This article will describe what a PST is and what it is used for. It will also describe the best practices for PSTs.
PST files are created by Outlook when the “Auto Archive” function is used or when a backup of the mail is taken. They are also known as Outlook archives or personal archives.
PST is an acronym for Personal Storage Table, but is more commonly referred to as a personal archive.
Since users can create a PST with no IT support, they can become overlooked by IT. This would mean that the files can become lost easily or never backed up properly. If a PST grows to a very large size and gets corrupted all the data could become lost. Running a repair on a large PST could freeze the repair tool.
In Outlook 2010+ you can find your Archived PSTs from these steps
From here you can see your Outlook Files that you currently have in your Outlook. You can also add more if needed by clicking the Add button.
If you want to open the location of the archive you can click the file name in the list to highlight it and then click Open File Location
PSTs can be stored anywhere. If they are stored on a flash drive then you need to point Outlook where to find the PST. If the flash drive is removed then access to the PST will be removed.
Storing PSTs on a Network Drive is not the best decision. The use of a PST file over a network connection may result in a corrupted PST file if the connection degrades or fails, and writing to a PST can take 4 times longer than read actions. Outlook can also freeze if trying to open a PST that is stored on the Network and the connection is poor.
Storing PSTs best practice is to store them locally on the system that is running Outlook. This way the location never changes and Outlook does not have to go through separate variables to access the Data File.
The larger the PST file the more prone to corruption it will become. You will start to experience Outlook issues overtime. There are a few options you have to try and minimize the size of the PST file:
Compress a PST:
If you delete items from an Outlook Data File (.pst), the file is automatically compacted in the background when you’re not using your computer and Outlook is running. You can also manually start the compact command immediately. It might take several minutes to compact an Outlook Data File (.pst).
Remove Duplicate Items:
Archive PST File:
Note: If you select the Permanently delete old items option, mails will not be archived.