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Chapter 11. Outlook Essentials > Managing Outlook Data Files

Managing Outlook Data Files

Left unchecked, an Outlook data file can grow to mammoth proportions quickly. If your data file gets too large, you'll encounter trouble trying to back it up, and if you're using the old-style PST format, you run the risk of losing data completely if it hits 2GB. In this section, we explain how to keep your mailbox slim and trim. We also list tools and techniques you can use to prevent and recover from Outlook errors.

Cleaning Up and Archiving Outlook Information

By default, Outlook automatically moves items out of your Personal Folders file after a specified amount of time has passed. Using this AutoArchive feature, Outlook checks every item in your Personal Folders file at regular intervals. When it finds appointments, tasks, and e-mail messages that exceed the age limits you specify, it automatically moves them to an archive file. By default, Outlook runs an AutoArchive check every 14 days and looks for any items that are more than 6 months old. Unless you change the name or location, the archive file is called Archive.pst, and it's located in the same folder as your primary store. You can also force Outlook to archive items instead of waiting for its next scheduled archive operation.


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