Understanding How to Split Outlook Archive PST File
My Outlook PST file has grown quite big and I have been using the same file for the past many years. Since my file was around 5.6GB, I thought to split PST files into multiple files so that the Outlook and backup performance would be speedy. Also, I wouldn’t have to include the files in my daily backups since the data will no longer change in these files. Is there any method to split Outlook archive PST files?
How to Split PST Archive Files?
The Archive feature in Outlook helps in splitting a PST file. The Archive process needs to run multiple times each time to a new PST file to split it into yearly, half-yearly, two year archives or whatever the duration you intend to.
Note: Most of the systems have PST-files of 4GB to 10GB also. So the term ‘large PST-file’ is relative and the only problem is that the backup process takes a bit longer time.
Pre-Requisites for the Archiving Process
To configure Outlook based on the Received Date rather than the Modified Date is advisable. This helps in preventing the emails remaining in your main PST file which have been modified or imported after the archive date.
The Main Archive Process
- Once the Outlook is prepared, we can start with the archiving process by splitting the PST-file. For this, the first step is to open the Archive dialog.
- For Outlook 2007 and previous: File -> Archive
- For Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013: File -> Cleanup Tools -> Archive
- Next step onwards remains the same for all versions.
- Select ‘Archive this folder and all Subfolders’.
- When you click on the top level folder, the entire mailbox is selected rather than the currently selected folder.
- Now you need to set the ‘Archive items older than:’ date. Set the date to January 1st of the next year you want to create the archive for. Like for example if you need to create the archive for the year 2014 and previous, the date that needs to be set is 1 January 2015.
- Do not forget to check option ‘Include items with “Do not Auto Archive”’.
- Now specify a name and location for the 2014 and previous PST-file. Care is to be taken that the location has to be on the local computer and not on the shared network. Lastly, click on OK.
- After archiving the first lot, repeat the above procedure for creating archives but setting it with a different date.
The After Work
- You will observe that the original PST-file hasn’t decreased in size even after archiving. The reason is that the PST-file is a database and the freed-up space isn’t returned to the file system for performance reasons. This is called the ‘white-space’.
- When the computer is idle and the PST-file ‘white space’ is up to 15%, then Outlook automatically returns it to the system. This process to decrease the PST-file size can be done manually by using the Compact Now button.
- These newly created PST-files are to be included in the backup. Since the data is not going to be removed or added to these PST-files, they need not be included in the daily backups thus saving some time and space.
Manual Method Problems
If the user is not acquainted with the technical jargon, then the manual method is quite an arduous task to split Outlook archive PST file. Also, the manual methods are too time-consuming and filled with risk. Any mistake can lead to loss of data in severe circumstances. All these problems can be solved by the use of third-party tools.
Third-party Split PST tool
The Split PST tool is an apt third-party tool to split Outlook archive PST file. Developed by experts, this tool comes with the finesse of being the best in its class. The tool is so simple and convenient to use that even an amateur can easily handle it without the risk of serious data loss threats.
The End Statement
This blog covers the method to split Outlook archive PST file based on the time duration as specified by the user. Also, it suggests the use of professional tools for a hassle-free task and ease for the user.