Multiple PST Archives / Merging - Best Practices

oaktrees used Ask the Experts™

I've got


Outlook archives.

Just the 14Gb is visible in the right pane of Outlook, under the active day-to-day folders.  Does that mean the other archives are not searched?

Seems like, if I wanted to have ALL the data available, I should merge them?  Am I right?

If yes, that'd be over 20Gb in one .PST  What's best practices here?  If it were you, and you wanted access to the messages, would you merge them all into one huge PST?  And then keep that open along with the main data file in Outlooks right pane?

Or, is there a better way to be sure I'm searching all my mail?


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Senior Systems Admin
Top Expert 2010
You have to have a PST file added to a profile in Outlook for it to be searched, so you can either merge the files or add them all to the profile. Merging is an acceptable option, since Outlook PST files don't suffer from the extreme limits they used to. Performance will be better with one file than with 5, but you probably wouldn't notice too much of a difference unless they're all on a really slow hard drive. Outlook startup speed would be much slower with 5 than with 1, so merge is your best option here. Just note that it will take a long time for the Windows Indexing service to crawl through the whole file (Again, longer with 5 files than with 1)

As for a better way to handle mail searches, having the email on an Exchange server, either in a normal mailbox or an archive mailbox, would allow the Exchange search index to handle things.
Step 1:- Create a New Blank PST file;
1.) First of all open MS Outlook Program.
2.) Click on the “New Items” and select “More Items” from the drop down menu. After that select “Outlook Data File” option.
3.) After that select the location to save PST file and provide a name for the new PST file. Now click on “Ok” button.
Step 2:- Import all PST files into new blank PST file
1.) Now click on “File” tab > “Open” > “Import”.
2.) After that an “Import and Export Wizard” will appear. Select “Import from another program or file” from the list and click on “Next”.
3.) Now select file type to import from. Click on “Outlook Data File (.pst)” and click on “Next”.
4.) Click on “Browse” and select the file to import. Check the box “Do not import duplicates” and then click on “Next”.
5.) Select the folder to import from. Check the box “Include subfolders” and “Import items into the same folder in”. Then click on “Finish”.
Merge Outlook PST files is one of the common issue searched by many Outlook users nowadays. There are so many blogs available to provide the techniques to combine PST files. I would like to share one helpful automated tool that is  DataVare Outlook PST Merge which can join PST files without any hurdle. If you are not able to use manual tricks then you can go through this third-party software without any issue.

You can merge two pst files with following steps:
Step 1: Open the Import and Export Wizard dialog box.
Step 2: In the coming Import and Export Wizard dialog box, click to select the Import from another program or file, and then click the Next button.
Step 3: In the Import a File dialog box, click to select the Outlook Data File (.pst), and then click the Next button.
Step 4: In the Import Outlook Data File dialog box, check the option of Do not import duplicates, and then click the Browse button.
Step 5: In the coming Open Outlook Data Files dialog box, find out and select the .pst file you don’t open in Outlook, and then click the Open button.
Step 6: Click the Next button in the Import Outlook Data File dialog box.
Step 7: In the Second Import Outlook Data File dialog box, check the option of Import items into the same folder in box, and then clicking the box below and specify the .pst file that you have opened in Outlook, and click the Finish button.
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1. Open “Microsoft Outlook” and locate PST files which you want to merge.

2. To create Outlook Data File, select "New Items” >> “More Items” >> “Outlook Data File”.

3. Create or Open Outlook Data File window will be opened. Specify a name to new PST file and click “OK”.

4. You can see the new Outlook PST file in the navigation tab. Now, Click on “File” tab >> “Open” >> “Import” option.

5. Import and Export wizard will open. Choose “Import from another Program or File” option and click on “Next” button.

6. Select “Outlook Data file (.pst)” and click on “Next” button.

7. Click on “Browse” button to choose the PST file, select “Do not import duplicates” check box and click on “Next” button.

8. Choose the folder to import and select “Include sub folders” and “Import items into the same folder in” both the check boxes, and then click on “Finish” button.
Jerry FreyB2B Executive
As suggested above by Adam, merging your multiple PST file into single one will be helpful for you.

To merge your PST file you can take help of manual method or Stellar Merge PST. Please check the below reference for both the methods.



Thanks, ALL! :))))))))))))))))))!

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