View and manage Outlook mail storage on OneDrive on phones

New storage management features in the Outlook app for the iPhone and Android phone enable you to see how much space is used, see the biggest mail items and free up Outlook mail storage.

A free Microsoft account provides you with 5 GB of online storage and it is used for files on OneDrive, emails in Outlook, mail attachments, and more. More storage is available for a subscription and up to 6 TB is available – 1 TB per user.

You do not need to worry about cloud storage space if you are a subscriber with terabytes of storage, but free users really need to keep on top of their storage usage, and even subscribers with 100 GB plans can run out of space if they are not careful.

If you use Outlook email a lot and if you frequently send and receive emails with attachments, the amount of OneDrive storage used by Outlook email and its files can mount up and use a significant amount of space.

Email is unlikely to be the main user of your online storage, but photos, videos and documents stored on OneDrive can limit the amount of space for Outlook mail. The problem affects people on the free plan more than subscribers, but everyone needs to manage the storage used by Outlook.

Here is how to do it on a phone. I will be using the Outlook app on an iPhone for the screenshots, but Outlook for Android phones is almost the same.

Outlook app menu

Outlook mail app on an iPhone
Outlook mail app on an iPhone

Open the Outlook app on your iPhone or Android phone and press the icon or picture in the top left corner of the screen to open the menu.

Go to Settings

Outlook mail app for iPhone sidebar menu
Open settings in Outlook mail app

The menu appears on the left side of the screen and right down in the bottom left corner is a gear icon. Press it to open the Outlook settings.

Go to OneDrive storage

Outlook settings on an iPhone
Outlook app settings on an iPhone

This is one of the few places where Outlook for iOS and Android are different. On the iPhone, press the > arrow button next to OneDrive in the Storage Accounts section. On an Android phone, press your email address in the Email accounts section.

Check your storage plan

Check your storage plan in Outlook mail app
View your storage plan in Outlook

iOS and Android screens are different here, but they have similar options. Whichever phone you use, find and press your storage plan to continue. In my case, it says Free Plan. Everything I’m doing here works with both free and paid accounts.

Check OneDrive storage usage

OneDrive storage usage display in the Outlook Mail app on an iPhone
Used, total and free OneDrive storage in Outlook

iOS and Android versions are the same once again and both show the used space and total space in your OneDrive account, which is used for Outlook main storage. You are also shown the amount of space that Outlook attachments are using. In my case, this is tiny, but not everyone is like me and some people use a lot of storage for attachments.

Press the v down arrow to the right of Email storage to expand this hidden section.

View Outlook email storage use

See email storage usage in the Outlook app on a phone
Outlook storage usage.

The email storage section expands and you are shown the amount of space used by your Inbox, Junk, Deleted items and Others. Don’t go by my usage in the screenshot above, I keep my account clean. Your storage usage could be completely different.

If Outlook is using a lot of storage and you need more in order to continue using email, press the Free up space link.

View Outlook mail storage details

Manage Outlook mail storage on OneDrive
View Outlook mail storage

A list of folders in Outlook is displayed and the amount of storage each one is using is shown. A quick fix is to open the Junk Email or Deleted Items folders by pressing the > button to the right of them. They tend to fill up quickly again though.

If you send or receive a lot of emails with large attachments, you should open the Inbox or Sent Items folders to find them.

Free up space for Outlook mail

Select and delete the biggest emails in Outlook
Delete the biggest emails in Outlook

Whichever folder you open, the emails are sorted by size with the largest ones at the top. An Open button to the right enables emails to be viewed if you are not sure about them. Select emails in the list that are no longer needed and then press the Delete button at the bottom. It shows the amount of space that will be recovered.

I am a light user, so don’t go by my screenshots. I have already done this a number of times to clean up. If you have never cleaned up, your Outlook account could have a lot of big emails taking up a lot of storage space. Check it now and remove the biggest users if you are nearing your storage limit to free up space.

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