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Tip 915: Compact Now Every Time you Exit Outlook

Tip 915: Compact Now Every Time you Exit Outlook | Outlook Daily Tips

A reader wanted to know if he could configure Outlook to automatically compact the pst every time he closes Outlook. Yes, this is possible, using the PSTNullFreeOnClose registry key. This can lengthen the time it takes Outlook to shutdown and if Outlook is forced closed during the compaction process the data file could become corrupt. If you use both this key and the option to empty deleted items on exit, Outlook will take much longer to exit. However, this setting can be useful to security conscious users as compacting removes all traces of deleted messages, making it impossible to recover the mail. How Outlook works: when you delete an item and empty the deleted item folder, the messages (and other items) are removed from the index but left in the data file. The space used by these deleted messages is called “white space”.  Until Outlook recovers this space, it may be possible to recover deleted messages using recovery software.  Outlook will automatically compact the data file when the “white space” reaches around 20% of the data file’s size and the computer is idle. Because it runs as a background service, it can take days for Outlook to fully compact the [...]

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