When Microsoft Outlook is used on a regular basis, the PST file (which is the main file used for storing all the Outlook data) gets to be fairly large in size. This can create corruption in the file or affect the speed at which Outlook can perform. We look at how we can manage the huge size of PST files effectively.
Microsoft Outlook uses Personal Storage Files or PST files as the format for storing all the Outlook data such as contact lists, appointments, calendar items, journal entries and of course, email messages. With Outlook being the primary email client and personal management software for many of us, we can expect additions to the PST file on a daily basis. This raises concern about the size of the PST file for two reasons. For some versions of Outlook, there is a physical limit of around 2 GB on the size of the PST file – if the file exceeds this limit, it almost instantly gets corrupted and you may have to resort to PST recovery to restore data from the file. For later versions of Outlook, this limit has been increased to 30 GB but allowing PST files to grow beyond a certain size starts affecting the performance of Outlook. It is therefore a good idea to control the size of the PST file before it gets corrupted or starts affecting the performance of Outlook.
Let us take a look at some of the simple steps that we can take to manage the size of the PST file:
- The first step may seem obvious but not many users follow it. On a regular basis, go through all the items that you store in the various Outlook folders so that you can delete those that you do not need any longer. Users should also bear in mind that when an item is deleted, it is simply moved to the Deleted Items folder and not permanently deleted. To permanently delete an item and clear some space, you will need to empty the Deleted Items folder. This does not immediately reduce the size of the file. Also, once you permanently delete an item, the only way of recovering it is through a PST recovery of the main PST file.
- Once you have carefully deleted all the items that you do not need, you should compress the PST file. From File, select Data File Management. You should be able to go to Personal Folders, Settings and finally select Compact Now, for the PST file that you are working with. For most PST files, these steps should help in keeping the size of the file to an optimum.
- If your PST file is still very large, you might have to split the PST into multiple PST files so that you can work with Outlook more efficiently. Outlook supports working with multiple PST files open at the same time. Though all items may be still stored in the ‘Personal Folders’, you can move them into other PST files at your convenience.
If despite these precautions, your PST file still suffers from some damage or corruption, you should quickly try a PST recovery using DataNumen Outlook Repair from DataNumen. Designed by experts, this tool is very effective in recovering items from highly corrupt PST files and can restore items in the same structure as in the original file.