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I have a user that just bought a brand new MacBook Air and put Office for Mac on it. He's trying to connect to our Exchange server where he has a ~17.5 GB mailbox. The inbox starts downloading, gets to 699 items with 199 unread and Outlook crashes. Does Outlook for Mac just not like huge mailboxes?

Also, are .ost files stored on the Mac like they are in Windows?

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4 Answers

There is a limit of attachment size (10MB) with Outlook 2011 on Mac. You might be hitting that by the looks of your problem. It's entirely possible to change this setting on an Exchange server, even 2007.

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"~17.5 GB mailbox" Thats not good! Here's what Microsoft says about 'large mailboxes' on Exchange 2007: "The phrase large mailbox can mean different things to different people. In this white paper, large mailboxes are defined as being larger than 1 gigabyte (GB) in total size. " –  Linker3000 Aug 24 '11 at 21:37
    
People who refuse to archive email have these problems in exchange or Outlook, I see it all the time, no reason to have 17+ gig in one OST file. –  Moab Aug 24 '11 at 23:26
    
17.5 GB?!?! Holy crap! When will people learn email is not file storage. Get a product like symantec.com/business/enterprise-vault to relieve yourself of this problem. –  Keltari Aug 26 '11 at 21:39
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After years of rebuilding Outlook/Mac databases, I can tell you unequivocally that Outlook Mac WILL crash/corrupt the database once email numbers in the InBox, Deleted and Sent Items (or any one of those particular boxes reaches into the low thousands. DO yourself a favor and proactively prune the mailboxes of execs FOR THEM if you must. Much easier than some of the corrupted database/mail loss nightmares I've endured...

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No OST files in Outlook for Mac. The mails are stored in /Users//Documents/Microsoft User Data/Office 2011 Identities/

e.g.

:Messages paulhargreaves$ pwd
/Users/paulhargreaves/Documents/Microsoft User Data/Office 2011 Identities/Main Identity/Data Records/Messages
:Messages paulhargreaves$ 
:Messages paulhargreaves$ find . | wc -l
   50503

I have lots of mails over 10MB in my mailbox so it is unlikely to be some "10MB" limit. It's becoming difficult to find powerpoint documents smaller than 10MB these days.

I suspect the problem is elsewhere, unfortunately. Outlook for Mac can tend to crash but you can perform a recovery by holding the alt key when re-launching the app to perform a rebuild of the database.

Also check in Console to see what errors may be reported at the time Outlook is crashing. Sometimes, if you are lucky, it may give you something you can use to diagnose further.

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There is no file size limit in the software - it's imposed server-side, either by your ISP or your Exchange server.

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