You should take steps to reduce the size your Outlook mail file if it’s ballooned too large.
Do you use Microsoft Outlook and find that your mail file, aka the PST file, keeps getting larger and larger? Yep, that happens as you accumulate more and more email. With lots of mail, your PST file can easily grow to become many gigabytes in size. And why is that a problem? A larger PST file can slow down Outlook. PST files can also become corrupted, a potentiality that increases if the file grows too big. Fortunately, there are ways you can reduce the size of your PST file.
Microsoft Outlook uses a PST (personal storage table) file to store not just your email but also your calendar events, tasks, and other items. The PST file is a convenient way to house such information as you can move the file to a different drive or computer, back it up as one single entity, and export items from one PST file to another. The major drawback with a PST file is that the file can easily get very large very fast, especially if you have a habit of not deleting your incoming messages. Overtime, you may be surprised how big the file has grown, especially if you have a lot of messages with huge file attachments.
How large can the PST file get? In Outlook 2007 and in Outlook 2003, the size limit for your PST file was 20 gigabytes. For Outlook 2010, 2013, and 2016, that limit was bumped to 50GB. But before you even reach those limits, a big PST file can affect the performance of Outlook and increase the risk of file corruption. So, it’s in your best interests to try to keep the file size small and manageable. For this article, I’m using Outlook 2016 but the steps apply to the past few previous versions of Outlook as well.
How can you determine the size of your PST file? In Outlook, click on the File tab. Under Account Information, click on the button for Account Settings and from the menu, click on the entry for Account Settings. In the Account Settings window, make sure your PST file is selected and then note the location of the data file, or click on the Data Files tab to see the location. Open File Explorer or Windows Explorer and navigate to the location of your PST file. In the Explorer window, you can then see the size of the file.