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Defense Department enacts new limits on troop, civilian emails

Trimmed budgets has the Defense Department's IT overlords telling service members to trim their email inboxes.

This month, the Pentagon has begun began enforcing inbox size limits in response to increasing storage needs, according to an Army press release. In addition to the expense of storing that much data, the increasing volumes have affected performance and efficiency of email software.

"Since February 2015, the number of Defense Enterprise Email mailboxes [with] more than four gigabytes had been increasing at a rate of approximately 4,000 accounts per month," said John Howell, Army product director for enterprise content collaboration and messaging.

Commands have the authority to manage their inbox accounts to grant flexibility while restraining costs, according to an Army press release. Limits depend on a number of factors including a user's rank and job, as well as a particular command's needs. The Army said it will regularly assess the situation to ensure limits match requirements.

If your mailbox gets too big for its britches, or you simply hope to get Outlook moving a little faster, DISA offers a number of tips for shedding those pesky excess bytes. DISA says, "Prior to creating any local storage files and moving oldest (rarely/never accessed) mail into those files, the user can perform some easy 'house cleaning' by doing the following tasks":

  • Remove attachments from your calendar (view as a list, then sort by size for maximum efficiency).
  • Empty the Sent Items, Junk E-Mail, and Deleted Items folders.
  • Sort your Inbox by size, and clean up the largest items.

"These activities in-and-of themselves may provide a significant change in folder size, especially if they contain large attachments," DISA reports."

Kyle Jahner covers soldier uniforms and equipment, Medical Command and Recruiting Command along with investigations and other breaking news for Army Times. He can be reached at

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