The keys to keeping the size of your folders manageable are to
- Periodically empty the Deleted Items folder
- Archive or delete from Sent Items
- Remove attachments from sent messages, assuming that the attached files are stored elsewhere on your system
- Use one of the third-party tools listed here to compress attachments that you want to keep in your folders
- If you are using Personal Folders, periodically compact them to recover space left behind by deleted items.
This page lists tools that can help users and administrators manage Outlook items by archiving items, removing attachments, repairing .pst and .ost files, renaming special folders, calculating folder size, backing up Outlook data.
The More Information section includes links to additional types of tools that may be useful for housekeeping.
Housekeeping utilities for Microsoft Outlook end-users can be found here.
Tools in the Spotlight
Advanced Exchange Recovery (AEXR) repairs and recovers corrupted Microsoft Exchange offline storage (.ost) files. AEXR can scan orphaned OST files and recover mail messages and other items, including folders, posts, appointments, meeting requests, contacts, distribution lists, tasks, journals and notes. The recovered items are saved in PST format readable by Outlook, Other important features: recover attachments and deleted items, recover oversized 2GB OST files, support to convert OST files into PST files. Fully supports Microsoft Exchange 2010 and Outlook 2010.
Archive Attender is an automated email archiving tool that moves essential data out of Exchange mailboxes and into a secure, external storage device. Using Archive Attender, administrators also have the ability to control and grant access rights to users. No additional hardware or client installations are required.
Fast, disk-based backup of your production Exchange Server 2013/2010/2007/2003 without taking it offline. Complete computer backup including Active Directory, SQL and all other files using incremental/block-delta backup to reduce backup time. Restores as fast as 1.2GB/minute. Roll-back entire Exchange Mailbox Stores to previous points-in-time. Optional Exchange Message Restore Addon (2010/2007/2003) restores individual email messages in minutes without requiring a shutdown or interrupting the normal activity of your running Exchange Server.
CodeTwo Exchange Rules Pro goes beyond standard Hub Transport email rules on Microsoft Exchange 2007 or 2010 and lets you fully control email flow, filter messages and add signatures and branding to email. It is easier to use than Exchange native tools and it gives you everything Exchange offers, and also a lot of new features Exchange admins consider as a must-have. Quickly create group forward rules, auto-responders, filter messages, control email content, rewrite sender's addresses, tag messages, add signatures and disclaimers, and much more.
An electronic discovery tool specifically designed to perform dynamic keyword searches in Exchange mailboxes, PST files and common file storage areas. Discovery Attender can automatically execute scans of message subject, body and attachments through customizable search criteria. Content searches are transparent to end-users and can be targeted to specific groups or users. Once critical information is located, it can be moved or copied to a secure location.
Mail Attender provides comprehensive content management in PST files (personal storage folders) on desktops/servers, mailboxes and public folders. With MA Enterprise, administrators can distribute/enforce common policies, archive data and search content in multiple information stores from a central web interface. Also, can track statistical information such as total message/attachment count, size and type while tracking usage of individual users. Works with Exchange 5.5, 2000, 2003, 2007.
ENow Releases Mailscape Feature Pack 2 for simplified Exchange and Mobile Device Management. The award-winning Mailscape is a total systems management tool that provides Exchange monitoring and reporting, plus BlackBerry and ActiveSync management, in a single solution. The new version helps companies ensure a smooth migration to Exchange 2010, streamlines daily IT tasks associated with e-mail system administration, and offers over 40 new reports, including mobile device usage. Over 200 built-in reports and a sleek dashboard view of your entire system. Supports Exchange 2003, 2007 and 2010.
PST Backup Attender is a light-weight, PST file backup utility that can be used to locate, manage and back up PST files on user computers. Its efficient method of backing up the contents of PST files to the network and keeping this information synchronized, eliminates the need to store PST files on the network, a practice not recommended and unsupported by Microsoft. Additionally, PST Backup Attender can be used to enforce simple retention policies based on certain age and content criteria. Deployed through Group Policy, PST Backup Attender consumes minimal resources and installs and runs without any end-user interaction.
Symprex AutoArchive Manager allows administrators to centrally manage auto-archive settings on mailbox folders on Exchange 5.5, 2000 and 2003. The administrator can configure auto-archive settings on folders within individual mailboxes or within groups of mailboxes. Settings can be listed and changed manually or automatically for any number of mailbox folders at the click of a button.
Microsoft BackOffice Resource Kit tool to delete permissions, forms, views and rules from an Exchange Server mailbox
EEAttachments is a system service for your Exchange Server (2007/2010) which can export attachments from any of the attached folders of your mailbox. After the attachments are exported you can work with them on your own workflow.
Converts data from a corrupted Exchange 5.5 or 2000 mail database into Personal Folders .pst files.
GFI MailArchiver is an email archiving and management solution that is easy to install and requires minimal administrative effort. It helps businesses reduce their dependency on PST files and meet their legal and regulatory obligations. All emails are stored in a central location that is easily accessible. It ships at a highly competitive price and is a popular email archiving software for small to medium-sized enterprises.
Anti-spam, disclaimers (with variables), archiving Internet mail, Internet mail usage reports. Includes a POP downloader and personalized server-based autoreplies that can include attachments and tracking numbers. Can archive to an ODBC database. Current version includes Overall improved anti-spam technology, an additional anti-spam engine called SpamRazer along with improved performance and a real-time dashboard.
Tool to rename "special" Outlook folders, such as the Calendar, Tasks, Inbox, and Contacts, either for all mailboxes on a server or for a single mailbox . Requires CDO. Available in both administrator and end user versions.
Anti-spam, disclaimers (with variables), archiving Internet mail, Internet mail usage reports. Includes a POP downloader and personalized server-based autoreplies that can include attachments and tracking numbers. Can archive to an ODBC database. For Exchange 2000, but can also work with Exchange 5.5 via SMTP.
Administrative tool for migrating all of a user's system settings -- including those for Outlook -- to a new computer.
Ontrack PowerControls provides IT administrators the ability to search, recover, collect, restore, and export data from Microsoft Exchange and SharePoint environments. In addition to migration support for the latest versions of Exchange and SharePoint, Ontrack PowerControls addresses the legal and technical complexities associated with forensic collections. IT administrators can identify, preserve, and collect potentially relevant metadata from live environments, as well as backups. Product Name: Ontrack PowerControls 7.0
Sample Visual Basic 6.0 project to display (but not set) the AutoArchive settings of a particular folder.
All the disclaimer and signature features of Policy Patrol Disclaimer, plus rules-based message and attachment filtering, spam blocking with real-time black lists, white lists, and other methods, anti-virus using the Kaspersky anti-virus engine, off-peak delivery of large messages, reports on sent and received messages and other management features, automatic printing, customized NDRs and DSNs, automatic conversion of messages to plain text, automatic compression and decompression, archiving to SQL, XML, or CSV.
Integrates with Exchange Server and allows you to set central email attachment policies that automatically send email attachments that meet certain conditions via managed file transfer, removing the email attachment and replacing it with a secure download link. Benefits: large email attachments no longer get blocked, files are sent encrypted, and senders receive reliable delivery notifications. Since Policy Patrol works at Exchange Server level, no client software is needed and any email client is supported.
Message filtering tool for Exchange Server to block spam, proprietary information leaks and unacceptable language. Also can create automatic replies and perform rule-based archiving.
Perform brick-level restores from regular Exchange backups. You can search for what you want to restore by mailbox, message content, and types of items.
Sample Exchange Server Event Service script to create a size report in CSV format on all mailboxes on a server and mail it to an administrator.
Sharepoint Upload is a command line freeware tool (with .NET source) that can extract e-mails from PST, Public Folders, and Exchange Mailboxes and place on a file system in MSG format (using Redemption). The extracted files are compatible to SharePoint naming conventions.
SonaSafe for Exchange Server is an Integrated Backup/Recovery and Replication Solution for Exchange Server. SonaSafe for Exchange Server is the only software that offers both backup/recovery and replication for Exchange Server as part of a single integrated solution. The solution provides automated one-click rapid recovery to the point of failure. Free trial available.
- Compression Tools — By compressing attachments, these can reduce the storage space used by Outlook items.
- Search Tools — These tools provide faster, indexed searching.
- Configuration and Maintenance Issues
- To repair a damaged Outlook PST file
- Overview of Archive and of AutoArchive in Outlook 2003
- OL98: How to Remove or Replace Folder Size Button in Folder Properties
- OL2002 How to Remove or Replace Folder Size Button in Folder Properties
- OL2000 An Overview of Archive and AutoArchive
- Incorporating Archiving into Your Exchange 2000 Migration Strategy — vendor white paper on using archiving as part of a migration strategy
- Change Outlook Folder AutoArchive settings — CDO script for changing AutoArchive settings on individual folders
- Attachment Archiving to a File Server Script — Script to run on Exchange 2000 Server to archive mailbox item attachments as system files and replace them in the original items with a text link to the archived file
- Backing up Exchange 2000 using Windows 2000 Backup
- Outlook Mailbox Maintenance Plan