How to resolve oversized PST file error?
Troubles in Outlook PST files are expected to appear while working with MS Outlook. This limitation has been seen rising in Outlook version 2002 and older because these versions support ANSI format. The ANSI format allows saving of PST or OST files not more than 2 GB. When user crosses the benchmark, the PST files become inaccessible and user looks for retrieval solution like inbox repair tool or external utility.
Understanding Mailbox limits
So, if you are a user does not have any idea of the version of Outlook being used, then it is the first step to determine. MS Outlook 2002 and prior versions have ANSI format and the maximum limit of mailbox items one can save is upto 2 GB. On contrary, the higher versions of Outlook mailbox have extended saving capacity i.e. 1 TB. Out of it only 50 GB is recommended to save as maximum.
The version of any Outlook file can be checked through file properties. Once done, the file saving capacity can be regulated without affecting the maximum limit.
Identifying Oversized PST Error
Microsoft Outlook user faces multiple issues in the distinct situations. For the new user it becomes almost impossible to identify the error and consequent situation. The following errors will appear when PST file storage will cross the set limit:
- Reported error 0x00040820 – This error manifests while synchronizing emails via a specific email account in Outlook 2010. When the number of PST files crosses the upper limit of the saving capacity, the error occurs.
- Background Synchronization errors – It happens when there is a kind of mismatch between syncing mailboxes from one Outlook version to another. So, prior making such synchronization, it is advised to check the Outlook version.
- "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": This error manifests when user crosses maximum file capacity provided by Outlook version.
- File Access Error – The error “abcd.pst cannot be accessed – 0x80040116” occurs when the Outlook data file becomes corrupted or damaged due to file over sizing issues. So, it is better to take care of file size.
Fixing PST files affected due to Oversizing
To fix PST files that were affected due to oversizing issues, user has three options. The first option is to fix the issue with inbuilt repair utility, while the second option entails usage of the Microsoft PST tool, while the third option comes to play when the inbuilt utility fails to work. It employs assistance from the external utility or the third-party tool.
The following steps must be followed to fix the PST files using inbuilt repair utility:
- MS Outlook saves inbox repair tool in different locations of the Windows drive.
For Outlook 2002 and prior versions, the location is: C:\Program Files\Common Files\System\MAPI\
\NT\scanpst.exe, while for Outlook 2010 and higher versions, the location is C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14
- Click inbox repair tool icon of Scanpst.exe application.
- From ‘Browse’ option, select the oversized PST files from specific locations.
- Press ‘Start’ button to check the selected files for errors.
- An option will appear, “Make backup of scanned file before repairing.”
- Select specific drive to save the backup.
- Press ‘Repair’ button to continue the process.
Once the process gets complete, user can access the repaired PST files from the defined location in the drive.
- Download the 2gb152.exe tool.
- The user can create the truncated copy of the oversized PST file by this utility tool. The left over copy of the PST file does not contain all the file related components as the tool skirts down the user defined data from the file.
- Once the recovered copy of the truncated PST file is available, the user must set to recover the missing data of nearly 20-25 MB.
- Now extract the 2gb152.exe file into an empty folder. The user must see the following components: Msstdfmt.dll, Msvbvm60.dll, Pst2gb.exe, Readme.rtf, Readme.txt
- Initiate the Pst2gb.exe program.
- Click the Browse to locate the oversized PST file, and then click Open.
- Click Create. Select the location of the truncated file where it should be located. Click Save to continue.
- Enter the amount of the PST data that can be truncated. It can lie between 20-25 MB or sometimes it can exceed the limit, depending upon the concerned file size.
- Run the Inbox Repair Tool on the smaller .pst file.
- Open the repaired .pst file once the Inbox Repair Tool is complete.
- If the same error reappears, then repeat the process. This time the truncation limit must be changed to ensure the perfect repair of the concerned PST file.
3- Utilizing Outlook features
Microsoft Outlook integrates Archive and Empty Deleted Items Folder feature in the Clean up Tools section under File menu using which users can archive the old PST file items to system drive location and empty the deleted items with the Deleted Items Folder of the mailbox respectively. One more Outlook feature can be helpful to compress the size of the PST file by removing the empty or deleted spaces which comes in the PST file settings and known as Compact Now feature. Users can directly deleted the unwanted and unimportant data from the PST file by hard deleting it.
4- External Agency Assistance
If the inbox repair utility does not work, then it is highly recommended to take assistance from third-party Outlook PST repair tool. The external agency guarantees the repair of the corrupted PST files due to data-overload or storage fulfillment. Moreover, to prevent absurd situations due to oversized Outlook PST file, it is advised to take regular backups of Outlook PST file or check on trash or deleted items for clean up along with unimportant data frequently.