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How to Break Large PST File using Manual Techniques

PST file is the database file created by Microsoft Outlook. Over the years, MS Outlook have rolled out many changes in PST files. Outlook is used by the computer users for more then a decade. You can check out more about MS Outlook history on Wikipedia. Due to excessive data the PST files becomes large and it is hard to split in small sizes. Here in this article there are several measures for how to break large PST file into small PST files.

We would be covering following Topics in this article:

  • Types Of PST formats
  • Consequences of Over Sized PST (If PST maximum data limit is reached or exceeded)
  • Best Solutions how to break large PST file into small files

Split PST file into multiple

If you have multiple PST files and you are looking to merge them into a single file, you can also combine multiple PST files easily.

Types of PST Formats

The data in MS Outlook is stored in PST file which comes in two formats:

ANSI PST and Unicode PST


MS Outlook 2002 and earlier versions create and understand ANSI PST file. It comes with a data storage limit of 2 Gb. This clarifies that we cannot store data more than 2 GB in ANSI PST file. If the data limit is exceeded, the PST is more likely to face corruption.


MS Outlook 2003 and later versions  create PST file, which is in a Unicode format. The maximum data limit in Unicode PST file is 20 GB. Here as well, if you reach of exceed maximum database size limit, your Outlook will refuse to work or your PST file may even get damaged.

Consequences of Over Sized PST

Well it’s not always the matter that you face issues with your Outlook PST file only when it exceeds maximum data limit (either ANSI or Unicode PST). Over last couple of years I had received many queries by different users across the globe.

Recommended – Remove PST Password

Common Queries:

  • Outlook PST is Corrupted
  • MS Outlook Slow Response
  • Emails Fail to Send
  • Outlook hangs before closing

So these are the most received queries according to the number i counted. Though the queries are different, but there was one common issue i got to know when i talked to them. Every user’s PST file had almost reached or crossed maximum PST data limit. If your Outlook PST is already corrupted, you can repair PST file with PST Repair Tool by Microsoft.

Consider Reading – Best Outlook Tools and Solutions

Reason Behind PST Corruption and other failures

All the issues are directly connected with the size of our Outlook PST file.

Example: Our windows computers start responding slow if the default drive where the Operating System is installed is low at space.

As the PST file contains all the other email data in it except our emails, it is more prone to face issues like what i mentioned above. So, what do you think you should do if your Outlook PST is formatted.

Best Solutions for how to break Large PST file

You can Split PST file manually or you may also try an automated PST splitter which can easily split your PST file into multiple files or save your data from corruption.

Remember, using these techniques we actually make space in our PST by using multiple methods (PST doesn’t split here).

There are three solutions available in your already installed Outlook Version:

  • Archive PST
  • Import and Export
  • Move to Folders

Here I’ll tell you the most reliable and my favorite option i use and recommend others to follow, as archiving also provides us backup of our Emails.

How to Archive Emails in MS Outlook to move PST file content and save as a backup

  • In Outlook 2007, Go to file ⇒ Click on Archive tab (Example Shown in the Image Below)

Split PST files

  • By default “Archive this folder and all sub folders will be selected”, you may also change it to “Archive all folders according to their auto archive settings”
  • You can setup archiving according to the date by changing the date in “Archive items older than” settings.
  • By default the archive file path must be C:UsersphillAppDataLocalMicrosoftOutlookarchive.pst
  • You can change the file path where ever you feel like.
  • Click on OK, and archiving process will start.

Once archive process is completed, you may delete your emails from the inbox and also keep the archive file as a backup of your email files.

Remember you have not split your PST file, it’s just a backup you have taken. Microsoft Outlook doesn’t give any option to split PST file. Hence you need to do this using a third party tool. If so far i was able to deliver a bit of knowledge or solution for your over sized PST file, I would recommend you to use PST Split Tool by SysInfoTools. Remember this is a suggestion, and do not opt any tool without prior trial. Create a copy of your PST file and further test this tool on it. If it works for you, then you may surely go for it.

Question and Comment

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