Friday, 10 April 2015

Guide To Migrate From ANSI To Unicode PST File

For converting or upgrading ANSI PST to Unicode, there is no direct option offered by Microsoft. However, with a little efforts, it is possible to migrate from ANSI to Unicode and take advantage of the benefits offered by the later PST format. Let’s get started:

To be on a safer end, make sure that you maintain a backup of ANSI PST file before upgrading it. For this, you can copy the PST file to different system drive or storage device. The process of backing up a PST file is quite straightforward.

Step #1: Since Unicode file is supported by Outlook 2003 and above editions, create a Unicode formatted PST using any of these editions of Outlook.

Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007:

In the File menu, click ‘New’ and choose ‘Outlook Data File’

Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013:

In the Home tab, click on ‘New Items’ and drop down to ‘More Items’ and choose ‘Outlook Data File’

Step #2: In Outlook 2003 and 2007, you will be promoted to select the PST format. Choose ‘Office Outlook Personal Folders File (.pst)’. Further, a dialog box will get opened that will ask to enter a convenient name for the file or set password (optional).

For Outlook 2010 and 2013, the Unicode PST will get directly saved into default location with the name “Outlook Data File” and if needed you can change the file name.

Step #3: Now, go to the folder navigation pane. This will help in moving particular items from folder: emails, contacts, calendars, tasks, and notes.

Step #4: One-by-one, copy the folders from ANSI PST into the Unicode PST file (that you created using the above mentioned steps). Although you have the option to select, drag, and then drop the folder items but it is recommended not to use this as this this will perform the ‘Move’ action on the items. Instead, right click on the selected items and choose ‘Copy’.

Note: Migrating data from ANSI PST to Unicode might take time depending upon how large the file and its folders are. In the meantime, you might experience a non-functional state of Outlook while it is not.

What is ANSI and Unicode PST?
ANSI and Unicode are the formats of Outlook Data File, i.e.PST. While ANSI (American National Standards Institute) is the default PST format for Outlook 2002 and lower editions, Unicode is supported by Outlook 2003 and later editions. The basic difference lies in the character support and the storage capacity of file.

The Advantage of Using Unicode Formatted PST
The main advantage of switching the Unicode version of PST is support to international character. But at the end user, the most captivating advantage is the extended storage capacity. While the ANSI PST can grow up to 2 GB, the Unicode PST can save up to 20GB and above.
Although Outlook is available with the option to create multiple PST file and automatic archiving to manage the ANSI PST file but the disturbing factor for users is that the PST file gets corrupt on crossing the 2GB limit (and in this state the Outlook data file is termed as Oversized PST file). Unfortunately, there is no built-in utility by Microsoft that can fix a PST with oversize issue and this is the reason why it is a better idea to switch to Unicode PST from ANSI.


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