Problem with IMAP .pst file

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chupacabra

Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2010 64 bit
Email Account
IMAP
What exactly contains .pst file created when I set up IMAP account in Outlook and what is the difference between it and .pst that is being created with POP account?

Is it possible to reduce size size of IMAP .pst file; currently it has 13GB!!! Does deleting email account and setting up again solves the problem?
 

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
It is basically the same as the pop3 PST, but there are some properties set that identify it as an imap data file and set imap views. however, if you are using outlook 2013, its an .ost file.

That said, the data file shouldn't be too much larger than the size of your mailbox. It can be a little bigger, maybe around 10% larger.

Make sure all updates are installed then close outlook and delete the IMAP ost file.
 

chupacabra

Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2010 64 bit
Email Account
IMAP
Thank you very much for your help, Diane. If it's basically the same as POP3 .pst; can it store contacts, calendars, tasks?

Also my Outlook 2010 is frequently freezing. I'm suspecting that it's because of Send\Receive Settings, "Particulary Receive mail items" option. What is the best configuration for the best performance in Outlook: "Download headers for subscribed folders" or "Use the custom behaviour defined below"?
 

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
In Outlook 2010 and older, no, it can't store calendar ands contacts because imap is email-only. you need to use a pst for those.

I personally think the best option is to download full messages. If you don't want to download full messages then choose download headers for subscribed folders.
 

chupacabra

Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2010 64 bit
Email Account
IMAP
I see. When I choose to download full messages then Send\Receive process is stuck, shown time to complete action keeps increasing, I don't now if it's because computer is too slow or because of network connection. That's why I chose to download headers only for subscribed folders. Any idea what happens with folders that are not subscribed? Will I still be able to see new emails that are inside of those folders?
 

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
The contents of Folders that are not subscribed won't be downloaded.

Have you tried closing outlook, deleting the imap pst file and restarting outlook? I'm thinking the pst file is corrupt and that is what is causing all of the problems.
 

chupacabra

Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2010 64 bit
Email Account
IMAP
Yes, I deleted IMAP file by deleting email account and then I set it up again. Now I have 2GB IMAP .pst instead of 13GB which is great but Outlook is still freezing.
Just to confirm; is it safe to delete IMAP .pst file? Does everything going to be downloaded from the server again or I should better make a copy of it before I deleted?
Can I use a copy of IMAP .pst files as a email backup?

That corrupted .pst file, you mean the IMAP or .pst Personal Folder?
 

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
It is safe to delete the imap data file from older versions of Outlook. It contains only email that is stored on the server, which will download again. (If you copied mail into the imap folder to try and upload it to the server that mail may not be on the server. That, of course, only applies if you did it. :))

You can use the imap pst as a backup - it'll open in any profile - but unless the messages were fully downloaded, it won't be of use to you. (This only works in Outlook 2010 and older). It's not really necessary as it's a copy of everything on the server.

The corruption would be in the oversized imap data file, not the pst.
 

gac

New Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2010 32 bit
Email Account
IMAP
It is safe to delete the imap data file from older versions of Outlook. It contains only email that is stored on the server, which will download again. (If you copied mail into the imap folder to try and upload it to the server that mail may not be on the server. That, of course, only applies if you did it. :))

You can use the imap pst as a backup - it'll open in any profile - but unless the messages were fully downloaded, it won't be of use to you. (This only works in Outlook 2010 and older). It's not really necessary as it's a copy of everything on the server.

The corruption would be in the oversized imap data file, not the pst.
Diane

I have recently moved from pop3 to imap and am worried about backing up the imap folders and emails! I do backup my imap related .pst file but not sure whether it has downloaded all the folders and emails from the imap server or just headers. Is there a way to check whether all the data is actually there?

Cheers

Geoff
 

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
If you want to backup imap mail locally, export it to a pst. this will get headers as it exports. But, you don't really need to back it up, unless you don't trust your mail host.
 

gac

New Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2010 32 bit
Email Account
IMAP
If you want to backup imap mail locally, export it to a pst. this will get headers as it exports. But, you don't really need to back it up, unless you don't trust your mail host.

Hello Diane!

But! When I go to export my imap folder is not listed so cannot export it..

I have just tried the CTRL/ALT/DEL and selected the download complete item with attachment for each sub folder - see pic. I did also try selecting each folder using the custom behaviour (!) but the .pst file was the same size so presumably the setting in the pic does download all items fully?

Cheers

Geoff

folrd-options2.jpg
 

gac

New Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2010 32 bit
Email Account
IMAP
Diane

I should just add that I do not trust my email host! This is why I am so keen to have a total backup of all emails and attachments!

I could just go back to pop3 but then what would I have on my mobile? Plus is it possible to keep all my emails and attachments in the move from imap to pop3?

Geoff
 

gac

New Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2010 32 bit
Email Account
IMAP
Diane

just had a good idea from someone on the BTCare Forum - turn the router off and open Outlook and the full emails are all there!! So the imap .pst file is putting all the data onto my PC.

Cheers

Geoff
 

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
Hello Diane!

But! When I go to export my imap folder is not listed so cannot export it..

I have just tried the CTRL/ALT/DEL and selected the download complete item with attachment for each sub folder - see pic. I did also try selecting each folder using the custom behaviour (!) but the .pst file was the same size so presumably the setting in the pic does download all items fully?
Yeah, if the exported pst is the same size as the imap folder, everything was fully downloaded. The newer versions do include full messages by default but i forget which version started it.
 
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