Outlook Personal Folders

Creating and Using Personal Folders (PST) - Outlook 2010

Outlook Personal Folders can be used to provide additional storage for emails, in order to free up space in your Exchange mailbox on the server. This page explains how staff using Outlook 2010 can do this, and how to use Personal Folders.

Exchange Mailbox

  • Incoming emails come into the Inbox in your Mailbox on the Exchange server.
  • Your Exchange Mailbox also contains Sent items and Deleted items.
  • Email is stored on the Exchange server, NOT on your PC, so can be accessed anywhere with Internet.
  • It can quickly fill up if you do not manage your emails, especially if you are sending or receiving large attachments.

Personal Folders

  • Are stored on the hard disk of your PC (or Laptop).
  • Can only be accessed from the computer where they are located, so will not roam with you.
  • Are useful for managing your emails, and freeing up space in your Exchange server mailbox.
  • Need to be backed up, as they are stored on your computer.
  • Could be accessed by anyone else logging on to your computer unless you put a password on them.
  • Outlook 2010 PSTs Have a maximum size of 50Gb.

Open Outlook.

From the Ribbon, select New Items > More Items > Outlook Data File...

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In the Create or Open Outlook Data File box:

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On the left-hand side, under Libraries, expand Documents then select "Public Documents".

DO NOT just accept the default location of the 'Outlook' folder, as this will save it to your personal profile, where space is very limited. Also, DO NOT save it in your personal file store (the "My Documents" folder), or your Desktop, as the file can get very large. It will slow down your PC, and you could lose some emails or corrupt your outlook data file.

In the File name: enter a suitable name, e.g. Personal Folders or My Outlook Data File, and then click the OK button.

Add Optional Password

If you want to add a password at this stage, tick the Add Optional Password check box.

  • You can always add a password later.

You'll be prompted to set a password:

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  • We would advise you to set a password in order to make it a private secure store. You need to have a password to be secure and stop anyone logging on to your computer accessing the emails in your personal folders.
  • Please use a memorable password, as there is no way of getting it back if you forget it. You only need to set it once, and you won't be prompted to change it.
  • You'll be prompted to enter the password each time you open Outlook.
  • The Personal Folders file is stored on your hard disk, so it is your responsibility to back it up regularly to ensure you have a copy of the data in the event of corruption or accidental loss of the file.

Right-click on the Outlook Data File, located in the Navigation Pane and select Data File Properties...

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The following screen will be displayed:

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Select Advanced...

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‌Then click on Change Password...

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If you've not already set a password, leave Old password blank.

  • Leave Save this password in your password list unchecked.
  • Please use a memorable password, as there is no way of getting it back if you forget it.
  • You'll be prompted to enter the password each time you open Outlook.

When you have entered your password into both the New and Verify password fields, click OK.

Right-click on the Outlook Data File, located in the Navigation Pane and select New Folder...

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In the Create New Folder window, you would usually accept the default of Mail and Post Items in the Folder contains: box.

However, the drop-down box also contains the following options, which you can use if necessary:

  • Appointment Items, Contact Items, Journal Items, Mail Items, Note Items, Task Items

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In the Name: box enter the name for this new sub-folder, e.g. Projects. You could also set up a sub-folder for items from a certain person, or about a certain subject.

Click OK to create this new sub-folder.

 
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  • Items from the Exchange server can now be dragged and dropped into the appropriate sub-folder within Personal Folders.
  • You can also right click on a mail item, and select Move to Folder. This will free up space in your Exchange mailbox.
  • You could also use Outlook Rules to automatically move items from your Exchange mailbox to your Personal Folders.

Remember that the Personal Folders file is stored on your hard disk, so it is your responsibility to back it up regularly, in the same way that you would back up any other file on your computer.