Is the size of your PST file too large to cause corruption?

Ruchika Srichand
Ruchika Srichand linkedin | Updated On - April 24, 2023 |

Read time 6 minutes

If your MS Outlook application is taking too long to respond and you’re unable to execute important operations like opening a file, copying a folder, downloading embedded attachments or emails from Microsoft Outlook; you’re probably dealing with an oversized PST file size that has exceeded the maximum permissible limit.

However, the bad news is – this oversized PST file can actually lead to PST file corruption and ultimately you’ll be on the verge of losing important data and critical business communication messages unless you address the issue timely.

In this blog, I’ll discuss about the oversized PST file in detail along with some methods to avoid PST file size issues and how to overcome them!!

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What is an oversized PST file?

Basically, a personal storage table (PST) is the repository of MS Outlook data including emails, contact items, calendars, drafts, notes, tasks, journals etc. Typically, both the PST file and outlook data files (.ost) possess greater file size limits in Outlook 2010 and 2013 (because of their Unicode format) as compared to its previous versions including Outlook 2002, 2003, 2007 etc.

When a PST file exceeds a specific storage limit, it gets oversized and problems may arise thereafter while accessing mailbox folders and email messages. In such a scenario, your MS Outlook application may throw the following errors –

  • Reported error 0x00040820 – – This error may occur while sending/receiving emails via a specific email account in Outlook. It appears when a user attempts to synchronize mailboxes with an outlook data file that crossed the standard file size limit.
  • Background Synchronization errors – These errors generally take place while syncing mailboxes from one Outlook version to another and there is a mismatch between the size of the older and the newer .PST file.
  • “The file abcd.pst has reached its maximum size. To reduce the amount of data in this file, select some items that you no longer need, then permanently delete them” occurs whenever your PST file crosses the maximum limit allowed in that particular version of MS Outlook.
  • File Access Error – The error “abcd.pst cannot be accessed – 0x80040116” occurs when the Outlook data file becomes corrupted or damaged due to file oversizing issues.
How to avoid PST file size issues that occur due to oversized personal storage folder?

The most common cause of an oversized PST file is the excessive storage of email items or attachments without keeping a close check on the file size limit which is as low as 2GB in Outlook 2002. However, in the latest versions of Outlook, the PST file is unlikely to encounter severe damages due to comparatively higher permissible PST file size limits.

If users take care of following precautions, PST file corruption issues can be avoided –

Get rid of unwanted stuff and regularly clean up your mailboxes-

Your mailbox may be overloaded with worthless chunks of information, attachments or emails that may not be required for further reference or future use. Analyze the data residing in your folders and get rid of unwanted stuff by deleting redundant data permanently (Press shift+delete in your keyboard) in order to save some storage space for new messages.

Create Email Archives – One must create email archives on the basis of multiple criteria so as to organize similar type of information in different folders and avoid huge losses of critical data in adverse circumstances or disaster situations.

PST file Backups – PST file backups must be generated so that the lost data can be easily and quickly recovered in case you encounter any PST corruption issues. Backups can be done to different file formats or cloud platforms.

How to overcome issues that arise due to an oversized PST file?

An oversized PST file creates many issues including PST file damage, PST corruption and application crash, and therefore it is very important to address such unwanted issues immediately to keep your business-critical data remains safe and secure. Here are some ways to overcome issues that arise because of a PST file that has exceeded the fixed size limit –

Overcoming the issue via the native way

Microsoft’s built-in Inbox Repair Tool, which is located by default in the Microsoft Office folder on your system drive, comes as a rescue whenever you have problems with an overloaded PST file.

  1. To start with, simply open the scanpst.exe application and click on the “browse” button to opt the PST file that you want to reduce in terms of size.
  2. Click the “Start” button and let the application to check the selected file for any kind of errors or issues.
  3. Now, look for this option – “Make backup of scanned file before repairing” and choose the destination location from the dropdown to save this backup file.
  4. Finally, initialize the repair process via clicking the “Repair” button and you’re done.

Overcoming the issue via Using 3rd party Software

At times, when the native techniques fail to deal with PST file corruption problems and the data becomes inaccessible, you require third party utilities to fix an oversized PST file. However, choosing a reliable tool that can help you overcome the issue without any hassle while maintaining the complete integrity of data is another big challenge.

One such software that is not only 100% secure and safe, but also facilitates complete restoration of all your MS Outlook elements is Kernel for Outlook PST repair. It can fix PST files of any size and save them to multiple PST files of the desired size using its PST split option. The tool helps to avoid size-related corruption issues. Moreover, it supports PST files of all Outlook versions. Also, you can reduce PST file size by filtering the PST data according to various criteria. So, the splitting and filtering options help you manage PST file size effectively.

Kernel for Outlook PST Repair