Summary: The post describes the need to store PST mailbox data in an organized way and explains various methods to split both ANSI and UNICODE PST files for better management over integrated data components.
Outlook is considered as your personal mail organizer as it stores emails, contacts, calendars, journals and other components in an organized manner. PST file, also known as Personal Storage Tables is the data repository of MS Outlook. Since the latest Unicode PST files avail the benefit to store a remarkable amount of mailbox data, larger volume mailboxes also affect the functionality of Outlook to a noticeable extent.
To keep the smooth functionality of this emailing client, it is vital to ascertain the minimum PST size so that it would not affect routine mailbox operations. Since Inbox is a major folder that accommodates the maximum amount of data in the form of email messages, one potential way to organize the PST is via saving the emails by following an efficient strategy.
Before proceeding further with the methods to save the email folder in an organized way, let’s understand the difference between ANSI and UNICODE PST files. It will also explain the importance of organizing PST emails and other components using various methods.
· ANSI: ANSI PST files are used in the previous versions of the application prior to Outlook 2002. The ANSI edition of PST files comes with very restricted storage capacity limited to 2 GB. In these versions of the email client, reaching 1.8 GB mark sometimes results in application crash and severe PST corruption.
· UNICODE: MS Outlook 2003 and later versions comes with considerable data storage capacity varying from 20 GB to more than 50 GB. The mailboxes allow storing large volume data, thus reducing the instance of corruption. However, consistent growth in PST volume affects Outlook performance to a considerable extent.
A majority of Outlook users believe that deleting the mailbox contents will reduce the size of the PST file, and the application will start functioning normally; however, this is not the case. Deleting PST contents will hardly make any different to file volume, but compressing the PST size helps in minimizing its mailbox size.
Methods to Split the PST File for Better Mailbox Management
Let’s low look at the methods available for splitting PST emails for organizing mailbox storage:
Method #1: AutoArchive
In MS Outlook, the AutoArchive feature allows saving the older items of the mailbox to an archive folder. The process to move mailbox items to an archive folder is carried out automatically and as per provided settings. These settings can be customized as per user requirement and preferences. The content that is archived is the one that is not accessed frequently, but is important and needs to be retained for future reference.
While considering this feature for organizing mailbox data, always keep in mind that by using AutoArchive, the data is only replicated for a stipulated time, but not technically split into smaller sections. Moreover, it does not offer the benefit of splitting PST by year, data, or size.
Method #2: Import & Export
Outlook integrated Import and Export wizard allows dividing the PST file and saving it in an organized manner. Using this feature, you can export individual mailbox folders to different PST files. This way, a new PST file is created for each individual folder. Even though the Import and Export option saves data in a defined manner, however, it does not reduce the volume of PST file.
Apart from this, there are other reasons that make this quite an inefficient option to split PST files. Although data is stored in different PSTs on the basis of mailbox folders, this doesn’t mean that it splits the original PST file. Besides, the entire process involves a greater risk of data loss.