My ISP just informed me that my inbox was full. After much chat with the ISP,
I learned that the ISP was referring to its inbox not my Windows Live mail
inbox. So, my ISP deleted about 5000 old emails, which cleared my ISP’s inbox. I
was now back in operation. My question is how long does an ISP keep emails on
In this excerpt from
Answercast #54, I look at the type of email accounts provided by Internet
Service Providers and why they fill up.
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ISP based email
Well, that’s actually a question for your ISP because they set the rules.
Different ISPs keep a different amount of email, have different quotas and keep
your email for different lengths of time. So that’s really a question that only
your ISP can answer.
I really want to address this question though, primarily because I’m not
sure that really there’s an issue for you at this point.
Automatically assigned main account
Most people don’t realize that when they sign up with their ISP, they
usually get an email account with that ISP. There will usually be an email
address “@” the domain name of that specific ISP.
You don’t have to use it. Right? It sounds like you didn’t even know this
existed – because you’re using your Windows Live Mail account and that’s
As long as you’re not using your ISP’s mail account, it doesn’t matter if
the inbox fills up and it doesn’t matter how long the ISPs keep things. If you
don’t use it; if you don’t try and sign into it; if you don’t try and download
it; if you don’t send using that email account, there’s really no point in
doing anything to maintain it.
Full of email
“Why does it fill up?” you might be asking.
Well, in a word: spam. Any email address that kind-of sort-of shows up…
eventually is going to get spam. Especially email addresses, that are
automatically created by ISPs.
So, in this particular case, unless you’re actively using that email account
for something, then I would just ignore it completely. I’d let it fill up. I’d
let the ISP start bouncing mail that gets sent to it because your mailbox is
I mean, I just wouldn’t worry about it at all. Again, assuming you are not
using that account.
Maintain the accounts you use
If you are using that account… Well then, yea, you need to maintain
it. You need to download your mail, you need to delete your mail, you need to
manage the mail that you’re using on that account.
But that’s really all it boils down to. This account (that you probably
didn’t realize you even had) has email arriving in it and is slowly filling up.
But if you’re not using it, who cares!
Next from Answercast 54 – Why
does my audio echo and reverb when I play video clips?