Basic Information on PST for MS Outlook

Like other email clients, MS Outlook has its own file format to store data in a well-organized manner and the most common is PST, Personal Storage Table or Personal Folder File.

Outlook data files are saved and created over IMAP and POP3 account on web-based email accounts like Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo. Simply, Outlook handling in the desktop creates a backup or archive of the email account in PST file format in the a.

There are two types of PST versions- ANSI and Unicode.

It is the older version of PST which supports 1997 and 2002. The encoding is actually an extended version of ASCII coding. The size limit is 2 GB. If a file goes beyond the limit, it can be corrupted or inaccessible.

It is an upgraded version of MS Outlook. The encoding has the capacity of storing up to 20 GB in the point of virtual limit. With the launch of MS Outlook 2010, the limit of UNICODE encoding has increased up to 50 GB.

Note– The recent version of MS Outlook gives permission to its users to create their PST file in ANSI.

Steps to Create PST

In the recent version of MS Outlook 2010, 2013 and 2016, in the ‘Home’ tab find ‘New’ group. Press the tab ‘New Items’ then drag the cursor to ‘More Items’, a new box will open. Take the cursor to ‘Outlook Data File’ to press the tab.

For Outlook 2003 and 2007, there are some other steps.

File>>New>>Outlook Data File


A new box will open, known as ‘Create or Open Outlook Data File’. The dialogue box will allow you to save file with a new name. The ‘Navigation Pane’ will show the files your previous PST files if any. Create a new file and click ‘Ok’ to save the data.


The new file for Outlook data is not protected with password yet. If users want to protect the file, protect it with a unique and strong password.


Note: ISP (Internet Service Provider) will not store any kind of information for Outlook. In case, the data is corrupted, the ISP will not help you to recover the data. You can use a PST repair tool to get back the corrupted data.

Many users want to know the location of their MS Outlook files in Windows. It is saved in the machine. For a different version of MS Outlook different location is saved.

Outlook 98

C:\Windows\Profiles\user name\Application Data (Without user logins)

Outlook 2007 and older versions of Windows XP

C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

Outlook 2007 and previous versions on Windows Vista, 7 and 8\


Outlook 2010 on Windows XP

C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\My Documents\Outlook Files

Outlook 2010 and 2013 on Windows Vista, 7 and 8

C:\Users\%username%\Documents\Outlook Files

You can manually locate the location of MS Outlook files.

In Ms Outlook 2010 and 2013-

File>>Account Settings>>Data Files


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