Outlook can't receive any more data/how big can a PST file go?

Dan used Ask the Experts™
Hi I have 3 people at a company that can't receive any more emails to certain mailbox.  Each of the mailboxes has the exact same data and has reached 47 gigs.  They are all local pst files and running Outlook 2018.  

Question, is that the limit of a pst file?  I thought they could go much bigger.
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Assistant Vice President\Network Manager
The short answer is the limit is set to 50G in Outlook 2010, 2013 and 2016.  This limit can be raised by setting a couple of registry settings.  However keep in mind that the size will impact response time, backup time and other potential issues.  

To adjust the size up please refer to:  https://www.msoutlook.info/question/increase-pst-file-size-limit
timgreen7077Exchange Engineer
Distinguished Expert 2018

If the actual mailbox itself can't receive any more mail, then the issue is with the mailbox itself and not a pst file. A pst is not a mailbox. you need to find out that the limit is on the actual mailbox. not sure what your messaging system is but if its exchange you will need to look at the properties of the mailbox in Exchange to see if the mailbox has hit its limit on the amount of mail it can hold.
MASEE Solution Guide - Technical Dept Head
Most Valuable Expert 2017

Agree with Timgreen you should first check where this limit exceeded.

The better option is to archive the data older than xdays (example 365 days or 730days)in a second PST. This will effect your outlook stability as your search is done locally. 50GB is the maximum for Outlook2010 and higher versions.
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Alexei KuznetsovMicrosoft Outlook MVP

You can configure maximum PST size via GPO/registry, take a look:

As you can see, ~50GB is the default MaxLargeFileSize in Outlook 2010-2016.
Steven CarnahanAssistant Vice President\Network Manager

As eluded to by others, you first need to determine where the stop/block is occurring.  

My original answer was in reference to the actual question you posted and not any reference to the actual issue you are seeing.  For that you need to look a little deeper.

What you don't mention is if there is any type of error message on the client computer either when they are attempting to send or receive email or even if they are able to send but just not receive.  Often different limits are placed on send and receive.

You don't mention what the actual environment is that you are operating in.  Are the clients simply using Outlook to send/receive email through what type of mail server?  is it in house like an Exchange server or is it housed by a 3rd party and Outlook is being used as a POP client?

Obviously if you have an onsite Exchange environment then someone on staff has the responsibility for the limits. If it is a hosted environment then the host provider sets the limits, possibly according to what was contracted for.


Wow, thank you so much, it's at the PST file not the mailbox, Steven I'm going to try your (then Alexei's) method.  I have like 10 people getting this email, the ones that came later and have less of a mailbox are oK it's the original ones that are having issues.  I'll be right back and try it out.
SysToolsData Expert - Recovery,Backup,Migration

Hi Dear,

Technically, Microsoft has completely solved the problem of storage space in Outlook 2016. By default the size of Outlook mailbox can store upto 48 GB (50 GB overall) of data which can be expanded upto 4PB (4000 TB) by doing some registry changes.  Read this official blog by Microsoft on the size of various Outlook version i.e. 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007.

However, if you are facing issues with the large Outlook mailboxes then in such case you can try SysTools PST Splitter for free. It will provides you 4 unique option to split Outlook PST file by size, date, year and folder. It also supports to split corrupt or inaccessible Outlook PST files. Download software for free from here: https://www.systoolsgroup.com/split-pst.html


Thanks all that was very helpfull

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