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I've received an email from 'Microsoft Outlook' telling me that my "mailbox is almost full". Is this genuine?

First, check that the message...

  • does not contain any clickable links
  • does not contain any attachments
  • does not ask you to reply or disclose any information

If all the above are true, this is almost certainly a genuine message sent from the University's Exchange mail system, and applies only to staff and research students.  See the images below showing examples of such messages.

When your mailbox is approaching capacity, Exchange will send you a warning email (labelled as being from Microsoft Outlook) showing you how much space you are using and how much is left.  However, it is for information only and does not ask you to reply or to disclose any information in any way, so can be considered safe.

Any other email about your email quota is almost certainly a fake and must be ignored - see our important article about phishing emails.

Please see FAQ 2350 for more information about the Exchange mailbox quota mechanism and what you need to do if you have received such an email.

If you do nothing, you will soon find that you are no longer able to send email, and later still you will not be able to receive any email either.

As seen in Outlook, the message will look something like this:

Quota warning threshold message

The plain text version, as may be seen if you view emails as plain text, will look something like this:

Quota warning threshold message (plain text)

For details about emails which should not be trusted, please read FAQ 1446.

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This is question number 2480, which appears in following categories:

Created by Andy Clews on 22 March 2012 and last updated by Andy Clews on 18 September 2013