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Best Practice for Syncing PST File

Best Practice for Syncing PST File

Mark D.11
New member | Level 1

Ok, I've read a bunch of posts on this topic and I understand the issues about PST file size, upload speed, etc. I have a PST file about 500MB, which will stay about that size and I just want to back it up to Dropbox, preferably daily or at least weekly.

So what is the best way to backup/sync an Outlook PST file? Should we have Dropbox sync it automatically on its own, manually upload a copy of the file after Outlook is closed, or something else?

On some other websites, I read a few articles that said syncing an active PST file may corrupt the file, which I understand. Another article said that Dropbox will not sync an active file so that is not an issue. Another article said that Dropbox even knows to somehow only sync the changed portion of the PST file rather than uploading the entire file every time. That I find hard to believe, but what do I know. Thanks in advance for any clarity and feedback on any of these issues.

3 Replies 3

Mark
Super User II

manually upload a copy of the file after Outlook is closed

For data integrities sake that is what I would do.

Another article said that Dropbox even knows to somehow only sync the changed portion of the PST file rather than uploading the entire file every time

If you copy/replace the file each time then this is correct 🙂


 


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Bill M.6
New member | Level 2

I am one of those heavy-duty Outlook users with the PST file stored locally in a dropbox folder. I do this to be able to share this PST file between my desktop and laptop (obviously, not at the same time). Many times I notice in my local dropbox folder a conflicted PST file copy which I then need to open within Outlook and compare the inbox, sent items, and other folders to the principal copy of the PST file in use. This is not only frustrating but time-consuming.

While I am no expert, what I have come to learn is that the "lock" that Outlook places on the PST file is one of the issues affecting these conflicted files because of dropbox's inherent need to continuously attempt to synchronize the PST file when Outlook has made a change. What I have found to be very beneficial -- and to prevent these conflicted copies -- is that while I am in Outlook I pause dropbox synchronization. When I remember to do this I never receive a conflicted PST file copy and never any corruption.

I am in the process of experimenting with a simple macro that is configured to pause dropbox synchronization while Outlook is open. Once Outlook is closed, dropbox synchronization is allowed to continue. It would be interesting if dropbox itself could provide that functionality.

I realize that most pundits, including Microsoft, do not recommend storing a PST file on a network drive or in the cloud for various reasons. I can't survive without having dropbox provide a synchronized copy of the PST file for my use on the two computers. The only other answer would be for Microsoft to provide the independent Outlook user the ability to use exchange (and hence an OST file) without a huge cost or for dropbox development to jump on this bandwagon to offer a more functional approach to synchronizing PST files.

DaveC2
New member | Level 1

You should only get conflicted PST files, if you have opened Outlook on both machines at the same time, (or at least opened the second one before the DB app was able to sync the changes from the first one being closed).

This is a regular cause of conflicted copies on any application. Outlook is nothing special.

 

FYI: large files that are modified without reorder or insertion or removal of data, just updating, will upload fast as the DB app keeps track of the uniqueness of each 2meg block of file, any change in each block and that goes up, not changed and it doesnt. PSTs append and reuse cleared space so dont reorganize etc, so often go up quick.

 

[This thread is now closed by moderators due to inactivity. If you're experiencing a similar behavior, feel free to start a new discussion in the Dropbox Community here.]

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