Is there a max size to an Outlook database?

By AlbertLionheart
Jan 31, 2008
  1. I have an Outlook database which causes the app to crash if the database grows to be more that 2 Gb (the exact size was somewhere near 2,0032,000)
    Anyone come across this before and if so, know of a fix please?
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    How strange I was just discussing that here

    On how to fix it:

    Do you mean how to make it bigger, it's in registry I'm sure, but I think it would be better to backup and start again.

    Do you mean how to fix errors once above the limit. Sorry can't help. (maybe that registry again)
  3. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,026

    After a bit more investigation it does appear that there is a 2 Gb limit to the size of the database in Outlook 97 and 98, but I am not sure if this is true of later versions. I have heard also that the limit for Outlook 2003 and 2007 is 20 Gb, but getting the truth on this has not been possible so far.
    The immediate problem has been dealt with by repairing the database but this limit will be reached again soon.
    Anyone any ideas/experience/advice??
  4. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,018

    if it's based on access it's 4gb
    thats what I've been trained to believe
  5. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,026

    Hi samstoned - interesting point as the system I was working on had access installed as part of 2000 office pro but still fell over at 2Gb.
    Can you confirm the 20Gb limit for 2003 and 2007?
  6. subcan

    subcan TS Rookie Posts: 51

    There is a technical bulletin (TB) on MS regarding this data file 2GB limit:
    You can create more than one data file. This is accomplished from the control panel or better in the account settings tab of Outlook. It has been a long time since I used 2000 but I believe it is under that tab.
    The TB also gives a link to a process to repair a damaged data file that is over the 2GB limit and cannot be opened. Looses a little data, but not much.
  7. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,026

    Thanks Subcan - I will have a look at that.
    I still need advice on whether this is still a max under later editions of Outlook such as 2003 and 2007.- anyone?
  8. subcan

    subcan TS Rookie Posts: 51

    AlbertLionheart - you have it right. amazing. that is a good memory. 2003 and 2007 can both be up to 20GB. I personally do not recommend anyone to have a file this large. It is "pack-rattish" to have to keep that much email stored up. It would take forever to find anything and if you use the Vista Indexing then it would run and run and run and probably get tired. I just have my Outlook Autoarchive. I cannot stand slow performance when it comes to an application that I always have open. It would drive me crazy.
    anyways here is the info:

    Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 and Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 have both a different format and a larger overall size limit for the personal folders (.pst) file than the .pst files that are in the earlier versions of Microsoft Outlook. In Outlook 2002 and earlier, the .pst files are in the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) format, and the overall size has a limit of 2 gigabytes (GB).

    By default, .pst files are in the Unicode format in Outlook 2007 and in Outlook 2003. Additionally, the overall size of the .pst files has a limit that is more than the 2-GB limit that is imposed by the ANSI .pst files. By default, the limit for a Unicode .pst file in Outlook 2007 and in Outlook 2003 is configured to be 20 GB. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
  9. kritius

    kritius TS Guru Posts: 2,084

    We use Microsoft Exchange Server 2000 and most of the computers run outlook 2003 and theres a limit of 16 gb for all the e mails.

    Our system crashed yesterday and I had to install the service pack 3 for it so that i could temporarily increase the size of the mailbox by 1 gb.

    This is of course a temporary fix and today I have the joy of doing an offline defrag.
  10. subcan

    subcan TS Rookie Posts: 51

  11. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,026

    thanks subcan - I hope you don't mind but I would like to quote your reply on another forum I belong to.
    Its a really good post and will answer all the questions we have had on the other one.
  12. subcan

    subcan TS Rookie Posts: 51

    AlbertLionheart: no problem. It's just great to be able to post something of value.
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