Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I would like to empty an archive PST file so that I can use it to store freshly archived stuff. I've already backed up the PST.

I want to do this so that I'm not carrying years and years of old e-mails with me everywhere; one year is quite enough.

I know that I can simply delete the PST but then I would have to figure out how to create a new one and point Outlook at it. Also, then I'm sure Outlook will complain the next time I start it.

share|improve this question
add comment

3 Answers

Since you've already backed up the PST, emptying it in Outlook and compacting it should be equivalent to creating a new one.

How to Manually Start PST Compaction

  • Delete any items that you do not want to keep (in your case delete everything), and then empty the Deleted Items folder
  • Click the File tab on the Ribbon, and then click the Info tab on the menu
  • Click the Accounts Settings tab, and then click on Accounts Settings again
  • Click the Data Files tab
  • Click to select your Personal folder, and then click Settings
  • On the General tab, click Compact Now
  • Click OK, and then click Close

How to Manually Start OST Compaction

  • Delete any items that you do not want to keep (in your case delete everything), and then empty the Deleted Items folder
  • Click the File tab on the Ribbon, and then click the Info tab on the menu
  • Click the Accounts Settings tab, and then click Account Settings again
  • In the list, select Microsoft Exchange Server, and then click Change
  • Click More Settings
  • On the Advanced tab, click Offline Folder File Settings
  • Click Compact Now

Source

share|improve this answer
    
This will reduce the size of the .pst/.ost file but it won't clean out all the old emails. I think the OP just wants a fresh PST for this year. –  Kyle Jan 21 '13 at 20:07
2  
@Kyle: If you read the first step, it says you need to Delete all unwanted items first. If you delete everything in a PST and then compact, that's as good as starting afresh according to me. Otherwise the OP can always do what was suggested in the other answer, i.e. create a new PST. –  Karan Jan 21 '13 at 20:10
    
Yeah I read that part... which is why I commented. I guess if the point of this is to create a fresh PST in the most time consuming way possible then you're right, effectively it will be a new PST if you sift through it and delete everything then compact it. –  Kyle Jan 21 '13 at 20:17
    
I apologize I read your answer and it gave me the impression you were thinking the OP only wanted some stuff removed. In which case this would be the way to do it. –  Kyle Jan 21 '13 at 20:19
    
@Kyle: No problemo. :) IMO it's not that hard to simply delete the old PST and create a new one, but since the OP wants to avoid that for some reason I guess this is as good a solution as any. –  Karan Jan 21 '13 at 20:22
show 1 more comment

I'd suggest simply creating a new data file....it is quite easy. Just consult the HELP pages provided in the Outlook application. It isn't that hard, as I have had to do this a few times off and on in the past year.

Then use that as the archive and delete the old file.

Summary: The specific information is easily readable and available in the M$ Outlook help.

share|improve this answer
2  
Why not just add the steps? Even if it's copypasta, just cite your source (help file) and it will make this answer usable for reference. –  Kyle Jan 21 '13 at 20:21
add comment
up vote 0 down vote accepted

I found that I could simply close the archives file inside Outlook, move it, and then run the Outlook archiving tool.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.