The Case: The Mailbox is Full and Can't Send or Receive.


Saying the mailbox is full when it's not. Can't send or receive.

I cannot send or receive emails because it says my mailbox is full. So I have so far deleted thousands of emails. But it's still saying my email is completely full and won't let me send and receive. Help!

- Question from

Generally speaking, using emails to communicate with others smoothly is essential for most of us. Thus, if something happens to your email, it's quite inconvenient in our daily life. What happens if your email mailbox is full? Where does your mail go if your mailbox is full? What to do after the mailbox is full. Today, effective ways have been introduced in this article for Outlook and Gmail. Let's find out.

What Happens If Your Email Mailbox is Full?

What happens if your email mailbox is full? It means that the recipient's mailbox is full and can't accept messages now. That is to say, you can't send or receive your emails if your mailbox is full. The only thing you can do is delete emails from your account or upgrade your account to an advanced plan to get more email storage space for new messages.

Where does your mail go if your mailbox is full? The received emails are still located in your mailbox while the email sent by others to you at this moment when your mailbox is full, it will be saved on the email's server, and it will start to send to you when there is enough email storage.

Part 1. Outlook Mailbox is Full | Fix in 3 Ways

As a matter of fact, only 15GB of free email storage can be applied to your account, which is different from your Microsoft cloud storage. The 15GB includes your Emails, attachments, and messages in all folders. You can go to Outlook Settings to check out your used Outlook email storage.

What happens to emails when Outlook is full? If the "Quota Exceeded, your account is above quota limits" message shows up, it means that your Outlook email storage is full, and you can't send or receive any emails anymore unless you deleted emails or upgraded your account. This error message can be caused by the Outlook PST file reaching its maximum storage, or logical or application glitches.

How to fix this situation if the Outlook mailbox is full? Just find the below solutions to fix.

Way 1. Upgrade to Microsoft 365 30-day trial

It's advised to upgrade to Microsoft 365 30-day trial, then you have up to 6TB of cloud storage (1TB per person) among these apps, including Outlook. Please go to the Microsoft 365 30-day trial webpage to upgrade.

Try Microsoft 365 Trail
Try Microsoft 365 Trial

Then please backup your important email before deleting it in case of data loss. Then delete thousands of emails in all folders that you don't need to free up space, then empty your trash folder because it counts towards your cloud storage. Then don't forget to cancel the Microsoft 365 30-day trial after deleting.

Now, you can use your Outlook email normally to see and receive emails.

Way 2. Archive Outlook Outdated Emails

1. Please open the Outlook desktop app, then click File > Tools > Clean Up Old Items.

Clean Up Old Items
Clean Up Old Items in Outlook

2. Choose Archive this folder and all subfolders, then select the folder you want to archive, set up the date range for archive, choose a destination to save the archive emails, and hit OK.

Archive Old Items in Outlook
Archive Old Items in Outlook

Way 3. Automatically Empty the Deleted Old Folder when Quit

1. Click File in the Outlook desktop app.

2. And choose Options > Advanced > Outlook start and exit.

3. Tick Empty Deleted folders when existing Outlook, and hit OK.

Empty Deleted Folders When Existing Outlook
Empty Deleted Folders When Existing Outlook

Besides, you can manually empty the Deleted folder by right-clicking the Deleted Items, then choosing Empty Folder.

Part 2. Gmail Storage Full | Fix in 4 Ways

Gmail's free storage, is up to 15GB, which is shared with Google Drive and Google Photos. If you get “Your Gmail storage is almost full, You've used **% of the 15 GB of Google Account storage that is shared across Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos. When you've run out of space, some services will be interrupted and you won't be able to: send and receive emails in your Gmail account, ...”, or an error message like “Account storage is full, you might not be able to send or receive emails. To continue using Gmail, clean up space or get more storage.”, people who send messages to you may get a notification that the message cannot be sent. Thus, it's time to clean up Google Drive space.

First of all, you have to check your Google storage usage on the Google storage page, then follow the below steps to clean up Gmail.

Way 1. Delete Email from Spam and Trash Folder

If you have spam emails in Gmail, and deleted emails without emptying them, these emails still occupy your Google storage, so please delete emails from Spam and Trash folder:

1. Please go to your Gmail account, click More on the left, then choose Spam.

2. Tick All the spam emails, click Delete forever, or Delete all spam messages now to free up space for Gmail.

Delete Gmail Spam Emails
Delete Gmail Spam Emails

3. Click Trash > Empty Trash now. Or select all the deleted emails, and click Delete forever.

Empty Gmail Trash
Empty Gmail Trash

Besides, you can delete other emails you don't need in Gmail to free up space.

Way 2. Delete Images and Videos in Google Photos

Gmail storage is shared with Google Drive, and Google Photos, so it's necessary for you to free up space for Google Photos.

1. Please log in to your Google Photos account.

2. Select the photo and video that you'd like to remove, and click the Delete icon on the top right.

3. Click Got it if you confirm these operations, then hit Move to trash.

Way 3. Delete Files in Google Drive

1. Log in to your Google Drive.

2. Find the file size that uses your Google Drive storage most, delete it by right-clicking it, and choose Remove if you don't want to keep it.

Delete Files in Google Drive
Delete Files in Google Drive

If you want more details about deleting files from Google Drive, just click the link.

Way 4. Upgrade Your Google Account

1. Please log in to your Gmail account, then tap the Settings icon > See all settings > Accounts and Import.

2. Click Purchase additional storage behind the Add additional storage section.

Purchase Additional Storage
Purchase Additional Storage

The above ways can increase your Google Drive storage space so that you can use Gmail again to communicate with others.

Tip: Migrate Emails to Other Clouds to Free Up Space

What happens if your email mailbox is full? You cannot send or generate emails. So here comes the powerful web-based multi-cloud manager - MultCloud, which allows you to migrate Gmail to other clouds directly with all attachments and labels, then you can delete all emails from Gmail, now, try to send emails again. And it will soon support Office 365 Mail and

Take migrating Gmail emails to OneDrive as an example with MultCloud:

1. Please create a new MultCloud account and log in. Or use Google, Apple ID, Facebook account to log in.

2. Tap Add Email > Gmail to add, then click Add Cloud to add your OneDrive account.

Add Gmail
Add Gmail

3. Select Email Migration, choose Gmail as the source, and OneDrive as the destination.

Migrate Gmail to OneDrive
Migrate Gmail to OneDrive
  • The Options can save attachments, use Conversation Format to hide or unhide the quoting information in email while migrating, and set it up according to your needs.
  • Email Filter has the ability to include or exclude the emails you'd prefer based on the FROM, TO, Date, and other filters.
  • The Schedule allows you to backup emails from Gmail to OneDrive daily, weekly, or monthly to generate new changes.
  • Enjoy unlimited email-to-PDF conversions after subscribing to the advanced MultCloud plan, or you can only enjoy 50 email-to-PDF conversions for free. After subscribing, you can also enjoy all premium features, like Schedule, high-speed migration, more data traffic, and many others.

4. Click Migrate Now to backup Gmail to OneDrive in PDF file format.

  • Smart: Easily share cloud files via public, private, or source mode.
  • Efficient: One-key data transfer, sync, and backup between clouds.
  • Safe: Full-time 256-bit AES and OAuth authorization protections.
  • Easy: Access and manage all clouds in one place with one login.
  • Extensive: 30+ clouds and on-premise services are supported.

The End

What happens if your email mailbox is full? In this post, you will find answers. If you would like to fix your mailbox is full, try the above solutions separately introduced for Gmail and To make your emails safe if that matters to you, it's highly recommended to backup your emails to other clouds directly with MultCloud.

Moreover, you might be interested in what happens if I delete the All Mail folder in Gmail, why my Gmail storage is still full after deleting everything, and so on, you can find fixes with MultCloud. So, why not give it a try?

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