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    Repair PST File

    How to Fix Outlook PST File too large for a Destination File System?

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      Summary: The "Outlook PST file too large for the destination file system" error usually occurs when transferring or saving PST file on storage device. This post will help you understand the causes behind this issue. It will also provide solutions to resolve this error. You will also find about an advanced PST repair software that can help resolve the issue if it has occurred due to corruption in PST file.

      Microsoft Outlook users sometimes face problems and issues while using the application. The “Outlook PST file too large for the destination file system” is one such common error. This error occurs when the Outlook data file (PST) that keeps all the mail items, such as emails, contacts, attachments, etc. has reached or exceeded the maximum allowed size. This blog shares the reasons for the error and the solutions to efficiently troubleshoot and resolve such an error.

      Reasons for the “PST File is too Large for Destination File System” Error

      There are several factors that can trigger this error. These include:

      • PST File Size Limit Exceeded: Different versions of Outlook have different size limits for PST files. For instance, older versions like Outlook 2003 and 2007 have a size limit of 20 GB, while Outlook 2010 and newer versions support up to 50 GB. Also, the limit set by the IT or administrator in your organization could be different, such as 10 GB or lower. If the PST file reaches or exceeded this size limit, you may experience this error.
      • File System Limitations: Unlike NTFS, the FAT32 file system, which is often used in external storage devices, has a maximum file size limit of 4 GB. If you are using a FAT32 drive to store or transfer a PST file larger than this limit (4 GB), you may encounter this error message.
      • Accumulation of Large Emails or Attachments: If you often send and receive emails with multiple attachments, it could quickly inflate the PST file. Oversized or large PST files are prone to inconsistencies and errors.
      • PST File Corruption: Besides large size, PST files may also get damaged due to abrupt shutdown, force closing of Outlook, virus/malware intrusion, or system crash. In such cases, Outlook may fail to correctly read the corrupt PST file and may display such an error message.

      Solutions to Fix the “Outlook PST File is too Large for Destination File System” Error

      Follow the below solutions to efficiently troubleshoot and resolve the error.

      1. Check and Convert the File System

      If you are getting this error while attempting to transfer a large PST file to an external drive formatted with FAT32, consider converting the drive to NTFS or exFAT (Extended FAT File System) format. You can do this by following these steps:

      • First, backup all the data stored on the drive to another drive or your PC/laptop’s internal storage.
      • Then, open the Command Prompt as administrator and type convert DRIVE: /fs:ntfs (make sure to replace “DRIVE” with the actual drive letter). For instance, F: /fs:NTFS.
      • Press the Enter key.
      • You can also open File Explorer, right-click on the drive and choose Format. Confirm the formatting.

      After this, try to move or transfer the PST file to this drive. You can also restore the backup data to this reformatted drive.

      2. Split the PST File

      You can also split the large PST file into smaller PSTs. For this, you can create a new PST file using Outlook and then move some mail items or folders from your large PST file to this new empty PST file. Here are the steps:

      1. In Outlook, go to New Items > More Items > Outlook Data File.
      2. Enter a File name.
      Enter a File Name to Create a New Outlook Data File.
      1. To add a password, check the Add Optional Password box. Then, click OK. You may type a password in both the Password and Verify Password text boxes and select OK again.
      2. Make new folders in the new PST file. For this, right-click and select the New Folder option.
      right click and select the New Folder option to make a new folder.
      • Now right-click on the mail items or folders in the large PST file that is open in Outlook and move them to this new PST file.

      If you’ve set a password, you need to enter it every time you open the data file. This is to secure the PST file and data from unauthorized access.

      Alternatively, you can use a specialized PST file splitter tool to automate the process and split your large PST file into smaller, manageable PST files.

      3. Compact the PST File

      You can also compact the PST file to reduce its size. The steps are as follows:

      • In Outlook, go to File > Info > Account Settings > Account Settings.
      • Click on the Data Files tab, select your PST file, and click Settings.
      • Then, under the General tab, click Compact Now.

      4. Archive Old Mail Items

      You can also archive mail items to reduce the PST file size. Archiving moves old items from the main PST file associated with your email account to a local PST file. The steps are as follows:

      • In Outlook 2013, go to File > Info > Cleanup Tools > Archive.
      Path for Clean Up tools in Outlook 2013
      • In Outlook 2016 and later versions, go to File > Info > Tools > Clean up old items.
      Path for Clean Up tool in Outlook 2016
      • Click the Archive this folder and all subfolders option.
      • Then, choose the folder you want to archive.
      • Under Archive items older than, you need to choose or enter a date.
      Under Archive items older than you need to choose or enter a date 1
      • Click Browse to choose a location where you want to save this local PST file. Click OK.

      Similarly, you can create multiple .pst files of smaller size and avoid the error “PST file is too large for the destination file system.”

      5. Repair Outlook PST File

      You can also try to repair the PST file using the Inbox Repair tool or SCANPST.exe. The tool is located in the installation directory of Outlook or MS Office.

      repair the PST file using the Inbox Repair tool

      It can scan and repair minor errors, inconsistencies, and damage in PST file. The steps are as follows:

      • Launch SCANPST and then click Browse.
      Launch SCANPST and then click Browse.
      • Choose the PST file linked with your account or with which you are encountering the error.
      • Click Start. The tool will scan the PST file for errors and inconsistencies.
      • Then, click Repair. The SCANPST will attempt to repair the PST file.

      In case the SCANPST fails to repair the PST file or crashes during the repair, you can use an advanced Outlook PST repair software, such as Stellar Repair for Outlook to repair your PST file. The software can also help you split your large PST file into smaller PSTs. You can use the software to reduce the PST file size by saving the attachments to a separate folder. It does this automatically and links attachments to the email. You can also use the software to export all the mail items recovered from the damaged or corrupt PST file to Microsoft 365 or a live Exchange Server.


      The “Outlook PST file too large for destination file system” error can be resolved if you follow the right approach and carefully investigate the possible reasons. Above, we have mentioned the possible reasons for the error and the solutions to resolve it. You may also receive this error when the PST file is corrupted or damaged. In such a case, you can use the SCANPST or Inbox Repair tool. However, if the SCANPST fails, remember to use Stellar Repair for Outlook. This can help you avoid any potential data loss and restore all mail items from the corrupt PST to a new PST file, Outlook profile, Microsoft 365, or live Exchange Server mailbox with complete integrity.

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      About The Author

      Shelly Bhardwaj linkdin

      I am a Product Consultant and is associated with Stellar Data Recovery from last 8 years. I write about the latest technology tips and provide custom solutions related to Exchange Server, Office 365, MS Outlook, and many other Email Clients & different flavors of OS Servers. Read More

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