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How big can Outlook Get?

Posted on 2003-12-04
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
My boss uses Outlook XP for everything - its his life.

My question is, is there a practical limit to how big Outlook can get? He currently has about 30,000 contact, 1,000 or so tasks, 20,000 emails, and thousands of calendar entries. The PST file it uses is in the region of 1.5gb and all this lot grows daily - makes baking up a pain!

A few days ago he said that Outlook was running a little slow and it seemed to crash on him a few times, is this anything to do with how big his data has got or should I not be worried about the size?

Any practical ideas and sugestions would be greatly received!

Thanks.
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Question by:leo_dee
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Expert Comment

by:Dexstar
ID: 9876900
@leo_dee:

> A few days ago he said that Outlook was running a little slow and it seemed
> to crash on him a few times, is this anything to do with how big his data has
> got or should I not be worried about the size?

Adding more RAM will always help, but still there is going to be an upper limit.  My suggesting is that you get him to use the Auto-Archive feature, to move the old items that are no longer needed to a different .pst file.  When your archive .pst file gets big enough, you can burn it to a CD, and then start another one.

That way, you can keep all the information forever, but you only have to work with the "current" stuff on a day to day basis.

Hope That Helps,
Dex*
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war1 earned 250 total points
ID: 9876964
Greetings, leo_dee!
   The maxium pst file size is 2 GB, but you should look into archiving your emails now.

Best wishes, war1
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by:war1
ID: 9877011
leo_dee,
   The above 3 GB number is for Outlook 2002.  Outlook 2003 can go higher (33).
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Expert Comment

by:tebacher
ID: 9877689
If your Outlook PST file gets near the 2 GB mark, you should be worried!!!  It will crash on you and not open back up if this happens.  There are lengthy procedures to go through to ATTEMPT to get your email back after this.  And, you WILL lose some of your email IF it does actually restore it at all!!!  

Like war1 said, you better archive the emails now!

I had this happen to my boss also.  We were luckily able to restore most of his email.  After that, we sorted through the messages and divided them up by year.  We made sperate PST files for each year.  Then, we burned each PST file to a CD, and also left them on the hard drive with the folder open in outlook.  Soon, when the new year comes, I will be getting all of 2003's email into it's own PST file.  A tip for this is that you can export emails in outlook by date.

Or, of course, auto-archiving is a much simpler and less time consuming way to do this.  But, the way I do this that I described is what we decided to do because now if my boss is looking for an old email, he can think about what year it was and look in that particular PST file.

Hope this helps!!
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by:war1
ID: 9917632
leo_dee,
   We have not heard from you? Did any comment help you solve your problem? Do you have any more questions? If an Expert help you, please accept his/her answer with an excellent or good grade.

Thanks, war1
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