What is PST File? Here's the Comprehensive Explanation

Everything You Need to Know about PST File

Go through this article to know more about this effective and different file type that you utilize across your Outlook mail.

Emails have been a very prerogative approach to communicating in the professional fields. The use of platforms like Gmail and Outlook became quite common, leading to the need for multiple features that ensured user and data security. While strengthening their platforms, different data security techniques and models were generated and applied to benefit the users.

PST file was introduced by Microsoft Outlook with the objective of storing data across the platform. This format is quite significant in offering an option for storing data and messages from different Microsoft software. To know more about what’s PST file actually is, this article presents you with a detailed introduction to PST file type and the necessary points that you should keep in mind.

Part 1: Introducing the PST File Type

Adding an email account across your computer gives you the option of saving the information across your computer. The availability of this option makes it a great feature in email management and data accessibility. You can blatantly access the previously downloaded content and email messages from your account.

Outlook provides certain email accounts with the option of storing their data in Outlook Data Files. These files, known as PST files, are recognized as Personal Storage Tables, potentially utilized as an online storage folder across your Outlook Mail.

The PST file type can be cre ated through a Microsoft Outlook account, where it can be potentially consumed for moving or copying emails and attachments from the Server mailbox across the local computer. The significance of the PST file type is to be a local archive or a storage file that can keep email and attachments across the hard drive of the computer.

Talking about where these file types can be utilized, POP accounts are the most common type of accounts that can set up a system of getting a PST file for your mail. These emails are usually created when the account is developed by an Internet Service Provider (ISP). It helps you retrieve the contents of your email and have them saved across the computer.

introduction to pst file

There are some ascertained features of the certain file type which help you define PST file type and let people be aware of what it provides:

  • These file types are not synchronized with the email server. You have the ability to access your emails and calendar events without an internet connection until they've been downloaded directly into your computer.

  • A PST file type holds all archived emails and deleted mails, which makes it variable storage space.

  • You can add passwords across your PST files to protect the content from unauthorized access.

  • You can convert PST files into other supported formats compatible with other mail clients. While converting it into more formats, you can upload these files across other mail providers.

Part 2: Storage Size and Location Properties of PST File

Outlook PST files are not small files that do not document minute data of your connected email account. These files significantly manage the whole content of the email and help you easily access it without any discrepancy. Thus, PST files can hold considerable sizes of content. Talking about the range of the content a PST file can handle, it variably changes for the different versions of Microsoft Outlook.

The default size for a PST file is limited to 20GB for emails managed across Outlook 2007 and 2003. If you have Outlook 2010 or later versions, you can have a file limit of 50GB. The default size limit of your PST file can variate according to the requirements of your organization.

While looking into these limits, it is advised that users should remain within the recommended limits. Anything beyond these limits may lead to file corruption, putting you into some problems.

Along with the sizes of a PST file type, it is important to look into the various locations defaulted by the Outlook and Windows versions for the file type.

Windows OS Version

Default PST File Location

Windows 10/7/8

C:\Users\user\Documents\Outlook Files\

Default PST File Location

C:\User\user\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook
C:\Documents and Settings\user\My Documents\Outlook Files\

Windows Vista

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

Part 3: Major Advantages and Disadvantages of PST File Type

There are some particular benefits and drawbacks of using a PST file type. As you find out the answer to what’s PST file, you should also look into these points to better understand what you are into:


PST files potentially take care of the mailbox size and do not make it a problem when being used across Outlook. They work similarly to any folder across Outlook.

You can always keep a backup of your emails across the local PST file saved across the computer.

The portability of your email account is ensured with the existence of a PST file. You can easily shift your email content from one mailbox to another.

You can add all kinds of layers of security across your PST file to prevent unauthorized access.


The access to these file types is quite limited and remote.

A PST file is a separate entity for using across your professional records. This, however, is not supported by most professional platforms.

You have to download a PST file locally to update your content.

Part 4: How to Export Your Mailbox as a PST File

This part will introduce you to a quick method that you can use to export your mailbox as a PST file type across Microsoft Outlook:

Step 1: You need to make sure that you are logged into your Outlook account. Access "Files" and find the "Open & Export" option from the left-side panel. Proceed to select the option of 'Import & Export' from the available list.

click on import export button

Step 2: On the next window, you need to select the option of “Export to a file” and click on “Next.”

select export to a file option

Step 3: The next screen demands the file type of the process. Select “Outlook Data File (.pst)” and click “Next.”

choose pst file option

Step 4: You need to select all folders to be exported across the PST file. Click "Next" after selecting the folders and sub-folders. Set up the location of the PST file and figure out an option from the available details for duplicating items. Click “Finish” once you are done.

tap finish to export

Part 5: Repairing Your Corrupt PST File – Stellar Repair Tool

When handling PST files, there might be a case where you may get them corrupted. One evident reason that has been discussed is the misuse of the size of the particular file, which may lead to corruption if not kept within the recommended limits. In other cases, you may find it a problem due to a hard disk crash or faults across it.

A PST file type may get corrupted due to some virus or ransomware attacks on your computer. With such highlighting problems in view, the need for a repair tool is evident. Stellar Outlook Repair Tool provides you with the appropriate set of options that can be utilized for repairing your corrupted PST file. Talking about its significance, Stellar has had particular success in providing users with an easy-to-use and precise tool for repairing PST files.

With support for the major versions of Outlook, it gives an enhanced preview of the recoverable data so that the users are aware of the situation. While looking into this tool, you need to follow the steps described below for perfect results.

Step 1: Figure Out a File Selection Option

Proceed to launch Stellar Repair and select the option of “List Profiles” or “Choose Manually.”

select your pst finding option

Step 2: Finding the File Automatically

If you consider selecting "List Profiles," the platform automatically scans all data files and list them on your front. You need to select any one from the list and click on "Repair" to proceed.

start repairing process

Step 3: Manually Find the File

Conversely, if you select the other option, you should browse the file by selecting the appropriate location across the computer that is not present across the default location. Click on “Find” to locate the corrupted file. Once done, tap on “Repair” to move forward.

tap on repair button

Step 4: Select the Items to Repair

The scanning and repairing process is concluded simultaneously. Once the process concludes, a message appears, which is followed by a display of all the PST file items that can be recovered in the process. Select all the components you wish to repair and click on "Save Repaired File" from the "Home" section to continue the recovery. Select "PST" on the next window that appears and click "Next."

choose the pst format

Step 5: Remove Any Extra Item and Conclude

Set the saving location for the selected items. If you wish to clear out any junk or deleted items from the selected list, you can set the option of “Apply Advanced Filter” before clicking on “OK” to conclude the process.

execute export process

Closing Words

This article has provided you with an in-depth introduction and discussion on the PST file type. After going through the given content, you will learn a lot about understanding and managing a certain format. We hope that you will definitely figure out the insights which will benefit you in your professional life.