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Reducing Outlook PST file size

Rourkefamily
Grafter
Posts: 241
Registered: 01-09-2007

Reducing Outlook PST file size

I am splitting PST files to group by date. I do this regularly at work to help manage file sizes.
I have copied the PST file and deleted a number of emails (Into the thousands) from each personal folder and yet the PST file size remains the same. I have looked for deleted folders and where found emptied and yet the PST file size remains the same. When I look in properties of the Personal folder, this suggests that the file size is greatly reduced. Yet PST file is still the same size.
Any ideas why the file size does not reduce
6 REPLIES
pwatson
Rising Star
Posts: 2,468
Thanks: 8
Fixes: 1
Registered: 26-11-2012

Re: Reducing Outlook PST file size

The compaction process is a background task so the file size doesn't shrink immediately. 
https://support.office.com/en-nz/article/Reduce-the-size-of-Outlook-Data-Files-pst-and-ost-e4c6a4f1-...
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,380
Thanks: 4
Registered: 18-01-2013

Re: Reducing Outlook PST file size

I vaguely remember going to Windows Control Panel, Email and using the "Compact Now" function in there for the PST file.
It will stay the same size on the hard drive until it has been compacted.
Rourkefamily
Grafter
Posts: 241
Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Reducing Outlook PST file size

Thanks folks. Had a 5% effect. And the deleted folders were already empty
Still can't understand  why the file size did not shrink after deleting the emails
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,846
Thanks: 121
Fixes: 24
Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: Reducing Outlook PST file size

Deleting the emails just marks them as deleted.  They are still there, you just cannot see them any more.  You never see a reduction in the PST file size until you compact it and that can take hours for a large file.  Earlier versions of Outlook (up to 2002) stop working if the .pst file size exceeds 2 GB.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
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Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: Reducing Outlook PST file size

Quote from: ReedRichards
Earlier versions of Outlook (up to 2002) stop working if the .pst file size exceeds 2 GB.
I think it was an inbuilt restriction on the file format so was also a problem with later Outlook versions if you used the older format, e.g. for compatibility/migration.
I run Outlook 2007 with multiple PST's and there's a mixture of types, and yes it was Outlook 2003 that introduced the new format.
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Posts: 18,074
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Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Reducing Outlook PST file size

My .pst file (Outlook 2007) was 1GB but with careful deleting this evening and some archiving it is now 460MB.
I have a lot of emails with attachments I may look to archiving those as well.

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