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Outlook data file maximum size

Posted on 2011-02-26
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I am using Outlook 2002, I am geeting an error "your pst file has reached it's maximum size", that is 2GB.
I create a new data file and make the new data file as the default delivery location. After doing that it start downloading the emails from the server (yahoo in my case ), after downling the emails it already has reached 1.5 GB. After sometime I will face the same problem !!!!!!

Is there anyway I am solve this problem WITHOUT DELETING THE EMAILS.

I am not very familiar wth OL, could anyone give me a detailed solution
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Question by:tech1guy
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18 Comments
 
LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:Jerod Sanderson
ID: 34989948
upgrade your outlook client to 2003 or 2007.  These versions allow your pst file to grow to 20 GB max.  Outlook 2010 allows your pst file to grow to 50 GB max.
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LVL 82

Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 34989959
Change to pop3 vs imap and then download your mail
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Author Comment

by:tech1guy
ID: 34989985
I need solution without upgrading the OL.
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Author Comment

by:tech1guy
ID: 34989991
ve30fa ...what difference it will make? and second thing is there any solution to my problem....as if i downloaing from the exchange server...then what I can do?
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:connectex
ID: 34990032
Is you Outlook configuration setup to delete the downloaded messages from the Yahoo POP account? If not, it will redownload all the messages in the Yahoo POP mailbox again to the new .pst file. Note however by changing it  no messages will remain in the Yahoo mailbox. So accessing Yahoo's web mail will have any of the messages already downloaded.
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LVL 96

Accepted Solution

by:
Lee W, MVP earned 2000 total points
ID: 34990035
ANSI based PST files are limited to 2GB in size.

UNICODE PST files have a much higher limit (frankly, I've never seen what the actual number is and I've seen MS KB articles indicating it can reach 21 GB.  There may be performance issues if it grows that large, but it CAN grow at least that large.

Outlook 2003 and later supports both UNICODE based PST files and ANSI based PST files but you CANNOT easily convert them (to convert, you really have to migrate the data from one file to another, copying the messages, contacts, and other items via drag-and-drop).  

Outlook versions before 2003 only support ANSI based PST files.

Now, to directly address your issue:  If you have Outlook configured to leave mail on the server, when you change the PST file it ends up re-downloading all your e-mail from the server and that's likely why you are filling up your PST file that quickly.

You have three options I can think of at the moment:
1.  Switch to IMAP as someone else suggested which would leave your mail on the server and only download it when you explicitly move it to a folder of your PST file.
2. Change your settings so that you delete some or all of the mail from the server after a period of time.  (If you use web mail, I'd say to go with 90 days - that way all your mail from the last 90 days is available via web mail and older mail is available on your computer).
3. Upgrade to a newer version of Outlook.

Also, you could use two PST files and organize your e-mail, dragging things out of the inbox and into a folder in another PST file as they come in.
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:connectex
ID: 34990036
I hate when I do that. The last part should be. So accessing Yahoo's web mail will NOT have any of the messages that have already been downloaded.
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:Jerod Sanderson
ID: 34990039
Well if upgrading isn't an option do as ve3ofa suggested change to pop3.  Add a second pst file make some email rules to move emails as needed to the second pst file.


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Author Comment

by:tech1guy
ID: 34990188
hi leew....Ya i will change the setting to delet the email after downloading on the ol, but my 2nd question still resides. As i have ol 2002 at work and uses exchange servers. So it will do the same thing when it reaches 2gb ( right now, i dont know....what size of pst file i have at work). So, if I do the same thing as i did here....mean make new data file and make it default. Then new data file will load the email again from exchange server and will be of almost same size as that to old one ! SO what option ?
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LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 34990260
When connecting to Exchange, Exchange stores the mail, not outlook.  I don't recall if Outlook 2002 has an Offline cache - if it does, then you'd have the problem as the OST file would be limited to 2 GB as well.  You can avoid that problem by disabling the offline cache (it's a setting - if it exists for XP and is in the same place as 2003 - in the Exchange account properties in your Outlook config).
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Author Comment

by:tech1guy
ID: 34990338
I checked, my work pc also has pst file in local hdd....under app data.,..so is that a cache file?bt it doesn't look like cache .....can we hav multiple 2gb data files in ol 2002?
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LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 34990345
Cache files are .OST files.

You NEVER want to let the file reach 2 GB - if it hits that point, you WILL lose mail as you'll have to fix it and the fix literally deletes a few MB of items from the file.  And I HAVE seen files that cannot be recovered.  You can load as many PST files as you like though (at least I've never heard of a limit and have had several myself loaded at once)
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:ashunnag
ID: 34990364
check this link in how to increase the size limit:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/832925
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LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 34990388
@ashunnag

That link is not really applicable here since this is Outlook XP (2002) and the max size is already 2 GB and cannot be increased.
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Author Comment

by:tech1guy
ID: 34993164
@ leew

That solution works for yahoo...., but i checked on my work pc... I am a part of the domain. I am using Outlook 2002 on my TSWEB and my PST file is 1.4 GB on one of my mapped drives, so for that when it reaches around 2GB, if I make new pst file what will happen? i.e my new PST file will load all the email again from server ????? Please expalin.
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Author Comment

by:tech1guy
ID: 34993179
@ leew

That solution works for yahoo...., but i checked on my work pc... I am a part of the domain. I am using Outlook 2002 on my TSWEB and my PST file is 1.4 GB on one of my mapped drives, so for that when it reaches around 2GB, if I make new pst file what will happen? i.e my new PST file will load all the email again from server ????? Please expalin.

I forgot to mention ...on server we have outlook exchange
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LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 34993207
By default, Exchange accounts in Outlook DO NOT store mail in PST files.  They "read" the mailbox on the Exchange server and directly manipulate it.  Again, I don't recall if Outlook 2002 (XP) uses an offline cache - if it does, then that offline cache is a complete copy of the mailbox and subject to the limit
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Author Comment

by:tech1guy
ID: 34993735
Thanks all esp leew....
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