How can I reduce the size of my outlook.pst file?

My outlook.pst file is getting big (now over 2.2 GB). Deleting e-mails, emptying the deleted items folder, and archiving e-mails has no effect. What can I do to reduce the size of the file? Do I even need to?

I'm running Outlook 2007.
Deleting emails and other items does not reduce the size of the Outlook.pst file. You need to Compact the PST data file to recover dead space left from deleted items.

In Outlook 2007, click File, Data Management. On the Data Files tab, double click the data file you want to work on. Typically there is only one there (default).


When you get the Personal Folders dialog open, click Compact Now to initiate the process. Fair warning: this can take quite a bit of time depending upon the size of the file and the amount of space to be recovered. When the compacting has been completed, you will be left back at the Personal Folders dialog. Click OK to close this dialog and then Close to close the Account Settings window.

Is this process necessary? Regular maintenance of any database will maintain the integrity of the file structure. While it is possible that you may never actually need to perform a compact on the PST data file, it is never a bad idea and will speed data retrieval overall.

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Last updated May 2, 2020 Views 3,396 Applies to: