Every Year the number of E-Mails grow dramatically and the space that they take on Exchange Servers or .PST files, grow much more faster, once it was only text, now our E-Mail Archives are full of images, PDF Files, PowerPoint presentations and much more. Big companies use systems that move old mail onto SQL databases, but for small organizations, that can’t use such programs it is a problem, Exchange server databases become full, and po3 users are working with huge .PST files of 5 or 6 Gb.
In old versions of Outlook we get a limit of 2Gb of .PST file, fortunately with newer version that problem doesn’t exist anymore.
How to solve this problem?
Personally I use this procedure to archive my e-mails:
Case 1) Export all emails in a range of date to a new pst (usually c:\Mail-Archive\2011.pst).
File – open – Import
Then I choose Export to a File and next
Outlook data Files (.pst) and next
I choose the account, be sure to flag Include subfolders and clik on filter
On the new windows choose advanced and now we can add criteria:
Field: Date Hours Sent the or before and the date ex. 31/12/2011 add
Field: Date Hours Received the or before and the date ex. 31/12/2011 add
Now choose your destination path c:\Mail-Archive\2011.pst
After the end of the operation You have a new archive with all mail of the previous year, but you don’t have already cleaned your Mailbox.
Because .pst files are not allowed to be used over the network, be sure to take a backup copy.
Case 2) Clean Your Mailbox
Open the new Archive: File Open Outlook File Data, browse to the newly created 2011.pst and open
After be sure that all mails of 2011 are in the new archive, you need to delete all mails that are now in the archive in your mailbox.
In Office 2007 You go in advance research and choose exactly the same criteria that you did in Case 1.
In Office 2010 Create a research folder with exactly the same criteria that you did in
Case 3) After you see in your search windows all E-Mail select all and “Shift Del” to delete without transit from Deleted Items.
This operation can take a long time depending of the number of e-mails, dimension of the .pst file and your PC.
Now you don’t have your old E-Mails on your Mailbox, and for Exchange User you have finished.
If pop3 users look to their .pst file, and they notice that the dimension isn’t changed, they have to compress the database.
Choose your Mailbox – right click propriety – advanced compress.
It can take hours in previous versions of office, in office 2010 minutes.
If your .pst file doesn’t become smaller, it could be corrupted and you need to close outlook, run a scanpst against it and restart the compression.
Case 5) Take a backup copy of your archive in a save place so if you lost your laptop or if your hard disk crashed you may retrieve the old email archive.
I have been used this procedure for years and found that it is not so easy but useful, because in my archive I have exactly the same folder structure of my Mailbox and I am safe because I delete E-Mails only when I’m sure that the export has worked fine.