How Best Configure Multiple Archives For Viewing

Posted on 2007-08-10
Last Modified: 2013-11-05
I have a client (running Outlook 2003) that has multiple Outlook PST files (some as large as 1.75GB) that he wishes to review regularly. Essentially there's an Outlook PST file for each of the last eight years.

How best should I configure Outlook so he can easily view and review messages within these archive files? If I simply import the archives to his existing Outlook account, doesn't that result in his having a tremendously large active PST file? What other method or software applications could I turn to in order to make it easy for this user to simply access his older messages?
Question by:kytjwrangler
    LVL 19

    Accepted Solution

    Easiest way is to just go File | Open | Outlook Data File... you can then browse out to each .PST.

    This doesn't import them so to speak - it will just add them in the Folder/Tree view along the left (each one will be its own container) - so he has access to each one as needed. And they should be there each time he opens Outlook until they are manually 'disconnected'.
    LVL 97

    Assisted Solution

    Greetings kytjwrangler !

    To answer one of your questions directly, if you import the PST file, it will add to the main PST file, and you would get a very large PST fle.

    Best way would be to open each PST in its own folder.  If you follow aissim method, you would get PST file in its own folder.

    If you open mulitiple personal folders, be careful which PST file you set as default.  All new mail will go to the default PST file.  I assume you want new mail to go to the main Personal folder, and not one of the archive folders.

    If you open mulitiple personal folders, you can accidently delete one of the archive emails.  So back up the archive PST files to another location.

    Best wishes, war1
    LVL 18

    Assisted Solution

    The FILE - OPEN command is probally the safest route.
    You will only open the specific archive when needed. Searching for a specific message this way may take a while if you don't know the exact folder the message is loated in.

    With the 1.7GB size limitation gone with 2003. I have 1 LARGE archive folder, with a subfolder for each year.  The archive folder is availiable for searching through the folder list in the navigation pane. with a special 'search folder' , preset for the archive, for faster search access.
    LVL 97

    Expert Comment

    kytjwrangler, any update?

    Expert Comment

    Question for "aissim"
    So what if the end user wants to consolidate all .pst files into ONE?  What if they have an archive folder (.pst) from when they were Ms. Xyz but got married, changed their name AND email address to Ms.Xyz-ABC and they have an archive from that one?

    This gets very frustrating. Is there a product that merges ALL .pst files? I realize they would be huge (potentially) but that is what the client wants.

    Can you help? someone?

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