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  1. #1
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    Outlook pst file size (2000)

    My Outlook pst file seems to be growing without an apparent reason. I normally only add text to existing Contacts, I keep my Inbox clear, I move email attachments to folders outside of Outlook then delete them from Outlook, my Calendar is not grossly populated but...my pst file has gone from about 14-Meg (stayed there for a couple of months), through 25-Meg (again it stayed there for a couple of months), and now is resting on about 43-Meg. Again, without adding (or keeping) anywhere near that kind of data. It almost seems that if I send or receive a bunch of emails with attachments the space used to store these is never removed. For instance, if I were to send out 10-emails with a 2-Meg attachment, thats 20-Meg total space, it seems like the 20-Meg is allocated but, when the emails and attachments are deleted the 20-Meg is not removed also. Did that make sense ?
    I don't want to archive because all of the info is needed and its nice in one place (even that wouldn't answer my question which is).
    What is causing my Outlook pst file to grow disproportionally to the amount of data being entered ?
    I researched the Lounge and a post by Hans indicates that it just appears to grow. I've copied all of the Contacts into a folder outside of Outlook, then deleted them from the Contact folder. The resulting difference was only about 4-Meg (618 Contacts). I don't use the Journal and the Deleted item folder is empty. I've run SCANPST and fixed whatever it found, again to no avail.
    Thanks in advance for you time.

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    Re: Outlook pst file size (2000)

    Have you been compacting your PST file regularly. (Inside Outlook, right-click on Local Folders, choose Advanced and then choose Compact Now.) Like any database, an Outlook PST needs to be compacted regularly to maintain a reasonable size and speed. HTH
    Gre

  3. #3
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    Re: Outlook pst file size (2000)

    Is there anything in your Journal folder? That can accumulate a lot of (often useless) information if not configured to fit your needs.

    Unless you are very tight on disk space, or need to fit your PST on a small USB flash drive, then you probably should not be too concerned about sizes under 300MB. Outlook operates pretty smoothly with large files. (As long as no one folder has too many items; it really bogs down displaying and sorting folders with a lot of items.)

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    Re: Outlook pst file size (2000)

    Thanks, that did the trick. I just compacted and am down to almost 7-Meg.
    It would be nice if there were a way to automate this function.
    Once again, Thanks unkamunka.

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    Re: Outlook pst file size (2000)

    Thanks jscher2000,
    I haven't configured the Journal so I don't think its the problem. You hit the nail on the head when you asked about a USB Flash drive. I try to keep critical files on a 256-Meg flash and it really works out well. But as I watch this pst grow I get a little concerned. Again, thanks for your post. If you haven't already, look at unkamunka's post. I did the compact thing am now the pst is about 7-Meg.

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    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Outlook pst file size (2000)

    Wow, I thought ScanPST automatically compacted the file, so I'm surprised that you got such dramatic results! Maybe it only compacts the file if it finds a problem. Hmmm... (my PST files are much too big for testing these theories.)

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    Re: Outlook pst file size (2000)

    With and since Outlook 2000 background PST compression has been much better, and I rarely obtain any gains when I manually compress my PST files in XP or 2003, unless immediately after I have deleted old items. I wonder if the background compression process uses disk caching techniques that don't apply to flash memory?
    -John ... I float in liquid gardens
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    Re: Outlook pst file size (2000)

    (Edited by HansV to make URL clickable - see <!help=19>Help 19<!/help>)

    This appears relevant to your questions.

    In all versions of Outlook (see important note below for versions of Outlook prior to Outlook 2002) the maximum size of a Personal Folder (PST) is 2G. If you go over this limit the PST file will become permanently corrupt and you will lose everything in the PST. Information Technology cannot recover corrupted PSTs. Even though Microsoft allows a 2G PST file, this is not a practical file size to work with, and we strongly advise you to break your PST files into smaller, more manageable chunks by using multiple PSTs.

    Personal Folders (PST) in versions of Outlook prior to Outlook 2002 have a limitation of 16,383 items. [limits - 2GB, 16383/ Large Table 65635 elements.] If you go over this limit the PST file will become permanently corrupt and you will lose everything in the PST. Information Technology cannot recover corrupted PSTs. There is an option for upgrading to large tables that you can enable to allow you to go over the 16,383 item limit:
    On the Tools menu, click Services.
    Click to select the Personal Folders service, and click Properties.
    On the General tab, click to select the "Allow upgrade to large tables" check box.
    Click OK.

    http://www.uwsp.edu/it/exchange/FAQs...nalfolders.htm
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/q197430/

    John Gregory

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    Re: Outlook pst file size (2000)

    Welcome to the Lounge, John. (I see that your first four posts were today.) The Outlook forum is always looking for expertise.

    The PST size information and references are very useful - I was looking for that info a while back in the MSKBs and couldn't find it..

    But I don't see how they explain the experience the original poster mentioned in later posts in the thread, obtaining a substantial file size reduction after manually compressing his Flash-memory PST. Any ideas on that?
    -John ... I float in liquid gardens
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    Re: Outlook pst file size (2000)

    Edited by HansV. You can create a link by putting <!t><!/t> before, and <!t><!/t> after the URL. And you can quote text (indent it and put it between two horizontal lines) by putting <!t>
    <!/t> before it and <!t>
    <!/t> after it. See <!help=19>Help 19<!/help>.
    <hr>Automatic Background Compaction - PST files that are not on your computer may require manual compaction, due to interactions between the computer where the PST files are stored and your computer. - Automatic compaction takes place as an idle task in the background. The following conditions must be true for this background task to take place: Outlook must be running and the computer must not be engaged in other CPU-intensive tasks such as copying or downloading files.<hr>
    My flash drive does experience automatic compaction.
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?...kb;en-us;196890

    Below describes my personal experience after moving and deleting many emails from a 2GB file where the manual compaction took about 12 hours. I could have waited for automatic compaction but did not. Just deleting items from the deleted items folder does not free up all of the file space until such file is compacted either manually or automatically. Automatic compaction is a slow process but you never notice it, in the background.
    File Size: 1,906,976KB Before doing anything (2GB). Error messages said I could not save another email.
    File Size: 1,890,000KB After deleting many files and before any Compacting (still 2GB, approximately)
    File Size: 433,705 KB After compacting the same Personal Folders PST file. Took 12 hours.
    MKB Link Deleting and compacting PST files
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?...kb;en-us;196890
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?...kb;en-us;196990

    MKB Titled "My PST File is Getting Too Large"
    http://www.microsoft.com/learning/books/tr...lutions/292.asp

    John Gregory

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    Re: Outlook pst file size (2000)

    Hans thanks for your edit tips.

    I tested and learned a new PST created on my flash drive was automatically compacted by OL2K, contrary to what I had "guessed" previously.
    I created an new PST file on the flash drive and copied about 600KB of email onto it.
    I then deleted most of these email items and also deleted all items in the Deleted Items folder.
    OL2K then reported 54KB, but Win98SE Explorer reported 601KB for the new PST on the flash drive.
    But after about 30 minutes of automatic compaction Win98SE Explorer reported it as 105KB.

    John Gregory

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