Outlook.pst has reached maximum size

Discussion in 'Outlook General' started by FivePoundBag, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. FivePoundBag

    FivePoundBag Guest

    Yesterday, I started getting a long message from Outlook (2007) when I
    click on some folders. It reads:

    Cannot display the folder. The file C:\Documents ... \outlook.pst has
    reached its maximum size. To reduce the amount of data in this file,
    select some items that you no longer need, and then permanently delete
    them using SHIFT+DELETE. You could also consider using the new Outlook
    Personal Folders file (.pst) introduced with Outlook 2003 that
    provides greater capacity for storing items and folders.

    What's this "new Outlook Personal Folders file (.pst) introduced with
    Outlook 2003"? I am running 2007. How can I determine if I am using
    the new or old PST files?

    I would prefer not to delete things. Can I archive them instead?

    Is there a way to find out where the largest folders and/or the oldest
    items are?

    Also, is there a way to set the archive threshold for all folders? The
    last time I went through this, I think I had to do each one
    individually. I have a lot of folders.
    FivePoundBag, Jun 8, 2010
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  2. FivePoundBag

    FivePoundBag Guest

    Are email attachments stored in the PST file? If so, that could be a
    lot for the reason for it getting too large. I get a lot of

    Is there a way that I can delete the attachments from saved email
    messages in bulk -- especially from outside Outlook?
    FivePoundBag, Jun 8, 2010
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  3. Diane Poremsky [MVP], Jun 9, 2010
  4. FivePoundBag

    Spamlet Guest

    We are using an old version of Outlook, but still get a lot of email, but
    have never reached this limit.
    If you archive your mail in yearly archive folders, it becomes separate pst
    Also you should empty all your deleted items folders and compact the whole
    pst folder, and you may find you regain a fair bit of space (give the
    compaction plenty of time and don't try to interrupt it: Right click Outlook

    Spamlet, Jun 9, 2010
  5. FivePoundBag

    Gordon Guest

    Actually Outlook 2007 does compaction as it goes - you'll find that if you
    manually compact (unless you have just deleted a large number of mails) it
    doesn't actually do much at all.
    Gordon, Jun 9, 2010
  6. All versions of outlook compact the pst when there is idle time.

    Diane Poremsky [MVP - Outlook]

    Outlook & Exchange Solutions Center: http://www.slipstick.com/

    Outlook Tips by email:
    Diane Poremsky [MVP], Jun 10, 2010
  7. FivePoundBag

    Gordon Guest

    Oh thanks - I thought that was a new feature in 2007!
    Gordon, Jun 10, 2010
  8. FivePoundBag

    FivePoundBag Guest

    That's a good suggestion.

    Is there some way to do that automatically or do I need to do
    something manually every year?
    FivePoundBag, Jun 10, 2010
  9. FivePoundBag

    Spamlet Guest

    I haven't looked into doing it automatically (though folder properties does
    give you various options for this) as it is only once a year and, as the
    user keeps everything in her inbox, it is easy to just highlight several
    months at a time and move them across to the new folder, where they are
    still available, but in a different pst.

    You just go File/New/Personal Folders File (pst)

    For some reason it asks you for a name for the file twice (probably so you
    can have a short name on view and a longer real one, but it's not really
    relevant to me as I just name them Archive2009 etc anyway. Just *don't*
    give it the same name as your existing Personal Folders file!) The new pst
    then just appears at the top of the folder view and is ready to use; it even
    has its own deleted items folder.

    You can right click on it to get its properties sheet, where you can set
    passwords if you like, and can see the folder size and compact it if you
    have performed any operations like deleting duplicates: a new pst will not
    have any waste space in it unless you do do something like deleting
    duplicates *after* you have moved the mail (Best to do such tidying before
    the move.) - and don't forget to delete them from the deleted folder before
    compacting too. (The duplicates finding software I use also puts it's own
    deleted folder in, which has to be deleted once checked too.)

    Do remember to compact your main Personal Folders after making any moves and
    emptying its Deleted Items folder.

    Having separate pst files like this also makes backing up to external media
    quicker, and, unless you are a real demon mailer should keep you below any
    pst size limits.

    (I was looking, as I composed this, for the option that lets me manage pst
    files all together, but perhaps this is a different version on this old
    laptop, as I can't find such an option, but it is not essential anyway.)

    Spamlet, Jun 10, 2010
  10. FivePoundBag

    Spamlet Guest

    Yes that is what I used to tell everyone, until I discovered the compact
    button, and gained a huge amount of space.
    Try it. Particularly if you are keeping everything in the inbox.
    Especially useful on archive folders after emptying their deleted items
    folders and running duplicates finding software on the inbox.

    Thinking about it, that 'when there is idle time' may be significant. If
    one has a nearly full hard drive, and an indexing and av programme running,
    and is on line most of the time, is there ever really any idle time? I
    think, in our case at least, the answer must have been 'perhaps not', as
    Personal Folders does take a *long* time to compact each time I do the
    user's housekeeping for her!

    Spamlet, Jun 10, 2010
  11. FivePoundBag

    Stu Pidasso Guest

    It sounds like that your original PST file may have been created in
    Outlook 2000 and just carried over into the next versions...which had
    a 2gig limit.. I would create a new PST file....just start copying
    everything over into the new file. If you cannot open the file at
    all....try running scanpst.exe on that specific file.

    Just my two cents worth
    Stu Pidasso, Jun 15, 2010
  12. FivePoundBag

    Spamlet Guest

    It sounds like that your original PST file may have been created in
    Outlook 2000 and just carried over into the next versions...which had
    a 2gig limit.. I would create a new PST file....just start copying
    everything over into the new file. If you cannot open the file at
    all....try running scanpst.exe on that specific file.

    Just my two cents worth

    And if anyone is still reading this, a couple of free progs that are handy
    for finding big files you may have forgotten about - such as indexes and old
    versions of Java that get left behind even when you uninstall the parent
    prog - are Wintidy, and Showman : you could do worse than googling for them.
    The first is a technicolour marvel that displays files as coloured
    rectangles proportionate to their size; the second acts on the pie chart
    principle and gives you a right click from within My Computer - I use both.
    There is also a duplicate file finder for Outlook which is very good, for
    when you are shunting files about and want to route out extra copies that
    may accumulate.

    Spamlet, Jun 16, 2010
  13. FivePoundBag


    You can try Third party tool to reduce PST file size. The softwrae creates NEW PST folder for each splitted item which you can save at secure location.
    , Apr 9, 2014
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