Backing Up a Large PST File in Outlook – Practical Tips

While using theth Ms Outlook client, the risk of an Outlook crash is always present when you have lots of data in your Inbox. Given this risk, it is but normal for us to consider backing up the PST file. Now if you are looking to backup a PST file which is large in size, probably running into few Gigabytes, you need to follow certain best practices which we have listed below.


Use the Mailbox Cleanup tool to remove unwanted data

At the very outset you should try to reduce the size of the PST file that you are looking to backup. In most cases you would want to backup the Inbox first and it would be prudent for you to archive old emails. To do so, visit the Tools tab in Outlook and click on the Mailbox Cleanup option. In the subsequent screen you will find options to archive your old emails, say those over sixty days old. Once it is done, the size of the PST file is likely to be significantly reduced. Moving ahead, from the Mailbox Cleanup screen, you can also remove the emails stored in the Deleted items folder in one go. Also the screen includes options to delete redundant copies any emails present in your Inbox. Interestingly from the same screen you can Find emails with heavy attachments, say those over 5MB and shift them to a different folder and reduce the PST size.


Check the file system of the drive where you are backing up the data

At the outset you need to understand that storage aspects of a drive can be limited by the file system used on it. For example if you are looking to backup a large PST file of say 6GB onto a pen drive, which has been formatted with Fat32, you are likely to receive an error. As a matter of rule before transferring a large PST file to a removable media, ensure that it has been formatted in the NTFS format.


Consider Breaking up the large PST file before backing it up

An innovative way to properly backing up a large PST file would involve breaking it up before deciding to backup the file in a removable media disk for storage. Typically large PST files are prone to corruption and often a pst recovery tool like DataNumen Outlook Repair is suggested to deal with any such contingencies. This versatile application can also be used to break up the PST file into several parts which would be easy to backup. In fact with this tool you can not only break them into parts as per their dates but even store them on a remote disk too. Besides helping break a PST files into parts and recover data from a compromised file, the tool can also be used to find out PST files that do not appear in their destined places. The application also proves handy in digging out PST data from messed up virtual drives.


Author Introduction:

Alan Chen is President & Chairman of DataNumen, Inc., which is the world leader in data recovery technologies, including sql recovery and outlook repair software products. For more information visit

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