Archiving 2009 emails!

It has been more than three months since my last blog post, so I have a lot to catch up on!

In the new year I typically recommend it is time to archive those 2009 so that your Outlook or other email client is not too bloated. I often see Outlook PST files above 2 gigabytes – recently I saw one close to 10 gigabytes and although Outlook 2007 will support this, it is not sensible to let it get to this size for various reasons:

1. The bigger your main outlook pst file, the slower it will become.

2. The bigger your main outlook pst file, the more challenging it will be to backup

3. The bigger your main outlook pst file, the more likely it will generate errors

So why not put the 2009 emails (both inbox and sent items) in their  own PST file that is still easily accessible but will take some bloat away from the main pst file.

Below I am copying and pasting instructions I emailed blogged about last year:

1. Create a new outlook file (known as a pst). Give it a name like “Archive 2009”.
2. Once you confirm the creation of this pst file, a new folder should appear on the left hand side.
3. Right click on the new folder and select the option for “New Folder”. Create two new folders called “Inbox 2009” and “Sent Items 2009”
4. Ensure all emails in your inbox are sorted in date order.
5. Select three months of emails from 2009 in your main inbox emails. Do this by using the SHIFT key – which will select all emails in between the first email you select and the last. e.g. select first email from 1 January 2009 and then while holding shift, click on an email dated 1 March 2009.
6. Right click on the selection of emails and drag them all to the new folder you just created called “Inbox 2009” which will be on the left hand side. Select the move option. Note that this can take some time.
7. Repeat this procedure for the next three months of emails and so on. You may want to leave the last three months of you 2009 emails in your inbox for ease of reference.
8. Repeat steps 5 -7 for 2009 sent emails.
9. Finally it is essential to compact the original Outlook pst. In Outlook, right click on “Personal Folders” on the left hand side of the screen, then click on “properties”, then “advanced” and finally click on “compact now” (note that this could take a few hours but you can always stop and start another time).

that if compacting does not progress for some time, it may be necessary to run a scanpst.exe on your main pst file. Typically scanpst.exe can be found in a folder like C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12 and it can take some time to find and fix errors in your pst file. Just follow the process through. Typically, your outlook pst file will be stored in C:\Users\Gab\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook  (for vista or Windows 7 users) and in documents and settings for Windows XP users. You may need to unhide hidden files and folders to see these locations!
This should keep your outlook pst file smaller in size, healthier and easier to backup!
Happy archiving!

One Response to “Archiving 2009 emails!”

  1. Sherell Douglas Says:

    Dear Gaby

    Thank for your Newsletter update. I have 3 other email addresses for AOL, TalkTalk and Gmail.

    Can I follow the same principle as given with Outlook to archive my 2009 emails for the three other accounts I have.

    Many Thanks


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