What is a PST file and how can I open it?

With all the different files and extensions on the computer, it’s easy to lose track of things, especially if you want to clean up your hard drive and don’t know whether a file is useful or just ballast on the hard drive. One representative of these formats are files with the extension PST.

PST files are containers for e-mail clients, Microsoft Outlook and Exchange. The abbreviation PST stands for “personal store”.

This is how you can open a PST file – even without Outlook

To open the PST file on the hard drive, you need a version of Outlook on the PC. If you don’t have an Office license and don’t want to open your wallet for this either, the free Office trial version is sufficient to open the PST file. If you don’t want to or can’t install Microsoft Office, the free “Outlook Viewer” tool from CoolUtils will help you. This little helper also gives you an insight into the contents of the PST file without having to open or install Outlook. The application converts the content from the PST file to other file formats. For example, you convert the information into an “EML” file, which can also be read by other e-mail programs.

The PST file contains personal data such as contacts and e-mail information for using Microsoft Outlook. When Outlook is started for the first time, the “Outlook.pst” file is created automatically. In order for Outlook to work properly and without errors, at least one PST container is required on the hard drive. This means that the standard PST file cannot be deleted either. All received and sent emails, contacts, appointments and entries can be found in the various areas of the PST file. Outlook uses a single file to manage various data.

Create and manage new PST file in Outlook

Outlook can, however, use several PST files in order to manage all business contacts in one PST container and all private contacts in another. To do this, open the “Information” section on the “File” menu bar and look for the account settings there. There you look for the tab “Data files”.

Here you can manage the PST file, open the storage location or of course create a new email container. In contrast to other, self-created PST files, additional information, e.g. B. Filed filter rules and categories. Incoming and outgoing mail is also organized using the originally created PST. This is one more reason why this default PST file cannot be deleted from Outlook.