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How to open and View PST File
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Personal Storage Table (PST/Outlook Data File), Personal Folder File (PFF)

PST File or Outlook Data File is the file storage facility developed by Microsoft Co. in order to keep entire Outlook data including Emails, Attachments, Contacts, Notes, Calendars items, Task, etc. PST File is constructed using Binary data file algorithm and at the logical level, it is divides into three different layers: NDB (Node Database), LTP & Messaging Layer.

This file format belongs to Database File category.

Microsoft Outlook

As stated above, Microsoft Co. is the creator of MS Outlook and all the pertained stuffs. As from 1997, the Outlook term has coined in the Tech world and since then there have been lots of upgrade seen in this email client in past decade.


hexadecimal: 21 42 44 4e

ANSI (97–2002 Personal Folder File)

Default file format for older versions of Outlook (97–2002) capable to hold data up to 2 GB, does not support multiple languages, structure is a 32–bit unsigned value. However, Outlook still provides an option to create ANSI PST file even in its latest versions of Outlook whilst creating a PST File.

UNICODE (2003 – 2016)

UNICODE (2003 - 2016) is multi-lingual data file format, 64-bit unsigned long, can handle data up to 50GB (massive amount of storage capacity), and cannot run in older version of Outlook (count as a drawback).

MS Outlook 2016

Outlook 2016: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Outlook\

MS Outlook 2013

Outlook 2013: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Outlook\

MS Outlook 2010

Outlook 2010: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Outlook\

MS Outlook 2007

Outlook 2007: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Outlook\

MS Outlook 2003

Outlook 2003: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Outlook\

Note: You can also find out the location of PST file using "Account Settings" option available in Microsoft Outlook's settings.

There are two methods to open and view PST file

  • Manual Method: This Method allows user to view PST file directly in outlook. To use this option user need to go to Import/Export option and then import and open PST file in Outlook account.
  • Using Freeware Tool: These tools allow user to view data within PST file that is not connected to Outlook

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