Upgrade or Convert Outlook PST file from ANSI to Unicode

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. Here I am going to tell you how to convert Outlook PST file from ANSI to Unicode.

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The 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 the computer industry. It provides almost every type of software applications for different platforms. If we talk about email client applications, Microsoft provides numerous options including Outlook.

Microsoft Outlook, part of the well-known MS Office suite, is not just an email client application. It’s a 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 includes email messages, contacts, calendars, notes, journals, tasks, appointments, and attachments.

PST files are of two types..! 

There are two types of PST files created by Outlook: ANSI and Unicode. The 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 the 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 that provides a maximum size of 20 GB to 50 GB. You can’t open an ANSI PST file in Outlook 2003 or later versions. Similarly, you can not open a Unicode PST file in Outlook 2002 or earlier version. Now the question is why you need to convert Outlook pst file from ANSI to Unicode? Let’s discuss this.

Common Issue with PST Files

Outlook users face the limitation of PST file size. A PST file, be it ANSI or Unicode, can’t cross its maximum size limit. If it does, it becomes prone to corruption. Outlook users sometimes face a poor performance issue when the PST file reaches the maximum size limit. 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 convert Outlook PST file from ANSI to Unicode?

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 the ANSI PST file as it has a 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 a w 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 convert Outlook PST ANSI to Unicode format. Download PST Upgrade and Downgrade software  to convert ANSI PST to Unicode format. This tool contains downgrade features 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 the free demo version of this software before purchasing its licensed version. Demo version will help you in a free evaluation.

Also read: How to divide large PST files into smaller parts?

Final verdict

So I have discussed the easiest methods to convert Outlook PST file from ANSI to Unicode. Now it’s your call to select the best suitable method for your PST files. The manual trick needs some extra technical knowledge for its implementation. So if you are a novice person then you should go for the automated method.

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