Thoughts on having 3, 4, 5 or 6 open, large .PST files in Outlook 2013

Posted on 2014-01-14
Last Modified: 2014-01-15
I have a client who has at least five archive .PST files > 11MB in size.  The default .PST file is about 50MB, actually pretty small.  I know the max size for a .PST file in 2013 is 50 GB, but if Outlook has to open 4 or 5 large .PST files when it starts up will this affect performance and startup time?  

I can't see how it wouldn't.  

Thanks so much!!!
Question by:CraigSNYC
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 39779089
Are we on the same page?  11Mb is small. My archives are over 1Gb and they do not affect performance at all.

Outlook opens the archive but is not using it unless (a) you are accessing it or (b) it is archiving (normally an infrequent activity).

I have 4 archives plus my main PST and performance is not an issue.

Are the archives local? They should be. Or are they on a server?  That could slow things down.

.... Thinkpads_User

Author Comment

ID: 39779113
Sorry!!!  Not MB...GB.  So, the archive PST files are >11GB.  The default PST file, where emails are delivered to, is about 50MB.  When Outlook starts up and it has to open/map 4 to 6 PST files that are > 11GB will that degrade performance?
LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 39779169
I have Outlook 2010 on a Windows 7 machine and Outlook 2013 on a Windows 8 machine. They both take a while (about a minute) to open. However, once open (and I leave Outlook open and minimized), performance is just fine even with large archive files.

Performance is Outlook opening and reading emails. Just having an archive file open should not hurt this. Archives do not harm my Outlook performance.

.... Thinkpads_User
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Expert Comment

by:Will Szymkowski
ID: 39779181
Depending on where the PST files are located will determine the experience of Outlook. If your PST files are being accessed from a network share (not recommended) it will be slower to open. If the PST are local to the machine this should not have an affect on Outlook as the email is not in the user Inbox rather on the local machine.

What version of Exchange are you running? PST files although are still used if you have Exchange 2010 or 2013 why not use Achriving Mailboxes (that is ofcourse you have either of these versions of Exchange).

Other things that degrade the performance are below...
- Large outlook mailbox
- Multiple 3rd party add-ins
- Using online mode
- Damaged or corrupt OST file


Author Comment

ID: 39779185
@will: this isn't an exchange environment.  And, all PST files are on the local c:\ drive.
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Accepted Solution

John Hurst earned 500 total points
ID: 39779199
There should be no issue just having the archives open. I have been doing just that for a very long time (earlier versions of Outlook as well).

Make sure the computer has a 64-bit operating system with lots of memory and you should be fine.

.... Thinkpads_User
LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 39783584
@CraigSNYC - Thanks and I was happy to help.

.... Thinkpads_User

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