ARCHIVED: In Microsoft Outlook, what are personal folder files, and how do I create them?

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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 move a .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

  1. In Outlook 2010, click the File tab, and then from the Account Settings drop-down menu, choose Account Settings....

    In earlier versions, from the Tools menu, select Account Settings... (2007) or E-mail Accounts... (2003).

  2. Select the Data Files tab, and then click Add. In Outlook 2003, Select View or change existing email accounts, click Next, and then click New Outlook Data file....
  3. If you only use Outlook to view personal folder files, select 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 OK.
  4. The Create or Open Outlook Data File window will open. From the drop-down menu next to "Save In:", select a location to store the personal folder file.
  5. In the "Filename:" field, enter a filename for the folder file (e.g., Becky's Personal Folder File). A .pst extension will be added automatically.

    Note: This is the name for the .pst file only. You will need to name the folder separately (see next step).

  6. Click OK. You will now see the Create Microsoft Personal Folders window. 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 .pst file 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 .pst file.

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 OK.

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 .pst file.

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 Copy or Move.

To repair your personal file folders, search the Microsoft Help and Support web site on the terms outlook .pst repair.

This is document aesn in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2021-09-07 17:15:12.