What to do with .pst?


i am using Nextcloud with much happyness but i have a problem with .pst files from Outlook. They do not sync properly cause often they are in use, when nextcloud does sync. How can i deal with that problem? I read about using .pst ist not that smart but how can i backup older Mails withou .pst and Nextcloud conflict?

The .pst isn’t really the problem. The problem is the file is locked by Outlook. I don’t know of any easy fix for that.

The general solution is to just not use .pst files. They get very large, don’t sync well with any updates causing re-syncs of the the entire file and they are prone to corruption and data loss. If you HAVE to use outlook you’re best bet is extracting the emails from the email server itself.

My personal solution was to spin up an IMAP server and use that to dump emails into, but this workflow is a touch janky in Outlook (auto archive doesn’t work to separate accounts), I originally started doing this in Thunderbird and it handled this workflow very well.

Alternative solutions I explored are:

  • Use OfflineIMAP to download and expunge a single Archive folder to disk (Offline imap is a python project so should work on both windows and Mac)
  • Use the Mailpile client. I really don’t like this as it’s essentially the same workflow as POP and the interface isn’t very nice in my opinion.
  • use a proper email archiving solution like mailpiler. Bit of a pain to deploy and users tend to hate it because it’s separated from the email client making it a bit hard to use the archived emails properly.