ARCHIVED: In Microsoft Outlook, what are personal folder files, and how do I create them?
In Outlook, a personal folder file is a file with a
.pst extension that is located on your computer's hard
disk instead of the server. Personal folder files contain messages,
forms, files, and other personal folders. You work with a personal
folder file as you would with any other file. You can save, copy, and
.pst file to another location on your computer or a
server. These files allow you to view your read messages when you are
not connected to the server.
Setting up personal folders
- In Outlook 2010, click the
Filetab, and then from the
Account Settingsdrop-down menu, choose
In earlier versions, from the
Account Settings...(2007) or
- Select the
Data Filestab, and then click
Add. In Outlook 2003,
Select View or change existing email accounts, click
Next, and then click
New Outlook Data file....
- If you only use Outlook to view personal folder
Office Outlook Personal Folders File (.pst). If you want your personal folder files to be compatible with previous versions of Outlook, select
Outlook 97-2002 Personal Folders File (.pst). Click
Create or Open Outlook Data Filewindow will open. From the drop-down menu next to "Save In:", select a location to store the personal folder file.
- In the "Filename:" field, enter a filename for the folder file
Becky's Personal Folder File). A
.pstextension will be added automatically.
Note: This is the name for the
.pstfile only. You will need to name the folder separately (see next step).
OK. You will now see the
Create Microsoft Personal Folderswindow. The name that you supply here will appear among your mail folders in Outlook; use a name that is related to the contents of the folder. For example, if you named the
Becky's Personal Folder File, then you may want to name this folder
Becky's Personal Folder.
You can also password-protect your personal folder. If you do not
password-protect the folder, any Outlook user profile can access the
.pst file at any time.
Warning: If you forget your folder password, there is no
way to recover the information in the
Using personal folders
You can use personal folder files to save copies of your email,
calendar, and contacts, or to move email off the Exchange server. To
move mail to a personal folder file, right-click the message you wish
to move. From the menu that appears, select
Move to Folder... . From the list that appears, select
a folder and click
Note: Any messages you move to a personal folder
will be removed from the Exchange server and will be available only on
the computer or disk on which you created the
You can also move messages by clicking and dragging them to the
appropriate folder. If you wish to copy messages (i.e., leave a copy
in the original folder), drag and drop the
messages into the personal folder. A menu
will appear, allowing you to choose
To repair your personal file folders, search the
Microsoft Help and Support web site on the terms
Last modified on December 05, 2012.