Mail - where does it stay on server after downloading and sending


Sigurd

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I was recently contacted by my ISP to say that I was using too much server space for old emails. This was perfectly reasonable and I am not complaining, My ISP is small and very helpful. However it has highlighted a certain lack of understanding in respect of emails and what happens after they have been launched into the internet for delivery. Basically what exactly happens once that is done. Obviously they are delivered to a holding point on a server, presumably one managed by my ISP, until I use a mail app to access them and download them, and upload outgoing emails to it.
Now my app, Outlook 365 on my desktop computer, shows my folder structure and copies of all received and sent emails. Periodically I export all files to a backup PST file and clear out the older files on the app itself. I thought that deleting files on my app would have done the same on the server if they were there as well. Basically I had never really thought about where files were.
Now that my overuse of server space has been pointed out I have discovered, I think, that deleting files on Outlook doesn't delete them from the server.
So I used WebMail to access my account and was somewhat horrified at the number of old emails I found there. Hence my current confusion.
Where are emails kept - on the app, the server, a mix of these, or what. And if I want to comply with my ISP's request, what app do I use to do so - Outlook or WebMail?
 

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To my knowledge the way the mails stored on your ISP's server are treated depend on how your settings of your mailclient are.
If you use the old POP3 method, all mails are downloaded to the client and the mails on the server are deleted automatically, if you did the right setting for that in your mailclient. In my EM-Client I can set "Leave mails on the server - Y/N" and in my system that's set to "do not leave mails on the server".

If you are using IMAP, which is the more modern method (can be used from different systems), all mails will stay on the server until you delete them (manually) deliberately.
Via Webmail all mails will always stay on the server until deleted manually.

So it all depends on your settings in your Outlook App. And that App I don't use, so can't tell you if POP3 even is possible there.
Normally, with IMAP, it should be so that deleting the mail in your mailclient = deleting from the server.
If you use POP3 but maintaining the downloading mails on the server, deleting your mails in the Outlook environment will not result in deleting them from the server (unless there is some facility in the settings of the program to do so).

So first, you'll have to look what method you are using and if you are using POP3, what the settings are for "leaving downloaded mails on the server".
 

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This all depends on how your email is set up plus the email client settings. If your email is setup using IMAP then the actions on your email client should replicate on the ISP mail server. i.e. if you delete an email in the email client it should be deleted on the email server. But there are settings for this. If using POP email, again, there are settings to tell the ISP mail server to delete the emails once you download the messages via your email client.
There are quite a few settings, depending on your email provider, that allow for fine tuning how email is handled. Another place to check is "Sent" email. Typically they are saved as well.

Most providers limit the amount of email space being utilized in drive usage(MBs/GBs, etc). Plain text emails do not take up a lot of space however attachments can.
 

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Thank you both for the explanation. That is clearly what is happening and explains the difference I see between WebMail access and Outlook access.
I used to use POP3 which is why I was surprised at what was on the server - if I recall correctly I had it set to delete after 30 days or something. More recently I use IMAP.
 

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POP3 stays on your PC in a .pst file. (Generally in your Documents\Outlook Files folder )
IMAP is stored on the ISP’s server until you delete them from your Email Client
 

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When using IMAP, you can create a PST profile independent to the IMAP to which you can drag and drop emails into from your IMAP account.
Then when they are deleted from the IMAP email account, they will be kept saved in the PST profile you dragged them into which is separate from your IMAP.
 

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Thanks Antspants - it would be very helpful to set that up. How do I do that - not sure where I can even start looking for that.
 

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Thanks Antspants - it would be very helpful to set that up. How do I do that - not sure where I can even start looking for that.
I am assuming you are using Outlook? If not, I am affraid I am not qualified on anything but Outlook in the Office Suites (Classic Outlook)

It you are:
There are a few ways. The best way is probably to add an established pst file.
But the way I do it is by adding a secondary email account (some ISP’s allow you to create two email accounts)
Set/add the secondary email account through control panel (not outlook) and then once the new profile/PST is created in Outlook, just delete the seconday email account. You don’t need to have an email account associated to a PST to have a PST. Just to create the PST.

If you have access to a secondary email address to setup a new profile, you may find this link useful (adapted to your own settings of course) To setup a POP3, it is always easier in my opinion to do so in Control Panel.

It would take time for me to sit down and mark out which steps you would need to skip in the following link but I am currently suffering to a really bad (disgusting bug) so I am in bed with my iPad
I would be careful following this until I have removed certain steps, as you may remove a profile or something that is needed.

If you have a PST available:
@Try3 has a method/s for adding or creating a PST/Profile I believe. Here is a post by Denis.

 
Last edited:

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    4 x LG 23MP75 1 x 24" LG M38H 1 x 32" LF6300 TV Monitor 1 x Wacom Pro 22" Tablet
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    All over the place
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    2 x WD something Something 8TB HDD's / 2 x WD something Something 4TB HDD's / 1 x EVO 1TB SSD / 2 x QVO 1TB SSD's / 1 x EVO 250 GB SSD / 2 x QVO 1TB (External Hub) / 1 x EVO 1TB (Portable Backup Case)
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    Memory
    16GB LPDDR5 RAM
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    Graphics processor is an Intel Iris Xe
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    optimized with Dolby Atmos®
    Screen Resolution
    QHD 2880 x 1800 OLED
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    M.2 512GB
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    …still on a horse.
I am sure I will be feeling better tomorrow, @Sigurd
I will look for ways to help you better if others cannot.
 

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    4 x LG 23MP75 1 x 24" LG M38H 1 x 32" LF6300 TV Monitor 1 x Wacom Pro 22" Tablet
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    All over the place
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    2 x WD something Something 8TB HDD's / 2 x WD something Something 4TB HDD's / 1 x EVO 1TB SSD / 2 x QVO 1TB SSD's / 1 x EVO 250 GB SSD / 2 x QVO 1TB (External Hub) / 1 x EVO 1TB (Portable Backup Case)
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    Corsair K95 / Logitech diNovo Edge Wireless
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    LENOVO Yoga 7i EVO OLED 14" Touchscreen i5 12 Core 16GB/512GB
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    Intel Core 12th Gen i5-1240P Processor (1.7 - 4.4GHz)
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    16GB LPDDR5 RAM
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    Graphics processor is an Intel Iris Xe
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    optimized with Dolby Atmos®
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    QHD 2880 x 1800 OLED
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    M.2 512GB
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    …still on a horse.
In fact, if you are able to obtain a secondary temp email account, the steps in the following link are more appropriate


Scroll down to
ADD NEW EMAIL ACCOUNT: (Working via Control Panel)

I wish I could adapt it to you right now.

Alternatively, I eventually fixed this gentleman's issues by calling him on the phone in the USA from Australia whilst connecting through Microsoft Quick Access. This is something that may be helpful to you.

Sorry if I have confused you, like I said, I am not at my best 🙏
 

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    32.0 GB of I forget and the box is in storage.
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    Gigabyte nVidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super OC 6GB
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    Onboard
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    4 x LG 23MP75 1 x 24" LG M38H 1 x 32" LF6300 TV Monitor 1 x Wacom Pro 22" Tablet
    Screen Resolution
    All over the place
    Hard Drives
    2 x WD something Something 8TB HDD's / 2 x WD something Something 4TB HDD's / 1 x EVO 1TB SSD / 2 x QVO 1TB SSD's / 1 x EVO 250 GB SSD / 2 x QVO 1TB (External Hub) / 1 x EVO 1TB (Portable Backup Case)
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    Silverstone 1500
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    NZXT Phantom 820 Full-Tower Case
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    Noctua NH-D15 Elite Class Dual Tower CPU Cooler / 6 x EziDIY 120mm / 2 x Corsair 140mm somethings / 1 x 140mm Thermaltake something / 2 x 200mm Corsair.
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    Corsair K95 / Logitech diNovo Edge Wireless
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    Logitech G402 / G502 / Mx Masters / MX Air Cordless
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    100/40Mbps
    Browser
    All sorts
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    Kaspersky Premium
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    I’m on a horse.
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro 22621.2215
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    LENOVO Yoga 7i EVO OLED 14" Touchscreen i5 12 Core 16GB/512GB
    CPU
    Intel Core 12th Gen i5-1240P Processor (1.7 - 4.4GHz)
    Memory
    16GB LPDDR5 RAM
    Graphics card(s)
    Graphics processor is an Intel Iris Xe
    Sound Card
    optimized with Dolby Atmos®
    Screen Resolution
    QHD 2880 x 1800 OLED
    Hard Drives
    M.2 512GB
    Other Info
    …still on a horse.
PST/Profile
Please don't conflate those two things.
- A mail profile controls how the email client operates.
- a PST file is a container for calendar-contacts-mail-notes-tasks items.

I still use POP so am not familiar with IMAP. All I know about IMAP is what I read in discussions, online articles & help pages.
On my main computer, I set mail to be deleted from the server when I download it.
On my secondary computers, I leave mail on the server. It doesn't get removed until I download it on my main computer.


All the best,
Denis
 

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Ignore, I'll look after him. Like I did Dave, when I am better. Cheers 🙏
 

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    Windows 11 Pro 23H2 Build: 22631.3374
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    Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4770K CPU @ 3.50GHz (4th Gen?)
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus VI Formula
    Memory
    32.0 GB of I forget and the box is in storage.
    Graphics Card(s)
    Gigabyte nVidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super OC 6GB
    Sound Card
    Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    4 x LG 23MP75 1 x 24" LG M38H 1 x 32" LF6300 TV Monitor 1 x Wacom Pro 22" Tablet
    Screen Resolution
    All over the place
    Hard Drives
    2 x WD something Something 8TB HDD's / 2 x WD something Something 4TB HDD's / 1 x EVO 1TB SSD / 2 x QVO 1TB SSD's / 1 x EVO 250 GB SSD / 2 x QVO 1TB (External Hub) / 1 x EVO 1TB (Portable Backup Case)
    PSU
    Silverstone 1500
    Case
    NZXT Phantom 820 Full-Tower Case
    Cooling
    Noctua NH-D15 Elite Class Dual Tower CPU Cooler / 6 x EziDIY 120mm / 2 x Corsair 140mm somethings / 1 x 140mm Thermaltake something / 2 x 200mm Corsair.
    Keyboard
    Corsair K95 / Logitech diNovo Edge Wireless
    Mouse
    Logitech G402 / G502 / Mx Masters / MX Air Cordless
    Internet Speed
    100/40Mbps
    Browser
    All sorts
    Antivirus
    Kaspersky Premium
    Other Info
    I’m on a horse.
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro 22621.2215
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    LENOVO Yoga 7i EVO OLED 14" Touchscreen i5 12 Core 16GB/512GB
    CPU
    Intel Core 12th Gen i5-1240P Processor (1.7 - 4.4GHz)
    Memory
    16GB LPDDR5 RAM
    Graphics card(s)
    Graphics processor is an Intel Iris Xe
    Sound Card
    optimized with Dolby Atmos®
    Screen Resolution
    QHD 2880 x 1800 OLED
    Hard Drives
    M.2 512GB
    Other Info
    …still on a horse.
Just lie back and get better. No longer licensed to advise I'm afraid! Paracetamol and plenty of fluids.
No rush re Office issue. And as I am webmaster for the domain I can add additional email accounts,
 

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@Sigurd

One thing that hasn't been mentioned so far is that simply deleting messages doesn't suffice to remove them from your local client or your online provider. You have to periodically Empty the Trash. Gmail online tells me that anything in the trash for more than 30 days will be permanently deleted, but I've seen zillions of examples of that not being accurate. Remember to empty the trash.
 

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    1 x Samsung 970 EVO PLUS NVMe; 1 x Samsung 980 NVMe SSD
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    Lenovo Think Centre SFF
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    LogiTech M510 wireless
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    Cherry Stream TKL JK-8600US-2 Wired
    Internet Speed
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Thank you both for the explanation. That is clearly what is happening and explains the difference I see between WebMail access and Outlook access.
I used to use POP3 which is why I was surprised at what was on the server - if I recall correctly I had it set to delete after 30 days or something. More recently I use IMAP.
As far as i know the Delete from server when deleted locally function doesn't work in Outlook (Office) with pop3 so you have to delete manually via the web interface.
 

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Sigurd, are you using Outlook from Office 2021 or Office 365 at all?
- If so do you have an existing PST file from when you used POP3? Perhaps backed up or in your “Documents\Outlook Files” folder

Edit: I see you said you are using 365 (and I now recall another thread of yours)
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 23H2 Build: 22631.3374
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Sin-built
    CPU
    Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4770K CPU @ 3.50GHz (4th Gen?)
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus VI Formula
    Memory
    32.0 GB of I forget and the box is in storage.
    Graphics Card(s)
    Gigabyte nVidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super OC 6GB
    Sound Card
    Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    4 x LG 23MP75 1 x 24" LG M38H 1 x 32" LF6300 TV Monitor 1 x Wacom Pro 22" Tablet
    Screen Resolution
    All over the place
    Hard Drives
    2 x WD something Something 8TB HDD's / 2 x WD something Something 4TB HDD's / 1 x EVO 1TB SSD / 2 x QVO 1TB SSD's / 1 x EVO 250 GB SSD / 2 x QVO 1TB (External Hub) / 1 x EVO 1TB (Portable Backup Case)
    PSU
    Silverstone 1500
    Case
    NZXT Phantom 820 Full-Tower Case
    Cooling
    Noctua NH-D15 Elite Class Dual Tower CPU Cooler / 6 x EziDIY 120mm / 2 x Corsair 140mm somethings / 1 x 140mm Thermaltake something / 2 x 200mm Corsair.
    Keyboard
    Corsair K95 / Logitech diNovo Edge Wireless
    Mouse
    Logitech G402 / G502 / Mx Masters / MX Air Cordless
    Internet Speed
    100/40Mbps
    Browser
    All sorts
    Antivirus
    Kaspersky Premium
    Other Info
    I’m on a horse.
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro 22621.2215
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    LENOVO Yoga 7i EVO OLED 14" Touchscreen i5 12 Core 16GB/512GB
    CPU
    Intel Core 12th Gen i5-1240P Processor (1.7 - 4.4GHz)
    Memory
    16GB LPDDR5 RAM
    Graphics card(s)
    Graphics processor is an Intel Iris Xe
    Sound Card
    optimized with Dolby Atmos®
    Screen Resolution
    QHD 2880 x 1800 OLED
    Hard Drives
    M.2 512GB
    Other Info
    …still on a horse.
POP3 stays on your PC in a .pst file. (Generally in your Documents\Outlook Files folder )
Until your PC crashes and burns without a backup.
Those who deal with average end users as clients know backup is rare among them
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10
Until your PC crashes and burns without a backup.
Those who deal with average end users as clients know backup is rare among them
@Sigurd is using IMAP.
The objective here is to drag and drop mail from his IMAP account into a pst file, a pst file which will be used like a filing cabinet. I have been using PST since before 2000, I still have PST files backed up from before 2000 and have changed ISP many times (Bye Bye IMAP, OST files are horrible to work with IMO)

Reason being; Sigurd’s ISP want’s him to lighten his IMAP folders due to the space email is using. The best option I know and have used, is to drag email I want to keep into said PST filling cabinet. A dead PST file if you will? (No email address used with it)

If Sigurd doesn’t backup (I am sure he does) then we can teach him?
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 23H2 Build: 22631.3374
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Sin-built
    CPU
    Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4770K CPU @ 3.50GHz (4th Gen?)
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus VI Formula
    Memory
    32.0 GB of I forget and the box is in storage.
    Graphics Card(s)
    Gigabyte nVidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super OC 6GB
    Sound Card
    Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    4 x LG 23MP75 1 x 24" LG M38H 1 x 32" LF6300 TV Monitor 1 x Wacom Pro 22" Tablet
    Screen Resolution
    All over the place
    Hard Drives
    2 x WD something Something 8TB HDD's / 2 x WD something Something 4TB HDD's / 1 x EVO 1TB SSD / 2 x QVO 1TB SSD's / 1 x EVO 250 GB SSD / 2 x QVO 1TB (External Hub) / 1 x EVO 1TB (Portable Backup Case)
    PSU
    Silverstone 1500
    Case
    NZXT Phantom 820 Full-Tower Case
    Cooling
    Noctua NH-D15 Elite Class Dual Tower CPU Cooler / 6 x EziDIY 120mm / 2 x Corsair 140mm somethings / 1 x 140mm Thermaltake something / 2 x 200mm Corsair.
    Keyboard
    Corsair K95 / Logitech diNovo Edge Wireless
    Mouse
    Logitech G402 / G502 / Mx Masters / MX Air Cordless
    Internet Speed
    100/40Mbps
    Browser
    All sorts
    Antivirus
    Kaspersky Premium
    Other Info
    I’m on a horse.
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro 22621.2215
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    LENOVO Yoga 7i EVO OLED 14" Touchscreen i5 12 Core 16GB/512GB
    CPU
    Intel Core 12th Gen i5-1240P Processor (1.7 - 4.4GHz)
    Memory
    16GB LPDDR5 RAM
    Graphics card(s)
    Graphics processor is an Intel Iris Xe
    Sound Card
    optimized with Dolby Atmos®
    Screen Resolution
    QHD 2880 x 1800 OLED
    Hard Drives
    M.2 512GB
    Other Info
    …still on a horse.

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 23H2 Build: 22631.3374
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Sin-built
    CPU
    Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4770K CPU @ 3.50GHz (4th Gen?)
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus VI Formula
    Memory
    32.0 GB of I forget and the box is in storage.
    Graphics Card(s)
    Gigabyte nVidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super OC 6GB
    Sound Card
    Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    4 x LG 23MP75 1 x 24" LG M38H 1 x 32" LF6300 TV Monitor 1 x Wacom Pro 22" Tablet
    Screen Resolution
    All over the place
    Hard Drives
    2 x WD something Something 8TB HDD's / 2 x WD something Something 4TB HDD's / 1 x EVO 1TB SSD / 2 x QVO 1TB SSD's / 1 x EVO 250 GB SSD / 2 x QVO 1TB (External Hub) / 1 x EVO 1TB (Portable Backup Case)
    PSU
    Silverstone 1500
    Case
    NZXT Phantom 820 Full-Tower Case
    Cooling
    Noctua NH-D15 Elite Class Dual Tower CPU Cooler / 6 x EziDIY 120mm / 2 x Corsair 140mm somethings / 1 x 140mm Thermaltake something / 2 x 200mm Corsair.
    Keyboard
    Corsair K95 / Logitech diNovo Edge Wireless
    Mouse
    Logitech G402 / G502 / Mx Masters / MX Air Cordless
    Internet Speed
    100/40Mbps
    Browser
    All sorts
    Antivirus
    Kaspersky Premium
    Other Info
    I’m on a horse.
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro 22621.2215
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    LENOVO Yoga 7i EVO OLED 14" Touchscreen i5 12 Core 16GB/512GB
    CPU
    Intel Core 12th Gen i5-1240P Processor (1.7 - 4.4GHz)
    Memory
    16GB LPDDR5 RAM
    Graphics card(s)
    Graphics processor is an Intel Iris Xe
    Sound Card
    optimized with Dolby Atmos®
    Screen Resolution
    QHD 2880 x 1800 OLED
    Hard Drives
    M.2 512GB
    Other Info
    …still on a horse.
Sigurd’s ISP want’s him top lighten his IMAP folders due to the space they are taking up.
Deleting trash, junk/spam, sent items, and like one of my clients sending and receiving lots of photos. Backup aside saving those photos to the PC and not keeping the email for all time, would get the ISP off their back in 85% of cases.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10
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