By default, Personal Folders (.pst) and Offline Store (.ost) files are available in Unicode format in Microsoft Outlook 2010. The overall size of .pst and .ost files have a pre-configured limit of 50 GB. This limit is larger than the current limit for Unicode .pst and .ost files in Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 and in Outlook 2003. The default .pst file size limit in Outlook 2007 / Outlook 2003 is 20 GB.

If you want to access a Unicode .pst file that was created in Outlook 2010 on a different computer that has Outlook 2007 or Outlook 2003 installed, you may have to reduce the size of the .pst file if the current file size is at or near 20 GB. If the file size is greater than 20 GB, you will be unable to open the Outlook 2010.pst file in these previous versions.

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If you have to reduce the size of your Outlook 2010 .pst file, you can export data from that .pst file to another .pst file. To do this, follow these steps:

1) Start Outlook 2010 with a profile that contains your original .pst file that is larger than 20 GB.

2) On the File tab, click Info.

3) In the Info section of the Backstage, click Cleanup Tools, and then click Archive.

4) In the Archive dialog box, make the following changes:

  1. Enable the Archive this folder and all subfolders option.
  2. In the list of folders, select the .pst file that you want to archive.
  3. In the Archive items older than drop-down list,specify a date during which a fairly large number of items will be archived. The date that you use depends on too many factors to provide an example date in this article.
  4. In the Archive file box, select the destination .pst file for your archived messages.

As you may be archiving a large amount of e-mail messages, you should consider using a new .pst file for your archive.

Note: The archive process in Outlook 2010 uses the Modified date on messages to determine the age of the item. Therefore, the archive process may not archive as many messages as expected. If the archiving process is not reducing the size of your large Outlook 2010 .pst file lower than 20 GB, consider manually moving messages from your large .pst file to another .pst file, breaking the large .pst file up into 2 or more smaller .pst files. For example, you can follow these steps to quickly move one folder from a .pst file into a different .pst file.

  1. Make sure that your large .pst file and the destination .pst file are both open in Outlook.
  2. Right-click the folder in your large .pst file that you want to move to the other (smaller) .pst file.
  3. Click Move Folder on the context menu.
  4. In the Move Folder dialog box, select the destination .pst file and then click OK.

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