Explained: How and Why you should Split an Oversized PST File

Oversized PST files are indeed a headache. Loyal Outlook users who have faced this dilemma from time to time will certainly vouch for it. In order to treat a headache, you need to know what is causing it and then you can take a step for remedy.

The very first question that is bound to strike your mind, “Why are oversized PST files a headache?”

The answer is simple! It's because Outlook PST files are imposed with a limitation on their size. The MS Outlook versions like Outlook 97, Outlook 2000 and Outlook 2002(XP) had a size limit of 2GB. Then came Outlook 2003 and 2007 which had a limitation of 20 GB. As time goes by, our needs subsequently increase. Therefore, the latest versions of MS Outlook had their size increased to 50 GB. Apparently, this too isn’t enough for its users.

Having a size more than the specified limit is one of the primary causes of file corruption. File corruption is a common phenomenon and also a prolonged one. This is one way to get your damaged PST files repaired. Working with oversized PST files on a regular basis will make your Outlook application slow. Thus, as the size of the PST files begins to increase, the performance of MS Outlooks is hampered considerably. And, there might even come a time when you might lose all your files completely.

 Sounds like a nightmare, isn’t it?

The good thing is - you can solve the problem.

Now, you don’t want to lose any of your files and neither are you willing to accept Outlook’s degraded performance. What could be done in such a situation? Simple, you reach a middle ground by just splitting the oversized PST files.  Voila! Just get on with it already.

Here are some methods to split the oversized PST files:

Method 1:  The ‘Archive’ method.

Step1: Launch & Run the MS Outlook application.

Step2: Visit the ‘File’ tab again, then select “Clean up tools”. You will get to see a drop down list. Opt the ‘Archive’ option from the given list.

Split an oversized PST file


Step3: After this, a dialogue box appears where you can see ‘Archive this folder and sub-folders’ which happens to be checked by default. In case, if it is unchecked, check it.

Select the folders you wish to move from the list.

Now, you will get ‘Archive items older than’ option. Select a date from the calendar and select the location for the new folder by using the ‘Browse’ option.

Split an oversized PST file


Step4: Name the PST file and click OK.

Split an oversized PST file


Finally, you have created a new PST file in your coveted location.

Method 2: The ‘Import and Export’ method.

Step1: Launch & Run the MS Outlook application. Go to ‘File’ menu and click on ‘Account settings’.

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Step2: From the ‘Account settings’ dialog box, select the ‘Data file’ tab and then click ‘Add’.

Split an oversized PST file


Step3: A new dialog box will appear with the term ‘Create or Open Outlook Data File'. Name the PST file and  choose a location for storage.

Split an oversized PST file


Step4: Again go to the ‘File’ Tab ---> Open ---> Import.

An 'Import and Export Wizard' window will appear, select the 'Export' option and click on the 'Next' button.

split an oversized pst file


Step5: Select the PST file and click ‘Next’.

split an oversized pst file


Step6: Choose the folder that you want to export from 'Expand the folder' and select the item you wish to export. You can also include the subfolders if you want to export.

Click the 'Next' button.

split an oversized pst file


Step7: Now, browse the desired file location, rename it and click OK.

[If you want it to be password protected then apply a password from ‘Create Outlook Data File’ otherwise click Cancel.]

Now, our Outlook is not restricted to emails. It also concerns the valuable contacts, journals, calendar items etc. If you are upgrading your Outlook or moving from one system to another, it is essential to have a backup of the above-mentioned things.

Read on how to safely export your Outlook belongings without any complications. The exporting process should not go wrong as it may end up with PST file corruption and even deletion sometimes.

Method 3: The ‘Move to folders’ method

Step1: Launch & Run the MS Outlook application.

Step2: Go to ‘File’ tab and click on ‘New’. Select ‘Outlook Data file’ from this new box.

Step3: A ‘New Outlook Data File’ dialog box will appear from where you have to choose the Outlook's Personal Folder File and click OK.

Step4: Another dialog box having Create Microsoft Personal Folders appears. Name the new PST by typing in the text box.

Step5: Select the folder (s) that you want to move to the newly created PST file.

Step6: Now, opt the Edit menu and click on the Move to Folder option.

Step7: A ‘Move Items’ dialog box will be displayed, click on 'New' option.

Step8: ‘Create New Folder’ dialog box will pop up.
Step9: Name it and choose ‘Select where to place the folder’. Click on new PST file followed by OK.

Step10: In the ‘Move Items’ dialog box first check that new folder in new PST file is selected and then click on OK.

You want your Outlook to function smoothly and it will do so if oversized PST files are avoided. Hope this post helps you to split an oversized PST file. If you have any queries after reading this post or any other doubt related to Outlook, feel free to comment below.

Explained: How and Why you should Split an Oversized PST File was last modified: January 13th, 2020 by John Harris

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