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How to manage over 3 GB of storage in Outlook 2003

Posted on 2014-11-27
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Last Modified: 2014-11-30
My email program Outlook 2003 contains over 3 GB of messages/folders. How can I manage this?

Can the email messages/folders (many contain pdf attachments) be archived in a manner to satisfy the storage limits of 2 GB and the messages be viewed in the archive folders?

What are the storage limits of archived files?

I have tried Outlook 2010 and don't like it...

Thanks!
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Question by:dave_sky
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by:Maclean
ID: 40469935
Outlook 2003 and later use a PST file format capable of storing Unicode data that has no theoretical size limit but a practical limit of 20-50 GB. You can retain the file as if, or if you prefer to cut it down, perhaps create a archive PST file file opening outlook, going to file>>archive and selecting a location, file name, and data as to up to which time frame you would like to see your data archived.

http://support2.microsoft.com/kb/982577
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VB ITS earned 2000 total points
ID: 40469942
What you can do is use the Archive feature and split it up into years.

In Outlook > click on File > Archive > choose the Archive this folder and all subfolders: option > click on the name of your account at the top > in the Archive items older than field select a date such as 01/01/2012 > click the Browse button and specify the desired location where you want to store the archive file (e.g. in a folder called Email Archive in your My Documents folder > click OK to start archiving.

What Outlook will then do is move all emails which are older than the 1st of January 2012 into a new Outlook Data File, which in turn reduces the size of your main mailbox file.

As for your question about the maximum size of an Outlook archive file, the default limit is 20GB for Unicode PST files (introduced in Outlook 2003). Prior to Outlook 2003, the maximum size of a PST file was only 2GB. The size limit for Unicode (i.e. PST files created in Outlook 2003) can be changed though to a maximum size of 50GB although I would definitely not recommend this as repairing such a large file would take a very, very long time.

In case you're interested though, this article outlines the steps required to change the default size limit: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/832925
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Expert Comment

by:Tej Pratap Shukla ~Dexter
ID: 40470169
Hey there

MS Outlook stores all its emails into the PST files and as size of our data increases, size of PST file also grows. In actual, PST file has size limit.
MS outlook  2000 and 2002– Maximum 2GB
MS outlook 2003 and 2007- Maximum 20 GB
MS Outlook 2010 – 50GB + Expendable
So if user is working on outlook 2002 he need to divide the PST file into manageable size
Manual steps to split PST into smaller files:-

1)      Select PST file that you want to split from the File menu.
2)      Now Click on Archive.
3)      Now Select the option Archive this Folder and click all sub folders, check box and then click a folder from the list.
4)      Click on a date in the Archive items older than dropping down.
5)      Click Browse and specify the name and path of your PST file, and then click on ok.

By using these manual steps we can manage our PST file, but we can’t split PST file by year,  by Date, by Size, or by Folder. To perform such operation, we need third party help like Systool PST splitter , PCVITA split magic or kernel  and so on.
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Expert Comment

by:Rob G
ID: 40470546
I would suggest checking out this:

https://www.ablebits.com/office-addins-blog/2012/01/09/office-ribbbon-menu/

Which might help you with your move to 2k10 from 2k3 outlook..

But all that aside..

If you just want to slim it down..
You can just create multiple PST files, generally i do them every 6 months and open them as attached archives to read the emails that are there when needed.. I would however suggest you copy them to an external source, or shared network storage location, so you don't accidentally lose everything if you should have a hard disk failure..
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Author Closing Comment

by:dave_sky
ID: 40472924
Thanks!
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