Convert .pst file to something that doesn't have the 2GB size limit

Hello Experts

I have a client with a .pst file that is more than bursting at the seams.  His OS is Windows 7 so I can install Live Mail, but that's only good until Windows 7 goes away.  So I've opted for Thunderbird.  But I'm not finding good information about importing his email.

I guess another possibility is to use Live Mail for now and see how it converts with the mail program in Windows 10.  Has anyone made that transition?


thedslguyComputer and Network ConsultantAsked:
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yo_beeDirector of Information TechnologyCommented:
Are you having an issue with PST's reaching 2 GB limit?  
What version of Outlook are you running?
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
PST files don't have a 2 GB limit if they were created in Outlook 2003 and later - 15 years ago!  Unicode PST files (default for those created in 2003 and later have a default limit of 20 GB - which you can increase via registry (I've had them go to 50GB).

BUT, you CAN'T convert.  You have to start clean.  Create a new file, move mail from the old to the new.  Done.

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thedslguyComputer and Network ConsultantAuthor Commented:
yo_bee and Lee W

Well, this is new information.  He is using Outlook 2007, but I had always been under the impression that the .pst file had a 2GB restriction.  So this means that his issue is something else.  

I'm going to close the question and share the points, because I can likely fix it and not have to install something else.

Thank you both tor the prompt responses

Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
It is POSSIBLE the PST was created under 2002 or earlier versions of outlook - newer versions will read the older files and the older files are still subject to the limit.  Older files cannot be converted, but you can create a new file (which will be unicode) and then copy the contents of the old file into the new file.

I would suggest making a backup of the existing PST file immediately, then copying all the emails to a new PST file that you create in Outlook 2007 (or later, but you mention they are using Outlook 2007).

Over time the PST file might have become corrupt, and whilst you can try to fix those issues with ScanPST (for example), it is likely best to create a new one.  It might take an hour or so to copy everything over (if they are at or near 2GB, and depending on the specs of the hardware involved), but generally that is no big deal.

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