Solved MS Outlook maximum file size problem

October 11, 2011 at 12:14:12
Specs: Windows XP
Hi,

This is an Outlook problem for someone who really knows Outlook inside and out. When I got up over 2 gigs on my Outlook pst files this summer things went haywire. I then began archiving a lot out of the inbox to try and reduce size on the main file, but eventually the file got corrupted. Using the scan got me restored and working for a few weeks. Then it really got crazy with the program endlessly reiterating a group of pop downloads from the last day it worked and then closing down and restarting. I realized it might be just a size problem so today I went to the MS page and found out how to increase the maximum file size from default of 2 gigs up to as much as 20 (or so I thought). Following their path however I found that there was no PST folder in my Outlook registry. I did find a maximum file size folder and a DWORD value enumerator (not in the locations specified) and tried to change the maximum size but I obviously didn't do what needed to be done as that had no impact (I got a message saying that files were too big). I then tried to change the endings on my many pst files (operational and back ups) to test if reducing the number of bytes the program would try and chew on might get it open and running. I first deleted archive.pst files then the main personal file. Nothing changed until I changed the name of the main file. That led to the program no longer finding my pst files. I thought for a moment that might be some progress, but now it still doesn't find my pst files even when I changed the suffixes back to .pst. On my efforts to change the maximum file size I really don't understand how the PST folder could be absent from the Outlook registry folder. I did recreate a pst folder (but then there's nothing in it). I'm in above my head here. One possible cause of softeware malfunction is that I've kept my pst files directly in My Documents instead of the usual long path that is the default (for ease of changing backups and so forth). When looking in My Documents the program looks both in My Documents and My Documents under Settings/users etc. Not sure how that could cause any problem as the computer has handled that ok before this. Presently I see Outlook.pst files in both of those My Documents folders but Outlook says it doesn't see them. But of course this latter issue is one I created and isn't the underlying problem. First issue is how to I increase maximum file size when my 2007 doesn't seem to conform to what Microsoft says. And on from there.


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✔ Best Answer
November 5, 2011 at 04:33:03
Microsoft Outlook 2002 and earlier versions limit the size of Personal Folders (PST) file to 2GB. Whenever the PST file reaches or exceeds that limit, you will not be able to open or load it any more, or you cannot add any new data to it. This is called oversized PST file problem.
Since Microsoft Outlook 2003, a new PST file format is used, which supports Unicode and doesn't have the 2GB size limit any more. Therefore, if you are using Microsoft Outlook 2003 or 2007, and the PST file is created in the new Unicode format, then you don't need to worry about the oversize problem any more.
More detailed information at : http://www.datanumen.com/aor/proble...

So I think you must make something wrong about this problem.

Julie



#1
October 14, 2011 at 17:29:45
The 2 Gig pst file limitation is only present in pst files created in the format used in Outlook 97-2002. If you've created your pst file in the 2003 and newer (Unicode) format, then the file size limitation is 20 Gig.

You said "I went to the MS page and found out how to increase the maximum file size from default of 2 gigs up to as much as 20 (or so I thought)." Perhaps you could be more specific. What MS page did you go to?"

When you view the data files in Outlook, is the pst file you were using actually listed? The quickest way to reduce a pst file size is to compact the pst. Did you try that?


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#2
October 14, 2011 at 21:38:08
Jennifer:

Thanks for the comments and for jumping in to help. Where I went is to a web page of Microsoft that is for Outlook and I think I searched for maximum file size. They did not say that 2003 and later had a default of 20 gigs. To the contrary they said that file size could be changed to a larger number up to 20 gigs and that some programs will have defaults of 2 gigs max file size depending upon how they were set up. They said I had to go in and change 3 things (MaxFileSize, WarnFIleSize, and DWORD). The path was Run "regedit" ok, expand My Computer in left pane, then HKEY_current_user, then Software, then Policies, Then Office, then 10.0, 11.0, or 12.0 (depending on the version year), then Outlook, then click on PST then right click on MaxFileSize in right pane, then click modify, and change value. Then repeat all for WarnFile Size and DWORD.

You asked about when i view the data files in Outlook what am I seeing. Actually my Outlook will not even stay open. It tries to download mail, gets caught in some iterative loop and shuts down in a few seconds giving an error message (even when I try to cancel the receive downloads). . That's one of my biggest problems. I can not work within Outlook at this time, greatly reducing the flexibility of my response to change what the program is doing.

Abel


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#3
October 15, 2011 at 06:24:42
In what version of Outlook was the pst file created? Did you compact it? Is it listed as your Primary Mail Delivery file? All of these items are relevant and important in the troubleshooting and possible resolution to your problem.

If you're referring to this KB Article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/832925 it explains how to limit the size of file; not how to increase the size of a an older pst file that already has a 2 Gig limitation.


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#4
October 15, 2011 at 15:01:32
I believe that it was created in Outlook 2003. I am using 2007. Unfortunately I don't remember if it has been compacted. If it gives any idea on that i have about 25,000 unique files in it. Since I can't open the Outlook I can't go to the place that shows the path to which file it is presently linking received e-mails. And I've tied myself in some knots by having more than one file and more than one archive file and more than one back up .pst file in my My Documents folder. I guess that doesn't help much, but that's where I am right now.

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#5
October 15, 2011 at 15:05:24
addendum: one thing I know I had wrong is that when I first got messages that my file was too large in early summer I started moving a lot of old e-mails out of my in-box and putting them in folders (eg. I made 2009, 2010 folders). I thought that was moving them to archives, but I now know that it wasn't. I was just moving them around within the main file. Nevertheless I have an archive file that is 1.3 gigs in its own right to complement my personal file of 19 gigs.

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#6
November 5, 2011 at 04:33:03
✔ Best Answer
Microsoft Outlook 2002 and earlier versions limit the size of Personal Folders (PST) file to 2GB. Whenever the PST file reaches or exceeds that limit, you will not be able to open or load it any more, or you cannot add any new data to it. This is called oversized PST file problem.
Since Microsoft Outlook 2003, a new PST file format is used, which supports Unicode and doesn't have the 2GB size limit any more. Therefore, if you are using Microsoft Outlook 2003 or 2007, and the PST file is created in the new Unicode format, then you don't need to worry about the oversize problem any more.
More detailed information at : http://www.datanumen.com/aor/proble...

So I think you must make something wrong about this problem.

Julie


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#7
November 5, 2011 at 09:57:09
Thanks for your help. Is there a way to import or convert the earlier 2002 pst to a 2007 file?


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#8
November 11, 2011 at 12:14:42
Julie, you pretty much confirmed what I already said. :)

Abel, you can't convert an older format pst file. If you can open the file, the only thing you can do is copy the data from it to a newly created pst file.

If you can't open the file, try compacting it and then try to open it.


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