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Why does Outlook constantly modify Archived PST files

Posted on 2014-03-24
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I use Microsoft Outlook 2007 on Windows 7, and each year I archive the previous years emails into an archive PST

I have been doing this a while, currently I have my "current" PST file (named 2014) and then a bunch of connected PST files named 2013, 2012, 2011 etc (about 8 in total)

I have recently subscribed to an online backup service (Crashplan) and have selected that I want my PST files backed up.

However these PST files seem to constantly be accessed/modified. If I look at them in Explorer, the "Date modified" is always the current date and time. Even Archived PST files which I wouldn't have even looked at for 6 or 7 years will have been "modified" this very minute.

So every time Crashplan does a backup, it thinks it needs to upload these 8 or so PST files as they have changed (at 3-4 GB each) so it is really slowing things down.

I wondered why these files are being accessed. What is Outlook doing to these files constantly? And is there anything I can do to stop it? Apart from detaching them from my Outlook account I cant think of anything else to do.

Thanks a lot
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Question by:dannyshaw145
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5 Comments
 
LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:Darr247
ID: 39949930
The pst's are database files.
If they're listed in its Mail Folders / All Mail Items section, every time Outlook compacts them it touches their date/time stamps, whether it actually makes them any smaller or not.
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Author Comment

by:dannyshaw145
ID: 39949937
Well they are listed in Data File Management >> Data Files if that's the same thing?

So the only option is to disconnect these older PST files from Outlook?

Or is there a way of stopping Outlook from trying to compact all the time (I do this manually anyway)

Thanks
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LVL 44

Accepted Solution

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Darr247 earned 2000 total points
ID: 39949995
I would move those archive PST files to a different tree structure, then exclude that new path from CrashPlan's backups.

e.g. Instead of
%localappdata%\Microsoft\Outlook\2013-archive-00000001.pst
%localappdata%\Microsoft\Outlook\2012-archive-00000001.pst
%localappdata%\Microsoft\Outlook\2011-archive-00000001.pst
[...]
move them to
%localappdata%\MailArchives\2013-archive-00000001.pst
%localappdata%\MailArchives\2012-archive-00000001.pst
%localappdata%\MailArchives\2011-archive-00000001.pst
[...]
then change the locations in Outlook's Tools -> Account Settings... on the E-Mail tab (select the archive account and click the Change Folder button).

Finally, exclude %localappdata%\MailArchives\ in CrashPlan's settings.
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LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:Darr247
ID: 39950002
There used to be a way to stop the auto maintenance, but I don't find that option in Outlook 2007.
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Expert Comment

by:GillesT
ID: 39950343
When a pst file is attached in Outlook (in the profile), each time you launch Outlook, the pst file is opened by Outlook, and Outlook change the date of the file !
If you don't want that the date change, you have to detach the pst file from Outlook or use a pst backup product like PSTSTation Corporate that make backup of pst files at message level. In that case, you will be able to add to the Crash Plan the backup of the pst file that will never change if the source no message are added in the source pst files. This solution is usefull if you are corporate and you want to manage several computers.
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