If your mailbox is full and you don’t want to delete your messages, you can create personal folders (.pst files) on your local computer’s hard drive to store your messages.

Using personal folders reduces the amount of space your mailbox occupies on the central mail server and prevents you from receiving email messages indicating that you’ve exceeded your mailbox quota. Although using personal folders can free up space in your mailbox and online archives, storing messages on your hard drive comes with the following risks:

  • If your hard drive fails, you will lose your personal folders and the emails they contain. The Information Technology Solutions (ITS) department can’t recover emails stored in personal folders.
  • If your personal folders are larger than 2 GB, there is a risk of them becoming corrupted. The larger the file size, the greater the risk of data corruption. You can, however, create multiple smaller‑sized personal folders to reduce this risk. If personal folders become corrupted, you could lose the emails they contain, and ITS can’t recover emails stored in corrupted folders.
  • If you’re using personal folders, you must notify the Workstation Management Group before upgrading or servicing your computer. Changes to your computer could result in the unintentional deletion of your personal folders, and ITS can’t recover emails stored in deleted folders.

IMPORTANT: ITS does not provide support for personal folders in Outlook. If you choose to follow these instructions to create personal folders, you do so at your own risk.

To create a personal folder in Outlook, follow these steps:

  1. Click the File tab.
  2. In Backstage view, click Account Settings, and then select Account Settings in the drop‑down menu.
  3. On the Account Settings menu, under the Data Files tab, click Add.
  4. On the Create or Open Outlook Data File menu, type a name into the File name field, and then click OK.
  5. Once your newly created personal folder appears in the list on the Data Files tab, click Close.
  6. Navigate to your Outlook folders, and start using your new personal folder.

NOTE: You can create subfolders within your newly created personal folder and store emails directly to your computer’s hard drive. Although the items stored in your personal folder don’t count towards your mailbox quota, ITS doesn’t provide support for personal folders.

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