How to delete a PST file: 4 steps to take

PST stands for personal storage files and is also known as Outlook Data File. This file contains all of your emails, contacts, calendar, tasks and notes related to your email account in Outlook. Often times, you can find yourself with duplicate PST files either by accident, from bringing a new computer online or perhaps because you’re writing a blog post about deleting PST files and needed to get your hands dirty adding and removing the PSTs from Outlook. In any case, duplicates add clutter and use up hard drive space which can drain productivity from both you and your computer. If you have decided that you need to delete some straggling PSTs, then we have the GIFs to guide you.

Note: Before you do this, we do recommend you back up these files on some sort of external storage in case you later find you need the files you deleted. If you are a small business using a Microsoft Exchange server, we suggest using an enterprise level PST archiving solution.

Step 1: Note your PST file location

With Outlook open, Right-Click on one of the folders located within the parent folder you want to delete. Click Properties, and Navigate to AutoArchive. Click on the radio button labeled ‘Archive this folder using these settings:‘ and note the file location under ‘Move old item to:‘. This is where your Outlook PST file is located. It should look something like this: C:UsersSeanDocumentsOutlook Files

Step 2: Remove the file from within Outlook

Before you can delete your PST file, you must remove it from within Outlook or else you risk potentially corrupting the file. There are two ways to do this.

2a: The quickest way: Right-click on the root folder and choose ‘Close [folder name].’

2b: You can try this:
For Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007: Navigate to ‘File > Data File Management‘ then select the PST file you want to remove and click ‘Remove
For Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013: Navigate to ‘File > Info > Account Settings > Account Settings… > Data File tab‘ then select the PST file you want to remove and click ‘Remove‘.

Finding Microsoft Outlook 2013 Account Settings

Note: You are unable to delete a PST file which is set as Default.

3: Navigate to the PST File

3a: Close Outlook. You cannot delete a PST file with Outlook open because the file will be in use.

3b: Navigate to the location you just noted down earlier either via My PC or by pasting the file location into the address bar of a new window.

3b 1: Navigate via My PC.
Open ‘My PC.’ Windows 8 users will open ‘This PC.’ Tomato, to-mah-to.

open-this-pc

Follow the folder path to get to your Outlook Files folder. The default should be C:Users[username]DocumentsOutlook Files where [username] is the username of the logged in user.

windows-c-drive-users

manually-open-pst-location

 

3.2 b) Or paste file location into address bar.

copy-paste-pst-location

4. Delete the PST file.

Once you have located the PST file you wish to delete, simply Right-Click the file and select Delete.

 

There you have it. A cleaner, less-cluttered version of Outlook. If you have any additional comments or questions please leave them in the comments.

Copy, move, delete or compress to eliminate the burden of PST files using Sherpa Software’s solutions. Learn more!

 

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