Why and When Should We Need to Split or Compress Microsoft Outlook PST Files?

Through this article, you will be enlightened the use of split vs Compress Outlook file process. As we all know that Microsoft Outlook is the most common and preferred email client to store emails and other mailbox items. But we often forget to keep the mailbox size within check as PST file size is limited. If it exceeds that limit, then the file becomes corrupt. Hence, it becomes necessary to keep a check on the PST file size limit. The earlier versions of Outlook have limited PST size up to 2 GB.

A .pst file is an Outlook Data file that stores your emails messages and other mailbox items. An Outlook .pst file is saved on your system hard drive therefore, it uses space of your hard drive. If a .pst file exceeds its size, it requires more space to be stored and you will get less free space on your hard drive.

Need to Split or Compress Outlook file

On the contrary, many users face the problem of oversized PST file and are not able to load any new data. Although Microsoft came up with a solution to restore the inaccessible PST file due to oversize. But the pst2gb tool provided by Microsoft truncates the file rather reducing its original size. This solution was not feasible, as it failed to restore the oversized files and maintain data integrity.

For an Outlook user, the size limitation of .pst files is one of the most critical issues. An Outlook .pst file has a limited file size. For example: if you are using older versions of MS Outlook, i.e. Outlook 2002 or earlier version, the .pst file is saved in ANSI format. Or if you are using newer versions of MS Outlook, i.e. Outlook 2003 or later, the .pst file is saved in Unicode format.

What is the difference between an ANSI And Unicode PST file?

An ANSI .pst file has a size limitation of 2 GB. You can’t store more than 2 GB of data in a .pst of ANSI format. Whereas a Unicode .pst file has no size limitation and it can freely grow up to 20 GB and 50 GB in MS Outlook 2010.

If an ANSI .pst file exceeds its size and crosses the size limit, it becomes unable to be opened or may become corrupted. It may become a very critical situation for an Outlook user and all the crucial emails and other mailbox data might be lost forever. Though a Unicode .pst file has less chance to cross its size limit, due to their large size, MS Outlook starts performing poorly or in an unusual manner.

Microsoft also tried to enable Outlook to stop receiving data after it reaches 2 GB through service packs. But there was a drawback that it limited the user to perform any mail-related operations.

By the release of Outlook 2003, anyone who has upgraded from an older version needs to create a new PST. This new format supports Unicode format with 20 GB of data file size and helps in overcoming limitations of 2GB.

Compact the Outlook PST file

Compressing the PST file is not a hard-hitting task if you are using a non-exchange version of Outlook. Users can compact their PST files easily through the manual procedure, mentioned below:

  1. Firstly, select the File tab and click on Info.
  2. Then, go to Account Settings and click on Account Settings.
  3. Now, click on the Data Files tab and select a PST file in the list that you would wish to compact.
  4. Select Setting and click on Compact Now.
  5. A Compacting Now a dialog box will appear showing the compacting process.
  6. After the process gets completed, click OK.

Since Microsoft Outlook does not have any feature to overcome such issues, the only option left is to look for alternate solutions.

When the manual methods fail to compress Outlook PST files from a large PST file, then you must try an automated solution i.e; SysInfo PST Compact Software, which can easy compresses the large PST file as PST with a compact version of it.

How to Split Outlook PST file

  1. Run ‘SysInfo Split PST Software
  2. Browse to the path and choose the PST File, which will show you the file info here
  3. Now select the split criteria; by Date, by Size, by the sender.
  4. Choose the destination folder to save the split PST file.

This software has got an advanced recovery algorithm using which it can swiftly split the oversized PST files within a few clicks. It is compatible with all versions of Microsoft Outlook. So, I would like to recommend this software, you can also try the free demo version of this software.

Bottom Lines

Above, I have mentioned the methods to split and compress Outlook files of Microsoft Outlook including the manual method as well as an automated solution. As the manual method has some limitations so you can try the professional tool. Now, it’s your call to select the right one for you. Hope this article helps to resolve your query.