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Thread: Outlook .pst File too Large to Manage

  1. #1
    Junior Member justgowithit's Avatar
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    Outlook .pst File too Large to Manage

    One of my co-workers has grown his Outlook .pst file to 1.99 gigs (apparently he’s very popular). Outlook’s limit for .pst (prior to the 2003 release) is 2 gigs and I am unable to manipulate this file to shrink it using Outlook.

    Does anyone know of a way I can delete emails in order to shrink this .pst file? The file is too big for Outlook to access it – I will probably need to use some other program.

    All suggestions are welcome and appreciated.

    Thanks
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  2. #2
    Senior Member MarcieZoob's Avatar
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    Is an archive performed regularly? This should help reduce the .pst file.

  3. #3
    Junior Member dawilliams's Avatar
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    Outlook.pst file size

    Archiving does indeed help. It will remove items prior to the date you specify and place them in a separate file (that will also need to be backed up when you back up outlook.pst

    Manually deleting old emails, especially unnecessary files with large attachments, and subfolders will reduce the size as well.

    You can also change the maximum size allowed but it requires making a registry change. The support article can be found here:
    http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=832925
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  4. #4
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    Re: Outlook .pst File too Large to Manage

    Article on "Managing the Outlook PST File." Go here:

    http://www.zdnetindia.com/help/howto/stories/9269.html

  5. #5
    Senior Member ADAM Web Design's Avatar
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    Having run into this problem not once, not twice, but three times, I hate to tell you this, but...to put it bluntly...you're pretty well screwed.

    When Outlook PST files get over 2 GB, they will no longer open. Why? I don't know, but it's a Microsoft thing. (One of the reasons I don't like Outlook).

    Anyway...there are two ways you can go about this.

    1) A tool that they have developed called PST2GB that will help you shrink the file size. Make a backup before you do this first, however. The tool deletes the newest emails, not the oldest ones.

    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/d...displaylang=en

    You should be able to trim no more than 25 MB off the file and be fine.

    2) Make a backup of the existing PST file.

    Delete the oldest emails (as many as you can get away with deleting without the person who owns the email box standing behind you and getting pissy because you took out all of her important emails from 1999.)

    At this point, the file size will not change. Much like Access, Outlook replaces anything deleted with blank space characters, thus creating the same sized file with a lot of blank space in it.

    So...here's what you do.

    For the love of God, don't run the Inbox Repair Tool at this point. You'll just waste a good 20-25 minutes and the file will remain the exact same size.

    Instead, when you've deleted the old files, export the resulting PST file to another PST file. You should notice, depending on the number of emails you deleted (and you should be able to kill a bunch if it's 2 GB), a significant size reduction. When I did this, the new PST file was 330 MB, vs. 1.99 GB from before.

    If you get lucky, you may be able to combine both techniques to get all of the emails back. I was able to do so the third time, save for part of a day in which the person only had two emails sent to her anyway, so to recover 9,998 out of 10,000 when most people would have gotten nothing? Yeah, I think I did okay. ;)

    Anyway, I don't know if this is too late for you, but if it is, I at least hope it helps some others.

  6. #6
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    I have same/similar problem

    I worked for a rather large company and my job was farmed out to China. Before the layoff, the IT people copied my old email (personal.pst) to a CD for me. The file is 597MB but I can't open it.

    When I try in Outlook it says that I don't have permission. When I try in Word it says that the file is over 32MB.

    Is there either a word processing program that I can use or a way to change the permissions on the CD?

    Thanks

  7. #7
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    Re: Outlook .pst File too Large to Manage

    I don't know tool which do smaller pst files,but there is a tool which works with pst files and more than try it-remove pst password,possible it can do smaller pst files,program is free as is known,it for pst password removals sorts all possible characters, including multilingual ones and Unicode and composes a password for you,recovered with Microsoft pst password removal tool, will differ from those, that were set previously by account owner, but it will be accepted anywaymhelp a colleague to retrieve forgotten password with password removal for pst,used only once- just to recover your password and remove pst 2003 passwod.

  8. #8
    Senior Member texxs's Avatar
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    Re: Outlook .pst File too Large to Manage

    Nice post Adam, it is a tough issue.

  9. #9
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    Re: Outlook .pst File too Large to Manage

    We have a rather big problem with PST files at our company too, people are pack rats about their e-mails, they keep every junk on their mailbox. some of their archive files are as big as 5 GBs.

    you are right, ANSI format which was the default format for .PST files for office 97/2002 is limited to 2 GB of storage, while the new format UNICODE gives you room to up to 20 GB.

    is a pain in the ass to reduce the size of a .PST file because even though you might delete items from the archive, the actual file size does not shrink, and thats because of the nature of how the archive files are stored, but leave that aside for more techie discussions. what I would recommend to do is to convert the ANSI format to UNICODE to have more room available. to do that, create a new .PST file and then drag and drop all the items from the old PST file to the new one. make sure the new archive file is UNICODE though.

  10. #10
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    Re: Outlook .pst File too Large to Manage

    Quote Originally Posted by forevergeeks View Post
    We have a rather big problem with PST files at our company too, people are pack rats about their e-mails, they keep every junk on their mailbox. some of their archive files are as big as 5 GBs.

    you are right, ANSI format which was the default format for .PST files for office 97/2002 is limited to 2 GB of storage, while the new format UNICODE gives you room to up to 20 GB.

    is a pain in the ass to reduce the size of a .PST file because even though you might delete items from the archive, the actual file size does not shrink, and thats because of the nature of how the archive files are stored, but leave that aside for more techie discussions. what I would recommend to do is to convert the ANSI format to UNICODE to have more room available. to do that, create a new .PST file and then drag and drop all the items from the old PST file to the new one. make sure the new archive file is UNICODE though.

    Have you tried compacting the PST file's?

    Works in all versions of outlook, go to your navigation pane in outlook, right click on "Personal Folders", select "Properties for 'Personal Folders'" then click on "Advanced" and then click on "Compact now".

    This should remove all email and data that is maked as "deleted" from the PST file.

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