Maximum File Size of Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007 Data File

Posted on 2009-12-17
Last Modified: 2013-11-29
I have thousands of emails in a few computers using Office 2003 and Office 2007.  Although I have been invited by the program to archive, I haven't done so.  I use Outlook not on a corprate system but to view email coming from my website host's server as POP3 email.  Am I at risk that the Outlook data file will ultimately freeze up and be non-recoverable when it hits a certain size?  I assume there is some Microsoft spec or recommendation on this.  Please let me know your confidence level in your answer if you think there is a specific GB limit.  Thanks much.
Question by:justasking
    LVL 5

    Accepted Solution

    The limit for Outlook 2003 is 2GB and the limit for Outlook 2007 is 20GB according to microsoft @
    LVL 2

    Assisted Solution

    You need to archive your mailbox in Outlook because the pst file has limitation size which is max 1.8 gb. if you do not archive your mailbox, the next time you use the outlook will prompt an error message and it will ask you to add new pst file. the worst scenario, you may experience lost the last email that you will receive.

    If you do not want to archive, there is another way that you can do which is to reduce the amount of current pst files by moving some other email into new pst files. I use this option more often rather than use archive. DO NOT try to use auto archive if you do not confident on how to use it.

    Hopefully will help
    LVL 7

    Assisted Solution

    Yes there is file size limit with both Outlook 2003 and 2007. For Outlook versions before 2007 that limit is 2GB but for Outlook 2007 that limit has been extended to 20GB.

    However, I suggest you to periodically archive Outlook emails even in case you are using Outlook 2007. Because, increase in the file size may affect the performance of Outlook. As the size crosses to 2GB in Outlook 2007, it starts pausing when you perform common Outlook operations like email downloading.

    For Outlook 2003, if the size reaches to 2GB, Outlook displays error message and can not load emails in your Outlook profile. therefore, you should archive old emails to free up space in PST file.

    Author Comment

    Thanks to all of you for your help.  I looked at the micalkin link to Microsoft, and apparently in some cases the Outlook 2003 file size can be as high as the 20GB in Outlook 2007, just not for IMAP or ANSI files.  In fact, my Outlook 2003 file size is 4.3GB.  Is that because it is POP3, or is the thing about to explode?  I'm not receiving any error messages.  I tried to check the registry, and I saw no file size limits or warnings.

    I'm going to give points to all of you, but do you have other thoughts?  (Koreansuper, I'm not sure I know how to move emails into other .pst files.)

    Author Comment

    Okay.  I guess no one has anything to add to the standard Microsoft description of file size.  I sure do wish I understood why my file size is 4.3GB and growing in Outlook 2003.  I don't know whether I'm lucky or on the verge of an email lockout.

    Author Comment

    incresing and splitting points as all comments were of some help

    Author Closing Comment

    link to MS showed that it is possible to have Office 2003 file size in excess of that claimed by comments posted, but all were of some help.  No one explained why my Ooutlook 2003 file can be 4.2GB

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