TR Dojo Challenge: How do you merge two or more Microsoft Outlook .PST files?

Microsoft Outlook users can archive email within a .pst file. If you know how to merge two or more .pst files, you could earn some TechRepublic swag?

Outlook personal storage table (.pst) files are used to archive old email, calendar, contacts, tasks, notes, and journal data. You'll often find .pst files in organizations where the email system administrators place size restrictions on users' mailboxes. Microsoft also refers to .pst files as "personal storage folders."

In Outlook 2002 (Office XP) and earlier, .pst files were in the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) format and had a 2 GB file size limit. Exceeding this limit caused the file to become unusable. To regain access to the file, you would often have to crop the .pst file using Microsoft's Pst2gb.exe tool. In Outlook 2003 and later versions, Microsoft began using the Unicode format for .pst files and increased the maximum file size to 20 GB.

A TechRepublic member recently asked me an Outlook question related to .pst files, and I think it would make a worthy TR Dojo Challenge. The member has three .pst files that need to be merged into one.

So, here's the question: How do you merge two or more Outlook PST files?

And to make the problem slightly more challenging, the member would like to know if the files can be "merged" without having to open both files and manually copy and paste the data from one file to the other. I'll give credit to the first person that explains how to manually merge multiple .pst files and to the first person that describes a method that doesn't involve copying and pasting the data.

About the TR Dojo Challenge Series

I publish a question designed to test the technical skills and IT prowess of our TechRepublic members. You can submit an answer to the question by posting it within this post's discussion thread.

I'll accept answer submissions for one week after I post the question. At the end of the week, I'll consider the question closed and review the answers. The member, who submits the first best answer, will be featured in a follow-up TR Dojo Challenge article, posted the following week. For being featured on the site, they will also earn themselves a bit of TechRepublic swag-a coffee mug and laptop sticker.

The rules:

  1. Only answers submitted within one week of the initial question's publication date will be considered for the follow-up article and swag.
  2. All answers must be original and must consist of more than a link or links to third-party resources.
  3. I will choose the correct response from the answers submitted and my decision is final.

Good Luck!

By Bill Detwiler

Bill Detwiler is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the ...