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Windows 7: Outlook 2010 connectivity issues and purpose of pst data files

03 Feb 2016   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
Outlook 2010 connectivity issues and purpose of pst data files

Hello -- I have a few basic questions I hope someone can help me with. I installed Office 2010 in September and for the first time was faced with dealing with Outlook 2010 pst files via my comcast email account. As I recall, I pulled my existing email account ( and the outlook.pst file came into being as well. I believe I must have duplicated all my email folders and messages to the outlook.pst file because for some reason I thought it would be like a safe backup.

I have been experiencing issues with email for the past month or so. Everything comes up quickly from my outlook.pst file in Outlook, but my assumption that all incoming email would also arrive there was of course incorrect. The problem now is that my email account takes a long time to download messages (mostly the ones in folders vs new messages) and more times than not, the account says "not responding" and either eventually pulls up the messages or stops working and I get a red "disconnected" cross on the Outlook icon that confirms it's not working. If I shut Outlook down and restart it, it usually starts up but I have the same issues all over again.

I feel my email folders are too large (they go back more than 10 years), so I need to archive my email. My question is this: Can I safely just remove from outlook.pst all the folders and messages I had duplicated there? BTW, the size of the outloo.pst file is 2.3 GB, and the email pst.file is 205 MB. The latter file was up to 480 MB at one point, so I'm not sure what I did that it's half that size now. The outlook.pst file was also twice its current size. I have been saving the files elsewhere, deleting them in their working folder and importing them back in, so maybe I lost something along the way.

Can anyone offer a suggestion or two? My next idea is to simply delete all the messages and message folders in the outlook.pst data file, then archive the email pst .file. I figure if that doesn't work, I still have the saved files elsewhere I can go back to?

Thank you. --Dennis

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 Outlook 2010 connectivity issues and purpose of pst data files

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