Steve

How-To Convert old PST (Ansi) to new Unicode PST format

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Comment Taken from: How-To Find your Microsoft Outlook .PST File

 

Mr Groove --

 

Running Office 2007

 

I am trying to delete folders from my archive.pst file. My archive is at 1,752,253 KB - I am getting a message that I am at max permissible size. When I try to shift + delete the folder does not delete.

How can I delete these folders to get achive.pst down to acceptable size ?

 

Office will not allow me to open the folders - message is because I am at max permissible size.

 

Thank you in advance for any advice you can offer.

 

I have already moved some folder to a 2nd archive file "archive-old"

 

Hi Robert and welcome to the site!

 

There are 2 type of PST files. Outlook 2003 (and previous versions) created PST files in the ANSI format which had a 2 Gig limit in file size. Outlook 2007 allows you to create a PST file in UNICODE format which has a 20 Gig Limit by default.

 

So it looks like your old PST is stuck in ANSI format. Granted there are tools out there which will convert ANSI PST files into Unicode PST files however all of them want around $50 for what you can solve for free.

 

My advice since you apparently can open the PST file and move data out of it would be to create a new PST file. Be sure you create a UNICODE PC. If you need help, follow the How-To here: How-To create Outlook PST Files in Outlook 2007. The key is step 2:

 

image9.png

 

If you choose the top option, you will get a Unicode PST file. The bottom will create an older ANSI format PST with a 2 gig limit which you don't want.

 

Once you create the new PST, just move all the email from the OLD FULL pst file into the NEW PST file. When it's all done, just delete the old PST file and you should be good to go (be careful when you delete anything... It's never easy to get back lost data after you nuke it!)

 

Now, if for some reason you can’t move email because Outlook won't let you, you have 2 options.

 

The first option is to try and Shrink the old PST file. You can do this by going into the properties of the Outlook PST File:

image_4.png

 

Now Click on "Compact Now" as shown below:

 

Note: Ignore the arrows in the screenshot, it's taken from another How-To Article.

image_5.png

 

After the file compresses you should get back some space and then from there you can move all the mail (or copy) into the NEW Unicode PST file and you should be good to go!

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Another trick you can use if the Compress doesn't work is you can just Archive the old PST into a new PST. I've done that once myself and it worked perfectly.

 

Before you do ANYTHING, backup all PST files just in case something goes wrong :) Also note, you cannot archive flagged items so you need to either remove, delete or not archive flagged mails.

 

howto archive the PST file:

 

  1. Create a new Unicode PST file from Tools, Options, Mail Setup, Data Files dialog or Files, Data File Management.
  2. Choose Add. A Unicode PST is the top option "Outlook Personal Files Folder (pst)" Complete the dialogs and return to Outlook.
  3. Choose File, Archive.
  4. Select the root of your current ANSI PST folder (this is the Outlook Today folder) in the Archive dialog.
  5. Set the date to tomorrow.
  6. Check the Include items with "do not Autoarchive checked" option at the bottom of the dialog box
  7. Select your new Unicode PST as the folder to archive to.
  8. Click Ok and Outlook archives all items from the ANSI PST to the Unicode PST (this moves all messages from your ANSI PST to the new one).
  9. Make the new PST your default PST. File, Data File management, select the new PST and click the Make Default button.
 10. Delete the ANSI PST from your profile.

 

After making the new PST your default delivery store, you need to verify the contacts folder is set as an address book. Right click on the Contacts folder and choose Properties. The Address book tab should have a check box to enable the folder as an address book.

 

 

Hope tha thelps!

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it's beyond me why MSFT even allows you to create the older format in Outlook 2007. I just checked Outlook 2010 and they STILL allow you to create the old ANSI pst files there also. funny.

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Great post guys-thanks!

 

I have one question. I have recently started using Outlook 2010 beta and when I tried to setup a particular PST file (a file I have used in previous versions of Outlook), I got the 2 GIG message that I could not do that because it meets or exceeds the 2 GIG limit. I am assuming that it is in ANSI format. How can I convert the file from ANSI to UNICODE format WITHOUT opening or having access to the PST file from within Outlook-that is, just pointing to the file from its file location?

 

Thanks again and this looks like a GREAT forum site :-) !

 

Gary

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Great post guys-thanks!

 

I have one question. I have recently started using Outlook 2010 beta and when I tried to setup a particular PST file (a file I have used in previous versions of Outlook), I got the 2 GIG message that I could not do that because it meets or exceeds the 2 GIG limit. I am assuming that it is in ANSI format. How can I convert the file from ANSI to UNICODE format WITHOUT opening or having access to the PST file from within Outlook-that is, just pointing to the file from its file location?

 

Thanks again and this looks like a GREAT forum site :-) !

 

Gary

 

The 2 best methods I know of are above. Either copy the mail into a new PST file or use the Archive function. Neither of these however answer your question... The only other option is to buy a 3rd party tool that converts PST's from ANSI to Unicode.

 

I've never used a tool for this (as I like the free methods) so just do a google search and buy one. Let us know how it goes here as I'm sure other have the same question about getting a nice tool to do the conversion.

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Outlook files created with MS Outlook 97-2002 versions are non-Unicode PST files. MS Outlook 2003 & above versions offer greater storage capacity for Outlook items and folders.

There is no automatic way of converting a Microsoft Outlook 97-2002 Personal Folders file (.pst) to a Unicode-capable Microsoft Outlook Personal Folders file (.pst) file. The easiest way to convert a non-Unicode .pst file is to create a new data file in the Microsoft Outlook Personal Folders file (.pst) format that supports Unicode and then import items from the old data file to the new Microsoft Outlook Personal Folders file (.pst).

1. Create a new data file.

2. Import items to the new data file.

 

Another way to convert non-Unicode data file (.pst) to Unicode data file (.pst) is to use third party software tool which efficiently convert non-Unicode PST file to Unicode PST file without getting corrupted. SysInfoTools PST Upgrade and Downgrade is the best utility to convert PST file format, i.e. Non-Unicode PST files to Unicode PST files or vice versa Unicode PST files to Non-Unicode PST files.

I can refer a link which can help you to convert your PST file. The conversion tool efficiently convert the UNICODE PST file to ANSI PST file and ANSI PST file to UNICODE PST file.

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