Outlook pst at max size & not reducing

Posted on 2012-09-11
Last Modified: 2012-09-15
Outlook 2003: Getting message that my outlook.pst has reached its maximum size.
Deleted (permanently) and archived many messages: Size did not reduce
Ran Compact: Size did not reduce
Ran Scanpst: Found 20 errors & ran Repair which completed successfully: Size still did not reduce
Disabled Anti-virus (someone suggested this can cause Compact to not work) but did not help
PST size is 1,906,641
Also new incoming emails are getting downloaded (as they are no longer available to view on ISP's webmail server) but are not showing up in Outlook.
Assuming someone comes up with a solution to getting my pst file size down, will I then get these emails (as they are important) or have they gone down a black hole?
Question by:laurencoull
    LVL 17

    Assisted Solution

    by:Lior Karasenti
    first you should back your PST file before you start play with it.
    You can split your PST with 3d party like this one

    i think your emails are gone unless you checked the 'leave copy on the server' option
    LVL 89

    Assisted Solution

    by:John Hurst
    Carefully back up your PST and Archive Files into a non-Outlook backup location. Make a couple of copies.

    Now use the Mail icon in Control Panel to delete the Outlook Profile. Make sure the Outlook data files (PST) files have been removed.

    Now restart Outlook, delete the email acount, make a new profile and account (which will have no mail. Once done, import the mail from the saved PST file.  

    Does that work?  Once done, you can copy back the Archive PST files.

    ... Thinkpads_User
    LVL 8

    Accepted Solution

    I see that your PST file is just closing 2GB, so your PST file should be in old non-Unicode format.

    For your case, just do as follows:

    1. create a new PST file in Outlook 2003 with new Unicode format(the default format),

    2. Copy the contents from the old oversized PST file to the new one.

    3. Backup the old one.

    4. Replace the old one with the new PST file.

    Then everything is set.
    LVL 12

    Assisted Solution


    bear in mind that if you follow thinkpads_user suggestion your auto complete will be gone as well so you might want to back up your nk2 file as well, i know some people are very upset when they lose that feature
    LVL 89

    Expert Comment

    by:John Hurst
    Good point about the autocomplete and it is easily backed up.

    Here is a good Microsoft article on the different PST formats.

    ... Thinkpads_User

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