How to reduce your Outlook PST file size
Introduction to PST files
Microsoft Office Outlook is a database driven software, meaning that all your Outlook profile data (emails, contacts, alerts, etc) is stored in a database-like system. It is called Outlook Personal Folders File and it has the .PST file extension. Each Outlook profile can handle one or more PST files.
Earlier Outlook versions (prior to Outlook 2003) had a limit of 2Gb for the PST file size. If your Outlook needs exceeded 2Gb, you had to create a new mailbox PST file or to erase data from your current PST file, so it's size is reduced under 2Gb.
Starting with Outlook 2003, the PST file format was changed from ANSI to Unicode, allowing the PST file to grow up to 20Gb. However, for IMAP or HTTP accounts, Outlook 2003 is still using the ANSI format, so they are limited to 2Gb. Outlook 2007 is using the Unicode format for all account types, so the maximum PST file size is 20Gb.
Why is it important to reduce the PST file size?
Even if you are using Outlook 2007 (or newer) and you don't have the problem of the 2Gb PST file size limit, it is always a good idea to attempt & reduce your PST file size.
The point is simple: when Outlook starts up or when you attempt to view a mail folder, Outlook needs to load the content from your PST file. The larger the PST file, the more time is needed by Outlook to perform the related task.
As time goes by and your PST file grows larger and larger, you will notice that Outlook tends to work slower: more time required to startup, more situations when it seems Outlook stops responding for a short period, more time wasted waiting to load a folder view, etc.
So, regardless of the PST file size limit, it can only help to reduce your PST file size and avoid the frustrations of a slow Outlook session.
How can you reduce your PST file size?
The standard answer is to archive old email data or use multiple PST files. However, this only answers the case of avoiding to reach the PST file size limit. Archived mail folders are slow to access, while using multiple PST files cause Outlook to load slower. So, from a productivity point of view, it's probably not the best answer.
Our proposal is to use one of our Outlook add-ins called Weight Diet for Outlook, an add-in designed to reduce and optimize your PST file size without having to archive emails or use more PST files. Benefiting from a user friendly interface, Weight Diet performs a set of optimization tasks on your mailbox in order to significantly reduce your Outlook PST file size.
Weight Diet for Outlook helps you to:
automatically identify & erase unnecessary items stored in your PST file, such as duplicated emails, mail delivery failure notifications, out-of-office autoresponders, old newsletter emails, mailer-daemon emails, etc.
silently move file attachments outside of your PST file, while maintaining your normal access to them through your Outlook emails. By moving file attachments to disk, Weight Diet can dramatically reduce the space required by your PST file;
quickly email large files by uploading the files to file sharing servers, instead of including them in the message. This way, your Sent Items mail folder size will be kept at a smaller size;
reduce your PST file size by compacting the PST file, after the other Weight Diet tasks were completed.
According to our tests, a regular PST file of 1.5Gb can easily be reduced to almost half that size, simply by using the Weight Diet optimization functions for Outlook. This PST file reduction translates into faster Outlook loading times and less time wasted by you waiting for Outlook to finalize an action.
Click here to download the 15-days free evaluation version of Weight Diet and see for yourself how you can increase your Outlook speed by reducing your Outlook PST file size.
Weight Diet for Outlook: related topics
Weight Diet introduction on how to speed up Outlook;
How to send large files by email;
How to eliminate duplicate emails;
Why do you have to compact your Outlook PST file;
How to avoid damaging the Outlook PST file;
How to clean up Outlook;
How to make Outlook run faster;
Outlook not responding?
Weight Diet is designed as an add-in for Microsoft Office Outlook and it works with any Outlook version, starting from Outlook 2002.
As a registered customer, you will benefit from:
24/7 free service support;
One year free upgrades;
Instant live update system;
30 days money back guarantee;
Discounts on other DS Development products.
Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows 2003, Windows Vista (x32 or x64), Windows 7.
Microsoft Office Outlook 2002 (XP), 2003, 2007, 2010 (x32 or x64).