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How do I deal with exceeded quota on Hermes?

Last updated: August 2014

Your mail folders on Hermes (including your INBOX and any folders where you store mail that you have received or sent) all occupy space on the Hermes mailstore. If you have saved other files there then these occupy space on the Hermes filestore. There is a limit (quota) to the total space you are allowed to use. For most users this is 2 Gb on the mailstore and 100Mb on the filestore.

Dealing with exceeded mailstore quota

Warning messages are sent when an account reaches 90% and 95% of mailstore quota.

You need to delete and expunge (permanently delete) mail messages. You can do this either using your usual mail client (you may need to make sure you empty your Trash or Rubbish Bin folder) or by using Hermes Webmail (https://webmail.hermes.cam.ac.uk/). If you are using Hermes Webmail then:

  • Hermes Webmail - delete the messages (and any folders) you no longer need and then empty the Trash folder
  • Old Hermes Webmail - delete and expunge the messages you no longer need, and delete any folders that you no longer need

It is good practice to do this routinely rather than only when you are close to using up your quota.

Note: Once you have exceeded your mailstore quota on Hermes any messages that are sent to your account will be queued for delivery for a period of time (currently up to 14 days or until your usage is sufficiently reduced by deleting and expunging as above). After this time the messages will be bounced back to the sender. However, if your account remains over quota for 14 days, any new incoming mail will be bounced back to the sender after a single delivery attempt. Note that when the usage has been sufficiently reduced it may take a few hours (maximum 8 hours) for stored messages to arrive in your inbox.

Dealing with exceeded filestore quota

For the vast majority of users this next section will not be needed. You are only likely to exceed your filestore quota if you regularly use Alpine or Pine on Hermes itself and have saved various attachments as files in your Hermes filespace. Attachments can often be quite large.

To delete unwanted attachments that you have saved:

  • Use an SSH client and go to hermes.cam.ac.uk. Login then, after the introductory screens, you will see the Hermes Message Store Main Menu.
  • Select option 3 (FILES) to see the Hermes Message Store File Management Menu.
  • If necessary select option 1 (LIST) to list your files and check the file names. Some files in your space are created automatically when your account is set up. Do not delete any file that you yourself have not created. If you have saved a mail attachment, you will have been asked at the time what name to give it.
  • Select option 4 (DELETE) and type the name of the file you want to delete. You will see a confirmation message that your file has been deleted.
  • Press RETURN to return to the Hermes Message Store File Management Menu and press Q twice to terminate the Hermes session.