Create a Personal Folder File (.PST) on the Network Drive


A Personal Folders file (.PST) is an Outlook data file used to store local copies of messages, calendar events, and other items from your Exchange mailbox. Its appearance closely resembles Outlook 2003, and it can contain all of your Outlook folders, including the Inbox, Calendar, and Contacts.

Advantages to Using a .PST File

Using a .PST allows you to:

  • Free up storage space in your mailbox.
  • Design your own filing system, combining or splitting mailbox folders according to your own needs.
  • Search messages.

Guidelines for .PST Files

Create PST files on our network drive (and not on the local C: drive of your computer) so they can be  backed up daily.

Because .PST files can become quite large, you should create them based only on specific business needs. We recommend that PST files not exceed 500MB in size in order to minimize the potential for data corruption and maintain server and network efficiency.

Important: ESO Network Operations reserves the right to change the recommended .PST size or limit the use of PST files if server/network performance or available storage is adversely impacted.

We strongly recommend that .PST files be governed by departmental data retention policies so that they will not exist indefinitely on the network.


  1. Disable Outlook AutoArchive
    We do not recommend using Outlook’s AutoArchive feature, which is turned on by default. Turn off AutoArchive for all folders, including individual folders with AutoArchive turned on, before creating a .PST file.

    • On the Tools menu, click Options, and then select the Other tab.
    • Click AutoArchive.
    • Clear the Run AutoArchive every N days check box and click OK.
  2. Create an Outlook .PST Data File

    • On the File menu, point to New, and then click Outlook Data File.
    • Select Office Outlook Personal Folders File (.pst) and click OK.
    • Select the location where the file will reside on the network.
    • In the File name box, type a name for the file, and click OK.
    • In the Name box, type a display name for the .PST folder.
    • Accept the remaining default settings, and click OK. The name of the folder associated with the data file should then be displayed in your folder list view.
    • Proceed to create any desired folder structure.
    • Drag any items from your current folders to the new folder.
  3. Open an Outlook .PST Data File
    • On the File menu, point to Open, and click Outlook Data File.
    • Navigate to the desired folder on the network drive, select the .PST file you want to open, and  click OK.
  4. Close an Outlook .PST Data File
    • In the Navigation Pane right-click the Personal Folders file that you want to close.
    • Click Close.

Using Outlook Webmail to view .PST files

You will not be able to view .PST files when utilizing the Outlook webmail client.