Remove a password from an Outlook *.pst File

Last reviewed on February 6, 2014   —  40 comments

When you add a password to a pst file, every time you start Outlook, a dialog box will ask you for the password. Once you enter the password, the contents of the pst will be accessible to anyone who uses your computer while Outlook is open.

enter pst password

If you know the password but are tired of using it, you can remove it or change it and save it to your password list. If you can’t remember the password, see Remove forgotten passwords for instructions.

  1. Right click on the .pst file name in your folder list.
  2. Outlook's Data File Property command

  3. Choose Properties (Data Files Properties in Outlook 2010/2013), then Advanced button.
  4. Click Change Password button.
  5. Type your password in the Old password field.
  6. Leave the New password and Verify fields blank.
  7. Change the password on a pst file

  8. Click Ok and work your way back to Outlook.

This dialog is also accessible from File, Account Settings, Data File tab. Select the pst file and click Settings.

Remove forgotten passwords

Many years ago, Microsoft released a utility called pst19upg.exe to upgrade old versions of *.pst (Personal Folders) files so they would work with a later version. One side effect of this was that it removed the password from the pst file. So if you passworded your pst and forgot the password, you can use this utility to remove the password so you can access your email.

You need to use two utilities to remove the password from an ANSI pst (old format):

  1. pst19upg.exe
  2. scanpst.exe – This is installed when you install Outlook. It should be in your Office folder, under Program files- usually C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OfficeXX (where XX is the version number) or use Windows Search to find it.

If this method doesn’t work or you have forgotten the password on an Unicode pst, you’ll need a commercial password cracker program.

This will not work with pst files created in Outlook 2003, 2007, 2010, or Outlook 2013. This utility only works with the older ANSI pst files used by Outlook 2002 and older, not the new Unicode format pst, available in Outlook 2003 and up. You will need to use a utility with the newer pst format.

Tip: Make sure you have plenty of free space available – the utilities will need approximately 3 times the size of the pst to work with.

How to remove a password using Scanpst and pst19upg

  1. Close Outlook and make a copy of the PST file to work with.
  2. Run scanpst.exe on the copy of your pst and choose Repair, if prompted. There is no need to use the backup option in ScanPST, since you are working with a copy.
  3. Open a Command Prompt (Start menu, Run) and paste or type the file path to pst19up and your pst name: pst19upg.exe -x filename.pst and hit enter.
    The command line will resemble
    “C:\My Documents\pst19upg.exe” -x outlook.pst
    This will create a copy of the pst called “filename.psx” (where filename is the same name as the original pst file).
  4. When complete, rename the original pst file to something else, such as filename.old.
  5. At the command prompt, type pst19upg.exe -i filename.psx and hit enter. Remember, you need to use the full path to pst19upg.
  6. This creates a password-free pst file from the psx file.
  7. Run scanpst.exe against recovered pst and choose Repair, if prompted. As before, you don’t need to make a backup using ScanPST because you are working with the backup.
  8. Open the file in Outlook using the File, Open, Outlook Data file menu.

Tools

Kernel for Outlook PST Password Recovery

Kernel for Outlook PST Password Recovery is a free tool to recover forgotten password from Outlook PST files. Software takes Outlook PST file as input and does not require Outlook to be installed and configured. It supports password recovery from PST files created in MS Outlook 2010/2007/2003/XP/2000/97.

Mail PassView

Mail PassView allows you to view and recover lost e-mail account passwords and other account information for Outlook and other mail clients. Freeware. Version 1.43

Protected Storage PassView

Protected Storage PassView is a small utility that reveals the passwords stored on your computer. The passwords are revealed by reading the information from the Protected Storage. Works with Windows 95/98/ME, Windows NT, Windows 2000 or Windows XP. It does not work with Vista. Version 1.63

PstPassword

PstPassword can recover the PST passwords of Outlook 97, Outlook 2000, Outlook XP, Outlook 2003, and Outlook 2007. You don't need to have Outlook installed to use this utility, you only need the original PST file that you locked with a password. Freeware. Version 1.10

Recovery ToolBox for Outlook Password

Recovers forgotten or lost passwords for mail accounts and also passwords for LDAP services that the Microsoft Outlook mail client uses in its work. Recovers passwords for password-protected Microsoft Outlook data files (files with the *.pst extension).

Stellar Phoenix Outlook Password Recovery

Outlook Password Recovery software helps in recovering the lost or forgotten password. The password recovery software scans the locked Outlook PST file and provides a set of six different passwords for that file. Stellar Outlook password recovery software has the capacity to recover the password with special characters and also allows to save the generated password in a text file. The recovery software is easy to use and compatible with almost all the Windows operating systems like Windows 7, Vista, Server 2003, XP, 2000 and NT4 (SP6).

Written by

Diane Poremsky
A Microsoft Outlook Most Valuable Professional (MVP) since 1999, Diane is the author of several books, including Outlook 2013 Absolute Beginners Book. She also created video training CDs and online training classes for Microsoft Outlook. You can find her helping people online in Outlook Forums as well as in the Microsoft Answers and TechNet forums.

Please post long or more complicated questions at Outlookforums.

40 responses to “Remove a password from an Outlook *.pst File”

  1. Danniel Butler

    You are amazing! I had a client somehow lock themselves out of their pst file but they did not want to pay for a commercial product to remove the password. Found this and it worked like a charm!!!

  2. Juan Manuel Agras

    Great!!!! This worked for me too. Many thanks!!!!

  3. Karen

    Thank you so much! Was able to use your tips and remove the password from the file for my client!

  4. Julius

    Thank you! I contributed to further development.

  5. Johnny Gómez

    Hi Diane I followed the steps you published in order to remove my pst file password but it gave me an error, do you have any idea about this kind of error?
    F:\Documents and Settings\jgomez17\Mis documentos\Descargas\pst19upg>pst19upg.ex
    e -x PST2012.pst
    Exporting: PST2012.pst (version 19)
    to: PST2012.psx
    Could not open PST file PST2012.pst
    ERROR 0x80040119
    Program terminated in error (80040119)

    I hope you can help me, please.

  6. adam

    this is stupid there is no typo

  7. Leon Steinhardt

    That's the error code I got when I tried the procedure on my .pst from Outlook 2007 (which you noted would not work, which I can now confirm).
    I don't think Mr. Gomez had a typo, I imagine pst19upg.exe showed the message "to: PST2012.psx" as part of its progress display.

  8. Don

    When I transferred Outlook 2010 from old computer to new, The .pst file required (I thought) a password. I know the password, but it's just a nuisance now. How do I get rid of it?

  9. Don

    Thank You.
    In Outlook 2010 64-bit the "Change Password" is found by going into "Account Settings" while in Outlook. Under "Data Files" single-click on outlook.pst, then click on "Settings"

  10. Sam

    The Kernel for Outlook PST Password Recovery, wow, it works perfectly. It recovered my password flawlessly! Thank you so much.

  11. Vineet

    I have transferred the data (including pst files for Outlook 2010) from old computer to new. Now the .pst file is asking a password. I have never set any password and also I don't know the password. How do I recover the password now? I have tried Kernel for outlook, Nucleus pst recovery software but they didn't work. Please help.

  12. David

    I am experiencing what Vineet describe also too. scnpst on the copy version did not work, and pst19upg.exe did not create a PSX file when I ran it. Clicking OK on the password prompts an invalid password.

    Upon reading reviews on the Kernal software, it didn't seem to have positive reviews.

    Any other suggestions?

  13. pierre

    I have the same problem as Johnny Gómez's one.
    - I used scanpst,
    - then using pst19upg:
    Exporting: Outlook_last.pst (version 19)
    to: Outlook_last.psx

    Could not open PST file Outlook_last.pst
    ERROR 0x80040119

    Program terminated in error (80040119)

  14. Mehmet Akif EREN

    http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/pstpassword_setup.exe

    It's the recent solution and worked for me just now.

    Best Regards,

    Mehmet Akif EREN, CENNET FURNITURE, TURKEY.

  15. SlightlyPeeved

    How do you recover a password for an Outlook 2010 pst?

  16. Klara

    Thank you for the post!
    Unfortunately, it didn't work with the scanpst and pst19upg which would have been a "clean" fix. But luckily, Kernel for Outlook worked like a charm and in a minute so now I can use my Outlook again.
    thnx.

  17. Serch

    I have a problem my outlook is 2007, it locked my pst for no reason.. I've tried all tools listed here and none of them work, PstPassword gives me a partial password only, any more help would be highly appreciated...

  18. Serch

    When I use PstPassword I opened the pst file but the passwords are not displayed :(, I tried to use the More Passwords option (F8) but none of them seem to work, the version listed in the program says that is 23.

    I scanned the pst and repaired it but it didn't work then I used PST Password Recovery Free, it creates a partial password something like TH1***. The thing is that I never set a password for it, my outlook got messed up and I re-create the profile and that screwed up the pst file. Any other ideas I could use?.

  19. Serch

    I tried that, I clicked the ok button with no password in it but it didn't work.. what else do you recommend me to do?. Thanks.

  20. Serch

    It didn't work as blank either, is there anything more I could do to open it?.

  21. Serch

    Just the password dialog, no errors... and sadly some of the tools are not working for me ;(

  22. April Azure

    I discovered that a corrupted PST file can cause this issue. You'll probably see that the size of your PST file is very small, like 500kb. What I was able to do is right-click on the corrupted PST file from Explorer and choose "Restore Previous Versions" You can then select an earlier restore point on the file before it was corrupted.

  23. Priya

    The Kernel for Outlook PST Password Recovery, wow, it works perfectly. It recovered my password flawlessly! Thank you so much.

  24. jjavierc73

    Excelente contribución.

  25. Tamara

    Thanks so much. It works. I was trying and trying and only this helped me

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