none
MS Project file becoming huge and bloated. RRS feed

  • Question

  • We have some users which access the project from a file share on a server.  Over time, the files become very large.  The users can do a "Save as" 2003 project, then back to Project 2007 and it will reduce the file size from over 100MB to under 10MB.  What is causing this and how can we eliminate the problem?  Btw, this is happening with users whether they are using Project 2007 or Project 2010. 
    Monday, December 19, 2011 7:48 PM

Answers

  • I also have a concern that you save the file down to 2003 and then convert it back to 2007 or 2010.  Every time you save down you strip off fields of data and move the fields around.  When you convert back up fields are moved around and values are recalculated. (ie:  a resource assignment will calculate different in all 3 levels)  I have heard of multiple people that have done this several times on the same file and at some point the file will became corrupt and unusable.  I recommend to my users that they pick a level and stay there - it is just safer.  However, i understand your need to trim the file down but you should try to convert a file up to a level and then stay at that level.
    Ellen Lehnert, MVP, PMP, MCT Training/Consulting/Author ellen@lehnertcs.com, www.lehnertcs.com Author "Managing Projects using MS Project 2010 desktop" courseware, www.MVP-Press.com
    Tuesday, December 20, 2011 3:09 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Whenever you cut/copy/paste or delete tasks, the data in teh .mpp file is not removed, merely flagged as deleted etc. This is what leads to file bloat. To remove file bloat either:

    After opening immediately go File, save or at any time do a file, save as. No need to swap between file formats, both these options do file house keeping and clear away the file bloat. This works or all Project versions.

    Rod Gill

    The one and only Project VBA Book Rod Gill Project Management
    Monday, December 19, 2011 8:36 PM
    Moderator
  • Rod,

    It's interesting that you mention the Save As technique to clear out bloat. That's what I thought too and have been using Save As for years - I still do. However, I was corrected in my thinking by the following exchange between Adrian and myself while discussing another issue earlier this year.

    John

    In your forum posting, you make the following statement: [the "your" and "you" is me, John]

    “Always use Save As back to the same file name in lieu of using normal Save. This reduces the normal buildup of bloat and lessens the chance of corruption.”

     

    This is not true for Project.  It was true maybe years ago in Word where you had “fast save” but it just isn’t for Project.  Unless you’re actually saving to a new file name, Save As is internally doing the same thing as Save.  Believe me J


    Monday, December 19, 2011 8:56 PM
  • I also have a concern that you save the file down to 2003 and then convert it back to 2007 or 2010.  Every time you save down you strip off fields of data and move the fields around.  When you convert back up fields are moved around and values are recalculated. (ie:  a resource assignment will calculate different in all 3 levels)  I have heard of multiple people that have done this several times on the same file and at some point the file will became corrupt and unusable.  I recommend to my users that they pick a level and stay there - it is just safer.  However, i understand your need to trim the file down but you should try to convert a file up to a level and then stay at that level.
    Ellen Lehnert, MVP, PMP, MCT Training/Consulting/Author ellen@lehnertcs.com, www.lehnertcs.com Author "Managing Projects using MS Project 2010 desktop" courseware, www.MVP-Press.com
    Tuesday, December 20, 2011 3:09 AM
    Moderator
  • Rod -  Does this "save as" process work with project bloat for schedules on MSPS - or just stand alone?

    Thanks!
    Randy

    Monday, June 11, 2012 2:04 PM
  • I don't think Project Server projects suffer from file bloat. The bloat comes from how .mpp files are built and managed. Project Server stores data quite differently.

    I wasn't clear in my post, File, Save As should always be to a new file and not over-writing the same file.


    Rod Gill

    The one and only Project VBA Book

    Rod Gill Project Management

    Tuesday, June 12, 2012 6:18 AM
    Moderator
  • Thanks Rod - We were taking scehdules that were already bloated and pulling them into MSPS.   I needed to redice/remedy the bloat before importing.   The Saved-as (to a different file name) was clear and worked like a charm.        The problem we have now is that because teh files had actual hours associated, MSPS (2010) is not letting us manipulate the durations - returning a message that "Actual Work in (Project name) is out of sync with teh actual work updated from timesheets.      Not sure if a publish will remedy this or what.... 
    Tuesday, June 12, 2012 1:09 PM
  • Save As isn't helping my MPP 2013 project.  I had several thousand activities that I deleted.  My project now has 4 tasks but it is still 3MB.  I've tried Save As to a new name, Clearing the baseline and resetting it.  The techies I work with say there are thousands of deleted tasks in my MPP file.  Is there any way to delete them? 
    Tuesday, May 5, 2015 6:59 PM
  • Shulte111,

    Go to http://project.mvps.org/faqs.htm#Handling_project_file_corruption_and/or_bloat and use methods 1, 3 & 4. Then let us know if you still have a problem.

    John

    Tuesday, May 5, 2015 8:14 PM
  • Randy:

    You're attaching a Project Server question to a Project standalone thread in a forum that is definitely not about Project Server. The answer to your question is different. And, yes Projects do get bloated and/or corrupted in Project Server as well as standalone.

    If you are using timesheets, understand that the only way to fix this problem disassociates the project record from the timesheets because this process changes the task GUIDs. However, it does not change actual work in the project file. Save the file to XML, delete the project on the server, import the saved version back to the server. Save to XML is imperfect in Project so if you use some very advanced or obscure features, there could possibly be data loss during this procedure.

    We have a much better story for this in 2013 and 2016 using Save for Sharing. Time to upgrade.


    Gary Chefetz, MCITP, MCP, MVP msProjectExperts
    Project and Project ServerFAQs
    Project Server Help BLOG

    Friday, May 8, 2015 2:56 PM
    Moderator