from one folder to another, including into Trash Folder, only thing that actually moves is listing in indexing file! This is important to understand. A message moved to Trash Folder has not been deleted from origination folder. In fact, message is just where it originated until you do command Compress Folders or Empty Trash Folder.