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Helpful Hits: PST file Reduction
Did you know that the maximum file size for an Outlook data file is 2 gigabyte? Many people use their Outlook software as a means of maintaining history of communications between family, friends and clients, but without maintenance of that data file the PST file increases in size to a point that Outlook cannot manage that file effectively.
The first sign that your file is becoming too large to handle is that Outlook begins to open very slowly. You may also notice that the program is very slow to open emails or respond to controls within Outlook. Your software may stop responding all together and freeze up on you. When reopening the software, you will receive a message such as “Outlook, did not shut down properly and the file needs to be checked for errors”.
There are some simple steps that can be taken to effectively manage your PST file.
1. Manage the size of your Mailbox
You can use the Mailbox Cleanup tool, which allows you to view the size of your mailbox and individual folders. You can also archive older items to an archive Personal Folders file (.pst) and empty your Deleted Items folder.
a. On the Tools menu, click Mailbox Cleanup.
b. Do any or all of the following:
i. To view the total size of your mailbox and of individual folders within it, click View Mailbox Size.
ii. To locate older items, select Find item older than n days, enter a number between 1 and 999, and then click Find.
iii. To move older items in your mailbox to an archive Personal Folder file, click Auto Archive. (Note: This will create a secondary PST file in the same file location as the default PST file that can be opened and viewed within Outlook)
iv. To view the size of your Deleted Items folder, click View Deleted Items Size.
v. To empty your Deleted Items folder, click Empty
vi. After completion of any of these steps, please complete step Two.
2. Reduce the size of a Personal Folder
If you delete items from a Personal Folders file (.pst), the file is automatically compacted in the background when you’re not using your computer and Outlook is running. If you want to immediately reduce the size of the file, you can force a compaction. The procedure to compact the data file might take several minutes.
a. On the file menu, click Data File Management
b. Click the data file you want to compact, and then click Settings.
c. Click Compact Now.
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