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E-mails to be deleted after six months

by Mary Helen Yarborough
Public Relations
To help users manage their personal mailboxes’ size and, consequently, save server space, the Office of the CIO—Information Service's (IS) Exchange admini-stration group is re-establishing the 180-day quota on all system accounts.
The re-activation of the 180-day rule was first announced on June 6 and reiterated June 12 in e-mail messages initiated by Christine Williamson, infrastructure applications manager for IS. In addition, letters were sent to Exchange users for whom on-campus post office information was available.
“It’s ironic,” said Williamson, “that the `e-mail administrator’ had to send hard copy notices, but we were concerned with all of the recent fake `administrator’ messages, and the community wouldn’t understand that this announcement was legitimate.”
The two affected folders are Inbox and Sent Items. Mail stored in any other folder outside of these are not subject to the 180-day rule; examples include those created during the GroupWise and IMAP migrations (Cabinet and IMAP Mail, respectively). After 180 days, mail in the Inbox and Sent Items folders and their subfolders will be moved to the Deleted Items folder, where, after two weeks, they will be effectively removed from the system.
The time quota is a long-standing practice, first established with GroupWise and carried over into the original Exchange system, Exchange 2003. With that system, Inbox and Sent Item subfolders were exempt from the 180-day process and many users set up subfolders to help retain mail. While piloting the upgrade to Exchange 2007, however, IS learned that these subfolders could no longer be excluded from the time quota process. The process was therefore suspended during the back-end upgrade. After creating a system folder for e-mail management and updating some online documentation, the time quota will now be renewed.
How it works
Three times a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday), items within the Inbox and Sent Items folders older than six months will move to the Deleted Items folder where they will remain for a period of 14 days. During this two-week timeframe, the user can move the messages from the Deleted Items folder to another folder that is exempt from the policy. These exempt folders include “Managed Folders, Older Mail,” a system folder created specifically for long-term mail retention. (Information on how to establish and use these exempt folders can be found at; select Older Mail Folder for more information.)
If the items have not been moved from the deleted folder by the 14th day, the deleted items will be moved to another folder, where they will remain for an additional 14 days. The so-called second chance pre-purge folder (known as the “dumpster”) is also directly accessible  but with qualifications. Instructions on how to recover files that have moved out of Deleted Items to this location can be found at; select “Retrieve Deleted Mail” for more information.
For long-term storage, Williamson said users should first consider if the individual message needs to be saved.
“Often, users set up rules that will save everything, even if it’s a broadcast message weeks old or a lunch invitation long past. Clearing out as you go along helps everyone,” she said. Then, if a user wants to retain messages, it is essential they reference IS’ online documentation.
“Out of the box, Outlook, for example, will offer to save for you. However, the default settings will put your mail in a folder on your hard drive, which isn’t backed up at all,” Williamson said.
To find these instructions, go to Outlook users should select .pst file;  Macintosh-specific directions can be obtained by clicking on the Entourage link in the upper left side of this page.
For more information on how to retrieve deleted e-mails or establish archives, or to express concerns, contact the Support Desk at 792-9700.

Friday, July 4, 2008
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