How To Save Email Messages

Dear Computer Lady,

My service provider is Optimum (Cablevision). It indicates on-screen that I’m reaching the limit at 90% in my email account.

Question: Is there a way I can copy important emails to a USB/flash drive? I go directly to to access messages.

Again, I’m very grateful for all of your suggestions & advice. You’ve saved me a huge amount of money from contacting computer technicians to fix problems & answer questions. Please keep up the good work!


Dear Ellen,

I am not sure if your service provider has the ability to download and save messages from the web interface, but even if they do, if you are reaching your storage limit, you probably have a LOT of messages that need to be saved.

Here is what I would do.

Download your email to a local mail program. If you have Microsoft Office which includes Outlook, you can use that, or if not something like Mozilla Thunderbird would work just as well.

When you setup the email program, use IMAP instead of POP. This way the messages stay on the server and sync with your email program. If IMAP is not an option, you can use POP but you will have to go into the settings and set it to leave a copy of the messages on the server BEFORE you download your messages.

In your email program, you will see a group of folders under “Local Folders”. Any messages you move into the folders under “Local Folders” will be stored on your computer, and can then be deleted off the server. You can drag with your mouse and move entire folders full of messages to the Local Folders.

Another thing you can do once your messages are in a local program is to drag them from the program to a USB flash drive. Each message will be on the drive, and you can open it on any computer that has the same email program you are using now.

I hope this helps with your email.



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Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
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