iStock 000049272478 Trash crop - Don't let Your Trash Folder Become a Dumping Ground

Don't let Your Trash Folder Become a Dumping Ground

Take a look at your email. How many messages are sitting in your trash folder right now?

One-hundred? One-thousand? Still scrolling?

If the trash folder for your desktop e-mail client runneth over (and don’t worry, you’re in great company if it is) PCC’s Technical Support Team recommends getting in the habit of emptying it on a monthly or even quarterly basis.

Maintaining a trash folder that is too large, says our Technical Support Team’s Jan Blanchard, can slow down or even stop your email experience. Also, the larger the folder, the longer it takes to perform any back ups to your office’s system each night.

How large is too large?

Trash folders can hold gigabytes worth of messages – the technical equivalent of filling your entire office with garbage. That’s a lot. Also, not all emails take up the same amount of space. For instance, your folder could be gunked up with 30,000 one-line messages or two emails with photo attachments of your trip to Costa Rica.

Folder size wasn’t really an issue until the advent of SquirrelMail, Outlook and other web-based email systems, which include plug-ins for displaying graphics, photo attachments and videos. Email systems allowing for the use of heavy graphics or videos let messages take up more space than the former text-based email systems they’ve replaced.

Okay, so you’ve checked and realize your trash folder is bursting at the seams, either with stuff you never wanted in the first place (trash), stuff you accidentally deleted and planned to go dumpster-diving for later but never did (more trash), or stuff marked “Last Year’s Trip to Disneyland” or “Stupid Pet Tricks.” If it’s the first two, press delete and whittle down the beast. If it’s the latter, just create new folders and free up some needed space.

Upcoming Blog: Part II: To shred or not to shred – Is your practice going from primitive from paperless, or do you have old documents you’re not sure how to get rid of? Shredding is an important part of life in the office. Learn what should go the way of the shredder and what is merely trash-worthy, based on Protected Health Information (PHI) rules under HIPAA.