Upgrading a PST to large tables

Posted on 2005-03-25
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-02-01
Feel stupid for having to ask this, but Outlook 2002 / XP has changed the location of the "allow upgrade to large tables" checkbox.  

Basically I have an email folder for a client that has locked up at the 2 gig limit.  For the work she does, having multiple PST's is not practicle.  I never recommend the large tables upgrade but it looks like we are seriously out of options.

So... Without further ado...  HOW DO I UPGRADE A PST TO LARGE TABLES?

Outlook 2002 SP-1

Please give me the 1-2-3 steps.
Question by:Hollmer
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Author Comment

ID: 13634847
and the first person to tell me that I misspelled practical gets a boot to the head...  :-)

-Ed Gruberman
LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 13634927
As far as I know (and from participating in a number of similar size questions) 2 GB is THE limit.  If you can't use multiple PSTs, then use Exchange.  Or teach the client to better manage their e-mail.

From http://support.microsoft.com/kb/q197430/ :
"In Microsoft Outlook, a feature, "Allow upgrade to large tables," is available for personal folder (.pst) files. This feature increases the limit on the number of folders per file and the number of messages per folder in a .pst file. The limit has been increased from approximately 16,000 folders per file and approximately 64,000 messages per folder."

NOTE: this says NOTHING about exceeding a 2GB limit.

Further support for this can be found in http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;181406 :
"Each .pst file can contain 16,384 items. An item is either a folder, message, task, etc. Each folder can contain a maximum of 16,384 items. If you select the option to "Allow upgrade to large tables," each folder can contain up to 65,536 items. The total file size of a .pst cannot exceed 2 Gigabytes (GB)."

I realize both those articles are for older versions of outlook, but I'm all but CERTAIN Large Tables has nothing to do with going above 2GB.

Author Comment

ID: 13635015

From previous experience, it DOES increase the size of the PST.  I guess they just thought that, if it does increase the number of messages and folders it would NATURALLY increase the size.  In fact, it increases it to or around 16 Gigabytes.  The whole problem exists because of a table limitation in their database structure.  Sorta amateurish if you ask me.  Anyway, I can't figure out how or IF you can do it in 2002 Outlook.  I know exactly how to do it in Outlook 98.

And as for teaching them to better manage their email... That's a very unfair thing to say.  This person receives over 200 emails per day and a over 10 a week with 10 meg attachments.  This email has to be constantly accessed and referenced.  Most attachments (every other email) has a 1 to 2 meg attachment.

Lets not let this turn into the last thread, Leew.  Bring me something good this time and I'll hook ya up with some points.  If it can't be done, bring me the article that says it can't.... from a credible source.  Not www.billy-joe-jim-bobs-techsupport.com

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LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 13635024
Sorry, I didn't remember who you were.  Thanks for reminding me.  Since you like to "punish" people even if they come up with the correct answer, I'll unsubscribe now and you can try your best to circumvent the limits that I've never seen or heard circumvented.
LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 13635030
By the way, I guess microsoft is not a credible source.


Author Comment

ID: 13635037
Thank you for unsubscribing...
LVL 20

Assisted Solution

Lazarus earned 400 total points
ID: 13635688

* right click on personal folders and select properties
* select advanced
* check the box to enable large table support

above applies to outlook 97 through 2000.  outlook 2002 creates large table support pst files by default.

This answer comes from previously asked question: http://www.experts-exchange.com/Applications/MS_Office/Outlook/Q_20690959.html?query=outlook+2002+table&clearTAFilter=true

LVL 15

Accepted Solution

davidis99 earned 800 total points
ID: 13636774
If you look at the last article leew referenced from the ms-knowledgebase, you'll see that the large tables option does increase storage for a user up to 16GB, but on an Exchange Server, not in the .pst file.  Your best option is to upgrade your user to Outlook 2003, which has a different format for the .pst file than earlier versions, with the new format allowing .pst files above 2GB;  see


for details, with the relevant initial excerpt being:

"Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 has both a different format and a larger overall size limit for the personal folders (.pst) file than the .pst files that are in the earlier versions of Microsoft Outlook. In Outlook 2002 and earlier, the .pst files are in the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) format, and the overall size has a limit of 2 gigabytes (GB).

In Outlook 2003, .pst files are in the UNICODE format by default, and the overall size of the .pst files has a limit that is more than 20 GB. Outlook 2003 supports both the UNICODE and the ANSI formats, but the versions of Outlook that are earlier than Outlook 2003 do not support the UNICODE format and have a smaller size limit. As in earlier versions of Outlook, Internet Message Access Protocol Version 4rev1 (IMAP4) accounts and HTTP accounts use .pst files that do not use the UNICODE format. Therefore, the .pst files for IMAP accounts or for HTTP accounts are limited to 2 GB."

Author Comment

ID: 13637238
Excellent Answers from both Lazarus and David.  I am increasing points by 100, giving Lazarus 100 for the effort and giving the full 200 to David.  The reason I am doing it this way is that, well, David brought the actual answer.  Upgrade to 2003.  But Lazarus let me know that 2002 has the large tables by default.  

I greatly appreciate both answers and any time you took discovering these answers.


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