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Monday, 15 October 2012

What is the need for PST File Compaction?

As you know, PST file stores Outlook data such as email, contacts, calendar, attachments files, folders, posts, appointments, meeting requests, distribution lists, task requests, journals, notes etc. Increasing PST file size may degrade your outlook performance. It slows down your system as well Outlook application. It might cause troubles while sending and receiving mails. It may also lead to PST file corruption.

Sometimes, you delete unnecessary mails from your mailbox to reduce the number of items in your mailbox. The deleted mails go to the Deleted Items folder. You can recover the item from the  Deleted Items folder, so you can easily make a sense that it still exist in your PST File and occupies space otherwise , how could it be recovered. Well you are thinking the same, you are absolutely right.

But have you ever thought, “What if you delete the item permanently from the trash. Where does it go, what happens to the space that it allocated on your drive?”
The answer is that they get disappear from the trash but they still exist in your PST file and occupies space as well.

Thus space is getting wasted in the background and is unavailable for other uses. Thus, your .pst files size will get increased over time, even if you see fewer items in the Outlook.

After deleting the items from the Deleted Items folder you need to shrink the PST file size.
To eliminate deleted item space and recover room on your hard disk. I would like to suggest that you can compact PST files once or twice in a year. To conserve space on your hard disk, you can delete unwanted items from the various .pst and .ost files, and then compact the files to make them smaller.

To be compacted, a .pst or .ost file must meet the following requirements:
  • The file must be 16 KB or larger.
  • The file must have at least 16 KB of free space since the last time that you compact it.
You can start the Outlook file compaction manually, or run it automatically in the background.

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.

In this article, I have discussed the need for PST File compaction. In my next post, I will discuss the detailed steps that will let you know how to compact the PST file manually.

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