How to Compress or Compact Archive PST File in Outlook – Advance Guide

Having a large sized Outlook mailbox? Getting your PST file bigger day by day? Searching an instant way to compact your PST file? Well, you are at the right place! Find best way to compress PST file right here. Know all the manual tips you can try to reduce Outlook mailbox size, along with the automated solution to compact archive PST file easily.

Microsoft Outlook is a worldwide popular database management system, especially to manage our emails, contacts, calendars, notes, journals etc. All these data is stored inside the database file, known as PST file.

Now what happens to this PST file when data increases constantly? It gets larger and larger and then comes a point when it starts to harm the Outlook performance. It get slower and results in freezing up, hanging and the worst scenario, PST corruption! We lose our precious data.

Why to Compress PST Files?

Why not to compact PST files? Yes, you heard it right! We DO need to downsize PST files, as we don’t want Outlook to freeze, hang or stuck, right when we are performing some crucial tasks on it.

The consequences of a giant PST file possess a large number. Operating Outlook for a long time makes the data consume more space. As a regular MS Outlook user, we tend to get a plethora of emails on a daily basis and no matter how hard we try to avoid some unnecessary mails, we get them anyway.

Imagine to delete every email message one by one. You started very well, but in the long run, you obviously fed up and yes, no one has this much free time to check out on every single email. What’s worse than that? The emails you deleted thinking you are freeing up space… Are they really freeing up space? NO! There is “white spaces” concept behind the deleted email messages.

Tip: “White Spaces” are the secret villains behind the deleted messages. These occupy the space when any message is removed permanently.

PST File Size for Outlook 2007 & 2003: 20 GB

PST File Size for Outlook 2007 & 2003: 20 GB

The End Results of Having a Large PST File

Focusing on the repercussions of an overlarge PST file, & why should we compact archive PST files, we narrowed them down to the major ones in the following list:

  • Corrupted PST File: There is a certain limit of PST file size & storage. It varies from 20GB to 50 GB including Outlook previous versions and current versions. Exceeding this size results in PST corruption. To avoid this, we need to compress PST file.
  • Outlook Freezing and Hanging: The exceeded data stored inside Outlook PST files makes Outlook slower. It annoyingly hangs, doesn’t respond and stucks time to time, making Outlook less productive.
  • Less Productive Outlook: If Outlook hangs in between some process, we are definitely not getting the output we desire from Outlook for a certain task. This degrades the efficiency of MS Outlook and makes it less prominent.
  • Damaged Data: This is the worst outcome of a large Outlook data file. Users may lose their entire data or some of it, due to the extra large PST file storage. And losing our vital data puts us in unexpected trouble.

Manual Ways to Compress Outlook PST File

Let’s get started with manual methods.

Method 1. Compact Now

“Compact Now Utility” is provided by Microsoft Outlook itself and it is the most popular one as well. This method is quite easy to implement and powerful though. Follow the below steps:

  • “Compact Now Utility” to Compress PST File in Outlook 2013, 2010 & 2016
  • Open MS Outlook
  • Visit File Tab >> click on Info tab
  • Open File tab How to Compress or Compact Archive PST File in Outlook – Advance Guide

  • Choose Account Settings option >> select Account Settings again
  • choose Account Settings How to Compress or Compact Archive PST File in Outlook – Advance Guide

  • In Account Settings >> Data Files
  • Choose appropriate PST file
  • Hit on Settings >> Compact Now
  • click Compact Now How to Compress or Compact Archive PST File in Outlook – Advance Guide

  • Click OK& Close
  • To Compact PST File in Outlook 2007 & Below Versions

Follow the all steps same as above, except in Step2, goto File >> & Choose Data File Management

Method 2. Mailbox Clean Up Tool

Another inbuilt utility provided by MS Outlook to cleanup your Outlook mailbox. Open your Outlook & go though the following steps:

  • Navigate to File tab >> Info
  • Choose Tools option >> Mailbox Cleanup
  • click Mailbox Cleanup How to Compress or Compact Archive PST File in Outlook – Advance Guide

  • Here we have multiple options like- View Mailbox Size, Find items older than, Find items larger than, View Deleted Items Size, Empty Deleted Items, View Conflicts Size, and Empty Conflict. Select any to perform desired work. Choose any option as per requirement.
  • select desired options How to Compress or Compact Archive PST File in Outlook – Advance Guide

Method 3. Auto Compact Feature

As we discussed about the white spaces above, these are also compacted in order to compress Outlook data file size. These white spaces take upto 20% space of PST.

MS Outlook automatically compacts PST file when the size of Outlook data file exceeds 20% of its whole size. This complete process is termed as “Auto Compact”.

Things to Keep in Mind While Applying Manual Methods to Compress PST

All the above described methods are in-built and users can compress their PST file with any of the above techniques. But, few things you need to keep in mind while implementing manual methods to reduce PST file size:

  • Manual methods are simple, yet complex! You need to be well aware with the technology before attempting any method by yourself.
  • In case of an overly large PST file, you can’t reduce it more with manual methods, i.e., in case of Compact Now utility, you will be able to reduce only 20% space of the PST, as Compact Now method only removes white spaces.
  • Manual methods could take a hell lot of time to proceed. The time gets increased more if you have even larger PST file.

What to Do If Manual Methods Are Not Sufficient to Compact PST?

SysTools PST Compress Tool is a powerful solution to overcome all the flaws of manual methods, and reducing PST file of unlimited size. The software is quick, easy and doesn’t modify or harm any of user’s data. Users must use PST File Compact Tool if the PST file is very heavy, and contains million dollar data. The PST File Compress software instantly reduce PST file size by removing attachments, which not only increases Outlook performance, also filters unnecessary data from Outlook.

Summing Up

Compacting a PST file is not the only solution to deal with a large PST file, but we also aim to not lose any data while performing the process to compress PST file. Manual methods are best when we need to reduce PST file size in small amount. On the other hand, automated solution is better if PST is huge & we want to free up more space quickly without making any efforts. Its up to users to compare and pick the best solution according to their requirement.

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Peter Baris
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