Solution to large email POP and pst mailboxes

my client is currently using POP for their emails, however has approached me for a solution to an ongoing problem. slow outlook due to big pst files.

There are 12 users and each user's .pst file is between 4-9GB big.

What is a good solution to consider here?

Would moving to Exchange server make any difference at all?
How about cloud based Exchange mailbox services?
Would simply splitting the .pst files into a few smaller ones fix the issue? And is this a practicable solution?

Thanks
cgruberAsked:
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
The solution to large mailboxes and slow Outlook is to archive mail. That works really well and will speed up Outlook nicely.

Exchange is great for businesses, but moving to Exchange from POP3 is unlikely to speed things up if the primary mail files are very large. Same thing with hosted services.

Archiving will bring your speed back. I archive my own email and Outlook is very speedy.

... Thinkpads_User
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cgruberAuthor Commented:
Can that archived emailed be found via the search function?
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Absolutely. I open Archives in Outlook and they appear in the folder tree below the main email file folder tree.

Indexing covers Archives as well as the main mail file.

... Thinkpads_User
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cgruberAuthor Commented:
Done deal. Thanks
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Also, remember that after first archiving and periodically thereafter, you should compact the mail file. Right click on the mail file in Outlook, select Properties, Advanced and Compact.

POP3 mail files should be compacted anyway, but if you have never done this, the first compact could take a while. So could the first archive operation.

Find a system to test these concepts so that you get an idea what the time frames are.

Once archived, I run archive every sixty days, and archive completes in 10 minutes or so. Compact (I do weekly) takes about a minute or two. Just be ready for the first time.

.... Thinkpads_User
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
@cgruber - Thank you and I was happy to help. .... Thinkpads_User
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