Outlook Personal Storage Files (PSTs)
What is a PST File?
An Outlook PST (Personal STorage) file is a storage container, created from within Outlook, which stores e-mail, contacts, tasks and more, in a local location such as a user's workstation or network drive. By moving less-frequently accessed information out of the Exchange environment, the user preserves his/her 1GB quota for more current or more pertinent emails, tasks, and attachments. PST files are not limited to 1GB like the Exchange mailbox quotas are. Likewise, PST files can be used as a permanent archive for your e-mail, contacts, and tasks.
Creating PST Files
PST files can be created and stored on either local or network drives. Note that by storing a PST file on a regularly-backed up network drive, the user enjoys added protection in the event of a computer malfunction. Please refer to your department's IT policy for details regarding the placement of PST files as guidelines may vary between colleges and departments.
Using PST Files
In most cases, a PST file is created from within Outlook and is available while the Outlook application is open. From within Outlook, one can create subfolders for a PST to aid in organizing archived items. To move mail and other items between an Exchange mailbox and a PST file, both drag-and-drop functionality and menu options can be utilized. Note, however, that PST files configured and used from Outlook on a user's workstation are not available while accessing one's Exchange mailbox from Outlook Web Access (only e-mails and other items currently residing in your Exchange mailbox can be accessed via OWA). Additionally, PST files do not automatically follow a user from one computer to the next; instead Outlook must be configured to look at a particular PST file—located either on a local or network drive.