Reduce PST File Size: PST Compact

Microsoft Outlook is an e-mail client application which also works as contact manager, calendar manager and stores many more items. Microsoft Outlook files are stored in PST file format and this file format is of two types: ANSI PST and Unicode PST. Files which are created using Microsoft Outlook 2002 or earlier versions are in ANSI PST file format and files which are created using Microsoft Outlook 2003 or later versions are in Unicode PST file format.

The size limit in ANSI PST file format is 2 GB. 20 GB is the size limit in Unicode PST file format but the size limit is extended to 50 GB in Microsoft Outlook 2010. The size of your Outlook mailbox increases as you send and receive messages and deleting it doesn’t reduce the size of the mailbox accordingly. If your PST file reaches its size limit, then you cannot add more data to it. You can reduce the size by compacting PST file. Some utilities are available in Microsoft Outlook application by which you can compact PST file. Steps to execute these utilities are listed below:

Steps to manage mailbox folder

By the help of Mailbox Cleanup utility, you can see the size of mailbox folder and can move older items to archive folder. You can also empty Deleted Items folder.

  1. Open Microsoft Outlook application and click on File
  2. Select Cleanup Tools > Mailbox Cleanup
  3. Now, select option accordingly
  • Select View Mailbox Size – to see the size of mailbox folder
  • Select Find items older than n days > Find – enter the number of days to find older data items
  • Select Find items larger than n kilobytes > Find – enter a number to find large files
  • Select Auto Archive – to move files to archive folder
  1. You can also delete the data items from your Outlook folder. Files of Outlook are saved in your computer at “Documents\Outlook Files” location.
  • Select View Deleted Items Size to see the size of “Deleted Items” folder and select Empty to delete items from “Deleted Items” folder.
  • Select View Conflicts Size to see the size of “Conflicts” folder and select Delete to delete items from “Conflicts” folder.

Steps to reduce the size of OST File:

Files of Microsoft Exchange Server are also stored in OST file format which is also known as offline data file. When you delete unnecessary files and reduce the size, performance of Exchange Server increases.

  1. Open Exchange Server application and delete unwanted files. Open Folder List view to select files
  2. At navigation tab, right click on Deleted Items > Empty Folder
  3. Click on File > Account Settings > Account Settings
  4. Select Data Files tab > Settings > Compact Now

Steps to reduce size of PST File:

Deleting items from PST file automatically compresses file in background. You can also compact files manually.

  1. Open Outlook application and delete unwanted items by opening folder list
  2. Go to navigation tab and right click on Delete items folder > Empty Folder
  3. Click on File tab > Account Settings > Account Settings
  4. Select Data Files tab > Settings > Compact Now

4% of the space or 16 KB of free space should be left before executing compact process. If you need to compact PST file in a more effective way without deleting any items, then you need to use third party software. Third party software easily compact PST file without deleting any items and it doesn’t need any free space before starting the process.

PST Compress and Compact tool compact  PST file which prevents your file from getting corrupted. It is a reliable tool for managing email messages of Outlook application. You can examine it by running its trial version which is a freeware.


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