Microsoft Outlook takes care of your data till you take care of it by keeping track on limitations it imposes. Outlook uses PST (Personal Storage Table, an Outlook data file) to store all its data that means each time you do anything on Outlook; it is stored in PST file. Naturally, the file will get larger and larger and will reach its limit at one point. Know that there are specified limits of PST file size in all Outlook versions. In most recent versions (Outlook 2010/2013), PST size limit has been dramatically increased.
When the data goes beyond this limit, PST file immediately goes corrupt. It directly indicates that you have lost access to all Outlook data. Therefore, it is highly recommended to keep PST smaller and avoid adding more data when the file is about to reach its limit. The most simple thing you can do to reduce PST size is remove unwanted or irrelevant items from respective folders, and then from ‘Deleted Items’ folder. It is generally considered that PST becomes smaller after performing such deletion. For your information, the size does not reduce until you compact it. Yes, you must compact your PST after deleting items from Outlook to solve the purpose.
However, it is also good to know the compacting process does not remove all the free space from the file. It leaves either 16 kilobytes (KB) or 4 percent (%) of the file size (before compacting) whichever is greater. Besides, you need to keep track on following requirements before compacting a PST:
- Total size of PST must be equal to or larger than 16 GB.
- There must be minimum 16 KB free space in PST from the time it was compacted last time.
You can compact PST with the following instructions:
Step 1: Go to the menu, click ‘File’, and then click on ‘Data File Management’.
Step 2: Select your ‘Personal Folder’ by clicking on it, and then click on ‘Settings’.
Step 3: Switch to the ‘General’ tab, and then click ‘Compact Now’.
Step 4: Click ‘OK’.
Step 5: Click ‘Close’.
The process will work for all Outlook versions except MS Outlook 2010. If you are using Outlook 2010, carry out the following:
Step 1: On the Ribbon, go to the ‘File’ tab, and then click on ‘Info’ tab in the menu.
Step 2: Switch to the ‘Account Settings’ tab and click on ‘Account Settings’.
Step 3: Go to the ‘Data Files’ tab.
Step 4: Select your ‘Personal’ folder and click on ‘Settings’.
Step 5: Navigate to the ‘General’ tab, and then click on ‘Compact Now’.
Step 6: Click ‘OK’.
Step 7: Click ‘Close’.
That’s it! You will now get a compacted PST.
However, you should not be wondering if above procedure does not provide what you desire as it happens in several cases. Choose to use a professional software to Compact PST file. One such software is Stellar Phoenix Compact PST.