Outlook 2003 .pst file size error message

I set up client using Google Apps to host his emails using his domain name.  He would like to continue using Outlook 2003 to access his emails.

I have been moving his saved messages to his new .pst but just got this message. (I am not using the Google migration since it changes the received dates in Outlook to the migration date, unless I'm missing something?)

"The file C:\Documents and Settings - etc- ....pst has reached its maximum size.  To reduce the amount of data in this file, select some items that you no longer need, and permanently delete them by pressing SHIFT+DELETE.  You could also consider using the new Outlook Personal folders file (.pst ) introduced with Outlook 2003 that provides greater capacity for storing items and folders."

I thought I was using this format when I set up his new .pst??  His old .pst was larger (2.69 GB) than his current .pst (1.8 GB).  I simply went to Tools – Email - “add new email”.  I am using IMAP.  I thought Outlook 2003 had a storage limit of 20 GB, at least with what I have read.

Your assistance is greatly appreciated.  Thank you!
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Outlook 2003 PSTs has a size limit of 2 GB if configured in ANSI.pst format.

Outlook 2003 has a PST limit of 2GB.  2007 and later use a different format.  Was the email setup before on a different computer with a different version of Outlook?  Was there more than one PST file?  (that's another way around it - a couple of PST files depending on topics, senders, etc.)

Magnus BIT-supportCommented:
Be aware of that removing items from the PST-file doesn't make the file shrink automatically. You need to use the compact button to see difference.

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MagsOwnerAuthor Commented:
Hello -

abdulalikhan and MBobrek per your listed article it states - "By default, the limit for a Unicode .pst file in Outlook 2007 and in Outlook 2003 is configured to be 20 GB"  When I go to Tools - Options - Other - General - Advanced Options it says messages are being saved in Unicode format.  His file is only 1.8 GB.  What am I missing??

MadJax  If file size isn't an issue, which from what I have read shouldn't be, what would be the advanage or disadvantage of compacting a file?
MagsOwnerAuthor Commented:
Hello...is anyone there.  My client is freaking!
You can do two things,

1. Create a new unicode PST file and transfer all his present emails to that file and check if PST starts downloading beyond 1.8 GB.

2. You can also check through registry values if that has been modified somehow earlier and set the correct values. For reference check the link below,


Note: Take the backup of the pst before doing anything.
MagsOwnerAuthor Commented:
Thank you so much for the response abdulalikhan.  I have not had access to my client’s computer today and have been dealing with a medical emergency with my mother.

I will check the registry first as transferring all his emails takes literally hours.  Is that normal?  I have been using the "move" function not drop and drag.

Warm regards, Mags
No Problem family comes first. Hope your mother get well soon.

You can either use 'move' or 'drag and drop' it is almost similar.
Magnus BIT-supportCommented:
Sorry for late response
Outlook 2003 comes with 2 choices of PST, either the 2Gb version (97-2002) or the 20Gb version. However it should offer the 20Gb unicode version at the top at creation of the file.
If you look on the format of the file, what does it say there? Maybe you created an older version by misstake?
how to check format: Rightclick it in Outlook > Properties > Advanced > check format field.
MagsOwnerAuthor Commented:
Madjax I will check his format as soon as I can access his computer.

If it is incorrect can I change it there (or somewhere else) or do I need to make a new File? Would going the registry as suggested by abdulalikhan be a place to change the size?

However, if I need to create a new data File how would I connect that data file to the Google Apps Email Server?  Since I am using IMAP it doesn’t appear I can select the data file I wish to use to connect the two.  It does not appear that when I make a new email account I have a choice as to which format I use (I would think it would use the 20Gb unicode version as default but it didn't seem to do that).  abdulalikhan  I can not simply move his “Inbox” to the new data file using IMAP.  So what is a girl to do???
MagsOwnerAuthor Commented:
Okay it is confirmed...his file was created as an Outlook 97-2002 Personal Folders File.  I don't know how that happened when the other should have been the default...I clearly don't remember being able to make a choice.

Regardless...is there a way to change the format or do I need to start over?  If I start over should I be able to chose my format of choice in setting up a email account?  I see I can make that choice in making a new data file but that doesn't do me any good.

Thanks for your help...it is greatly appreciated.
The IMAP PST files cannot use more then 2 GB in outlook 2003.


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MagsOwnerAuthor Commented:
any chance this may work IMAP and Outlook 2003/2007 PST file

In Summary:  Export the PST from within Outlook 2003/2007 to a new file, it will then be written to the new format. Files that were created in Outlook 2000, are not "magically changed" to 2003 format when you open them up in 2003. Compare it to doc and docx.... a doc does not become a docx when you open it up and update it, only when you do a "file, save as..." can you save it as a docx.

The same is true for outlook. If you do a "file, import & export" and then choose to export to a new PST file, it will export everything (contacts, mail, calendar, etc) into a new PST file.

Afterwards, rename the backup.pst file you just created back to outlook.pst, and then overwrite the outlook.pst in it's original location, et voila! 2003 format PST's.

or a combo of export and import Convert a non-Unicode data file (.pst) to a Unicode data file (.pst)
I dont know if that can work as i dont have 2003 available with me now and I have not done that so cannot suggest. Even I agree with the article that going beyond 2GB of PST is not suggested as experienced but as the support is available you can go beyond but the performance depends on the Client computer hardware.
MagsOwnerAuthor Commented:
I tried the above and can not get it to work.   Looks like we need to update Outlook or use Google Apps instead of Outlook since he does not want to reduce the size.

With that being the case I have some logistics questions to get info over to Google Apps that we have not been able to transfer.  Would you like me to open a new case or should we continue?

Thank you for all of your assistance!
You need to open a new case for that.

But ask the user that try to minimize the PST file because if it got corrupted then it will be another hassle/problem.
MagsOwnerAuthor Commented:
Will do abdulalikhan...thanks for your assistance.

Thankfully since it is IMAP and connected to Google I think he should be good as far as email protection...he attempted to get rid of files but most of them he needed to keep.
MagsOwnerAuthor Commented:
I gave Madjax 100 points because he showed me how to check the format.  The rest to aabdulalikhan since he finally pointed out the if it is an IMAP .pst file in Outlook 2003 it can not be larger than 2 GB.
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