NWR – How long do you keep work emails for?

posted 3 years ago in Career
Post # 3
1080 posts
Bumble bee

We never get rid of ours, but we do archive them. They go back to 2008 when the company opened.

I make sure everyone deletes their spam, and then deletes their deleted items (you’d be amazed how many people don’t) but so many people do get rid of emails and realise 4 years later that they need them (this literally just happened in my office this week).

Post # 4
11626 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I never delete them… and they are auto-archived as well!

Post # 5
9412 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

@Pink Asawa:  My company automatically archives emails – I’d imagine most companies do. Even if you “delete” it, it is never really gone. If you personally don’t need them anymore, I wouldn’t worry about keeping them.

Post # 6
7997 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

I delete ones that aren’t relevant to anything, but for any big business decisions or for wording I like (i.e. so I can use it again), I keep it – usually filing it. I have emails back from 2008.


Often though I let all my emails clutter up. Every now and then I go through and get rid of ones I know I’ll never need.


We’re encouraged to get rid of some emails as part of good records management practices, but I don’t think many people do. Lots of cover your ass type stuff goes on, which I am fine with personally.


Post # 7
7654 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2012

Ours get archived, but I keep important ones in my inbox for at least 3 months.

Post # 8
2851 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Forever; I started here on 2009 and still have emails from then. I am super organized and have a folder for just about every vendor/co worker/ everything.

Post # 9
11300 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

I delete most of mine pretty frequently. I think the oldest ones I have are ~3 months old. Relevant emails I keep in folders. We actually get emails from IT about deleting emails because most of the people I work with don’t know how to use computers and keep emails for 5+ years (or longer!) and it bogs down the server.

Post # 10
11668 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@Pink Asawa:  I never delete any emails. I’ve had to dig up 4+ year old emails before to cover my ass!


Post # 12
10748 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2014

I keep them all. I have the folder space, so why not? I’ve gone back a few times to find old emails. 

Post # 13
2385 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I never deleted unless they are not directed to me, ie cc’d, or are something simple like our receptionist telling us what the cake of the month is. We have auto-archive so I don’t even bother with it. Also, my boss is extremely needy so I would be in a world of hurt if I couldn’t find “that e-mail I sent to you 3-4 years ago about that thing in the case”…. Literally, this is what he gives me sometimes!

Post # 14
7225 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Keep the majority especially as it pertains to special projects that I’m working on. Like a PP said, unless its some CC that isn’t essential or one off inquries. Besides, that’s what archieving is for. 




Post # 15
903 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

I’m only allowed to keep 100 MB worth of email in my inbox (i.e., on the server), and it’s amazing how fast that gets used up.  I’m constantly “filing” emails into my large personal folder that’s stored on my computer.  The whole email account gets backed up to an external hard drive weekly.  Emails in my sent and trash folders count toward the 100 MB, so I also go through those as needed and either file them or delete them permanently.  I very, very rarely find myself needing an email that doesn’t exist anymore.  I have so much space on my computer and my large personal folder is so well-organized that I can file things even if I’m 99% sure I’ll never need them again.  I’ve got things going back to the end of 2009, which is just before I moved to this new position within the same company I’ve been working for since mid-2008.


ETA – I should mention that I work for a state agency, so it’s important to keep things in case they come up in an open records request.  You never know!


Post # 16
9859 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

I don’t delete anything.  Mine autoarchive to the computer, I have everything.

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