Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Saving space in Outlook and other utilities

Managing Outlook manually can be quite painful. Files grow to take a lot of your hard drive (I have an old 74GB SSD and probably 40GB of mail total), and once you have created a lot of folders, it is not going to be easy to clean it if you intend to do that, again, manually :).

Obviously moving folders you don't use out (saving the pst somewhere else) is the easiest way. But can we do more, easily? Sure! Actually searching, I found that Outlook is quite awesome on this!

  1. To remove emails from the same conversation It does allow you to do this for folder and sub-folders, but not at the top of the PST level. Wonder why, so, that will force you to do this one by one inside the level, but ok... The other thing to watch out is that it may remove the flagged emails (for instance, if you flag them to remember them or easily find them), if they are the beginning of some conversation, although sure, they will be part of another email. You probably can avoid that with some setting or by recovering them from the Delete Folder. Anyhow, this alone did already pretty good (maybe 20%) but to see the effects you may have to force Outlook to clean up the PST. Bottom line, this is good to avoid storing duplicates and can have significant savings, but it does have some minor drawbacks (a bit time consuming, potential loss of some organization...). So, if you don't care much about that space, as anyhow you plan to move/store things away you may do only #2.
  2. The second great thing is to be able to store mails that are old in a different PST, but replicating the PST, with the file trees inside. Then you can store away those PSTs... The cool thing also is that if you have marked the file with a flag it won't move it (unless you tell him so...). 
I am assuming that you know how to load/unload from outlook the PST: File >> Account Settings >> Data Files tab and the Remove. Don't worry, that doesn't delete the file from your SSD/HDD, just takes out the access from Outlook and frees it, so that you can move it somewhere else for storage.

Outside Outlook, there are also other useful utilities for saving space and doing other interesting stuff:
  1. Cleanup the system install files (this was 10GB in my drive!!)
  2. Stat viewer and attachment removal
  3. Outlook reporting tools and utilities Get reports on how much you spent on every given topic, how much email you sent/receive, how many times you read the same email, email traffic/time of the day...
  4. Others along the same lines

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