Office & Productivity Software forum


.pst files - want to access

by bkay / June 21, 2017 9:08 AM PDT

About 3 years ago, while changing computers, I manually backed up my outlook files (only had emails in them). I really wanted to save some stuff, so followed the directions I found on the web or on Outlook 2007. They are in a folder called outlook backup.

I can't remember why we did not restore the files, but we didn't. It seems like Outlook wouldn't bring them all back in or something like that and we only restored part of them. But I might be wrong.

Anyway, when you try to open it, it says it's a system file (.pst). It says don't open the file, as it could cause system problems, then it implies you can open it with several different programs (Adobe reader, Word, Paint, Explorer, etc.).

In properties it says it's 1 file of 348 mb and is read only.

Once I get it open, I'd like to do a keyword search to retrieve some family history files sent to me, so I don't want to screw up the files. I also don't want to open them as picture files unless that's the only option.

My idea was to make a copy of the file and try to open it with one of the programs they say will open it.

Will that work? Any better ideas?


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All Answers

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Spammers love this question.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 21, 2017 9:27 AM PDT
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The files are not in Outlook
by bkay / June 21, 2017 2:13 PM PDT

The emails are not in Outlook. They are in a file in documents.

If I remember correctly, Outlook would not import them all.


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Your post starts with
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 21, 2017 2:27 PM PDT

Asking how to open a PST file. It doesn't matter where the PST file is, I've imported PST file hundreds of times over the years and remove PST spam replies about the same number of times.

If Outlook won't import them all, there's a good chance they are corrupt which if you ask about PST repair tools, you again get spammed. I guess you can google and get better results than from the spammers but here's the deal. No one I know "opens" PST files. They import them.

Once in a while a computer user gets overwhelmed by this work and we do it for them (for a fee.)

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Re: access .pst file
by Kees_B Forum moderator / June 21, 2017 2:43 PM PDT

It might help to remove the read-only attribute.

And if it's a real and uncorrupted .pst-file from Outlook 2007, you should be able to open it as a "personal pst file" in Outlook 2007/2013/2013/2016/365. But importing in Thunderbird, as Bob suggested, should work also.

If Outlook is not installed on your system, I can imagine it won't open by doubleclick (since .pst is not defined as an Outlook file). Adobe reader, Word and paint will never open it.

However, I've never seen instructions in Outlook or on the web to backup .pst-files. I just make a copy in Explorer (or command prompt) if I need a backup (that's once a week or so, if it has changed that week).
So it's kind of a mystery to me how you made that backup file.

Post was last edited on June 21, 2017 3:03 PM PDT

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