Microsoft Outlook stores different types of files. All the files are stored as PST file; the extension of Outlook file is .pst. There are two formats in which PST file are stored: ANSI and Unicode. MS Outlook 2002 and earlier versions including MS Outlook 97, 98 and 2000 stores PST file in ANSI file format. MS Outlook 2003 and later versions including MS Outlook 2007, 2010 and 2013 stores PST file in Unicode format. The maximum size limit in ANSI format is 2 GB and the maximum size limit in Unicode format is 20 GB. But in MS Outlook 2010, the maximum size limit is 50 GB.
Files could get corrupted if you try to open ANSI PST file in Outlook 2003 or later versions without converting it into Unicode format. Similarly, Unicode PST files can get corrupted if you try to open these files in Outlook 2002 or earlier versions without converting it into ANSI format. Before converting, you need to determine the file format of PST file.
You can upgrade an MS Outlook (97-2002) Personal Folder file by converting ANSI PST to Unicode file format. You can perform the conversion operation manually by creating a new PST file in MS Outlook which supports Unicode format and then you can import data from old (ANSI) file to the new Unicode PST file.
Steps to create new .pst file
- Open MS Outlook 2003 or any later version and then click on File tab and select New > Outlook Data File
- Click OK and a new .pst file will be created which will include large storage capacity and will support International Language
- Type a new name in the File name box for the file and click on OK
- Type display name for .pst folder in the Name box.
Select Menu and then select Folder list; the folder name will appear in the folder list.
Steps to Import data items to new .pst file
- Open MS Outlook application and click on File tab, and then select Import and Export option
- Click on “Import from another Program or File” option and then click on Next
- Click on Personal Folder File, and then click on Next
- Locate the file name and path of the ANSI PST file which you want to import, and then click on Next
- Check “Import items into same folder” box, and then select the folders which you want to import and check “Import sub folders” box
- Follow the instructions of “Import and Export Wizard” to complete the process.
Before performing this manual solution, you must create a backup of your file. The above manual solution is very much time-consuming and requires technical knowledge to upgrade your ANSI PST file. One of the easy ways to perform up gradation process is to make use of third-party software. Third-party software also provides the facility to downgrade a Unicode PST to ANSI file format. There are many third-party tools available in the market.
PST Upgrade and Downgrade software is also one of the recommended tools to perform the above action. It is very reliable and efficient software and any non-technical users can also operate this software very easily. You can get its demo version which is a freeware but for saving the desired output you need licensed version of the software.