As the size of the Outlook mailbox continues to grow, you will notice a definite degradation in the performance of Outlook. This could be because the application takes time in accessing items from a large file or because there is some gradual corruption that is taking place in the OST file. By managing the size of the mailbox, you can make Outlook work more efficiently and avoid corruption in the OST file.
You cannot prevent your Microsoft Outlook from continuously growing in size as you keep receiving items such as mails, appointment reminders, task updates and so on. However, you can certainly prevent it from reaching a size that starts affecting the performance of Outlook or worse still, that starts damaging the OST file storing all the offline information. It is important that you know of ways in which you can manage the size of your mailbox, particularly by deleting items that you do not need and compacting the offline folder file or OST file. In fact, users should be aware that it is not easy to recover Exchange data from a very large damaged OST file using simple repair tools.
Typically, Exchange Server mailboxes are only allowed to store items up to a certain size limit. However, you might store all the items offline in the form of an offline storage file or OST file. We would like to mention here that the OST file is usually much larger than the size of the mailbox stored on the server. So, the first step would of course be to delete all unwanted items. What many users ignore at this point is that the deleted items are first moved only to the Deleted Items folder, which for all practical purposes is just another folder, quite similar to the other folders in Outlook. And that all the deleted items continue to occupy space on the hard disk unless they are permanently deleted! So, to actually reduce the size of the OST file, one has to review the items moved to the Deleted Items folder and permanently delete the items stored there from time to time.
So does this reduce the risk of OST corruption or the chances of having to recover Exchange items from a damaged OST file? The fact is, even when items are deleted, the size of the OST file may not quite decrease in the same proportion as the data that has been deleted. This is because of defragmentation that takes place as items are stored and deleted. So, the next step is to actually compact the file. Compacting the file will help in making use of the space that has been created. When a large number of items are deleted, one can see the difference that it makes in the performance of Outlook.
If despite these efforts, you do end up with a large corrupt OST, you can still find a way to recover Exchange data by using tool specially developed for this purpose. For instance, DataNumen is one of the industry leaders today in the development of highly sophisticated data recovery tools. Their product, DataNumen Exchange Recovery, can recover data from large OST files that have become damaged or corrupt, even files that are as large as a few TB. In fact, DataNumen Exchange Recovery has a recovery rate that is one of the best amongst all recovery tools and will ensure that you are able to restore almost all the data from your damaged OST file.