Emails have become an essential part of our life. We regularly use emails to communicate with our family, friends, office colleagues and business clients. The excessive use of emails has made email client applications highly popular among desktop users all around the world. In fact, emails clients are now also available for mobile devices and tablets, so users can easily access their emails and communicate with other users. Microsoft is a big name in computer industry. It provides almost every type of software applications for different platforms. If we talk about email client application, Microsoft provides numerous options including Outlook.
Microsoft Outlook, part of well-known MS Office suite, is not just an email client application. It’s an personal information manager that provides an excellent mailing environment, so that users can send and receive email messages as well as organize them. Other features provided by Outlook include calendar, task manager, contact manager, note taking, journal, and web browsing. Do you know where your emails and other mailbox content are stored? It creates an Outlook data file on your local system to store all your mailbox stuff which include email messages, contacts, calendars, notes, journals, tasks, appointments and attachments. The file is called PST aka personal storage table.
PST files are of two types..!
There are two types of PST files created by Outlook: ANSI and Unicode. They are actually two different formats used to save PST files as per their Outlook version. In Outlook 97, 98, 2000 and 2002, the PST file is saved in ANSI format. In Outlook 2003 and later versions including latest 2016, the PST file is saved in Unicode format. Do you know the difference between these two formats of PST files? ANSI is an old format, and can only store up to 2 GB of mailbox data. On the other hand, Unicode is a new format which provides maximum size of 20 GB to 50 GB. You can’t open an ANSI PST file in Outlook 2003 or later versions. In the same way, a Unicode PST file can’t be opened in Outlook 2002 or earlier version.
Common Issue with PST Files
PST file size limitation is one the most common issues faced by Outlook users. A PST file, be it ANSI or Unicode, can’t cross its maximum size limit. If it does, it becomes prone to corruption. Even if a PST file is reached to its maximum size, it may cause serious problems to Outlook users which mainly include poor Outlook performance. If you compare ANSI PST to Unicode PST file, you’ll find that it provides you less storage space. If you’re using Outlook regularly in your day-to-day life, 2 GB is surely not enough for you.
Why should you switch from ANSI to Unicode format?
Unicode PST file is a better option for Outlook users as it provides enough storage space for storing mailbox data. Corruption often takes place in ANSI PST file as it has maximum size limit of 2 GB which is really very low. Users can also face Outlook performance issues if they’re having oversized PST files. To overcome all these limitation and issues, you can upgrade Outlook by converting ANSI PST to Unicode format. You can do this manually without requiring any 3rd party paid software. Follow the steps given below:
Step 1: Launch Microsoft Outlook client on your system. You need to create a new PST file.
Step 2: Once the file is created, switch to Folder List in the Navigation pane or simply press Ctrl+6. This will make the copying task of Calendar, Contacts, Journal, Tasks and Notes folders easier than before.
Step 3: Now you can move all the mailbox folders from ANSI PST file to the newly created Unicode PST file. You can use Drag & Drop feature for this, in which you can either move the folders or can you copy them to the newly created Unicode PST file. You can move the folders with the left mouse button and right mouse button to copy the folders to the new PST file.
Step 4: Once the operation is completed, the ANSI PST mailbox content will be saved in new PST file of Unicode format.
Now your PST file can store up to 20 to 50 GB of mailbox data.
PST Upgrade and Downgrade – Professional Solution
You can also try a professional solution to upgrade Outlook PST from ANSI to Unicode format. Download PST Upgrade and Downgrade software to convert ANSI PST to Unicode format. This tool contains downgrade feature as well that will allow you downgrade Outlook by converting Unicode PST file into ANSI format. It’s an easy and safe solution that performs the operation of PST conversion without causing any changes or damage to original mailbox data. You can download free demo version of this software before purchasing its licensed version. Demo version will help you in free evaluation.