In today’s digital age, security of data is very crucial. Many individuals and organizations use password protection to protect their confidential information. One common scenario is password-protected PST (Personal Storage Table) files that are used in Microsoft Outlook. These files hold important email messages, contacts, tasks, and other data. However, forgetting or losing password is common, resulting in losing access of data. Through this post, we will figure out the approaches to recover lost or forgotten password to unlock password-protected PST files.
Understand PST Files and Password Protection
- Before knowing the techniques of password recovery, first know the basics. PST files are commonly used by Microsoft Outlook to store email messages, contacts, calendar entries, and other Outlook data. They act as a data repository, allowing users to access their emails and data even when offline. To ensure data security, Outlook gives an option to apply password to these PST files to protect them.
- When you set a password for a PST file, it encrypts the file, making it inaccessible without having the right password. While applying this security, it become a challenge if the password is forgotten or lost. In this scenario, users lose access to their Outlook PST file.
- Fortunately, there are methods & tools that can recover or remove the PST file password. Thereby, users regain access to their database.
Approaches for Password Recovery
There are various ways in which you can unlock PST file password. Let us figure out them:
Manual way to change or recover password from PST file
- Start Outlook application on your computer.
- Tap on the “File” tab at the top-left corner of the Outlook window. From the drop-down menu, choose “Account Settings” and again click on “Account Settings.”
- In the “Account Settings” window, tap to “Data Files” tab. Here, you will get a list of all the PST files associated with your Outlook profile.
- Choose the PST file for which you want to change the password, and then click on the “Settings” button.
- In the appeared settings window “Personal Folders” or “Data File”, hit on the “Change Password” or “Advanced” button.
- In the password change dialog box, you will be asked to enter the current password for the chosen PST file.
- After providing the current password, set a new password for the PST file. Type desired password in the “New Password” field. Make sure to apply a strong and secure password.
- Re-enter the new password.
- Click the “OK” or “Save” button to save the new password for the PST file. Outlook will encrypt the PST file with the new password.
- Once the password is changed successfully, hit “Close” to exit the Account Settings window.
It’s very important to remember the new password you have set for the PST file. If you forget or lose the password, regaining access to the file becomes impossible.
To remove passwords from PST files in Outlook 2003 and earlier versions, Microsoft gives you two built-in applications: scanPST.exe and pst19upg.exe.
Here is the complete process:
- Download and start the scanPST.zip and pst19upg.zip applications from Microsoft official website.
- Use the scanPST.exe to perform a scan and repair on the PST file.
- Run the Command Prompt as an administrator and execute the following command:
C:\backup\pst19upg.exe -x C:\backup\outlook-copy.pst
In this command, “C:\backup” indicates the location of the pst19upg.exe application.
- To create a password-free PST file at the same location, use the given command:
C:\backup\pst19upg.exe -i C:\backup\outlook-copy.psx
- Perform a repair on the newly created password-free PST file using the scanPST.exe application.
- Copy the password-free PST file to the original Outlook PST file location, overwrite the existing password-protected file.
- Now, the password has been successfully removed, and you can access the PST file in the Outlook application without providing password.
Please note that this process is applicable to PST files in older versions of MS Outlook. For newer versions, different methods or tools may be required to remove passwords from PST files.
Automated way to Recover Lost or Forgotten PST Password Online
When you face situation of forgotten PST passwords, the ideal solution is to go for a reliable automated tool that can recover lost or forgotten PST passwords. One popular application is Softaken Outlook PST Password Recovery Tool. This friendly program efficiently retrieves lost Outlook passwords with just a few clicks. Also, it provides the facility to change password of PST file. Without any trouble, users can add multiple password-protected PST files to unlock them using this software. Also, there is no need for opening Outlook to use this program.
To Unlock Password Protected PST files Online, follow these steps:
- Install and start the software for Outlook PST Password Removal.
- Select and add your PST files.
- Go for ‘Remove password’ button.
- Then, press the Process button.
By following these steps, you can conveniently recover and remove the password from your Outlook PST file.
Prevention and Best Practices
Here are some preventive measures and best practices to mitigate the risk of password-related issues:
- Apply strong and unique passwords: Apply passwords that are lengthy, complex, and has a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.
- Password management tools: Consider using password management software to safely store and manage your passwords. These tools help in generating strong passwords and assist you to remember them.
- Backup your PST files: You can prevent data loss by regularly back up your PST files. This ensures that in case you forget or lose the password, you have a copy of the data in an unencrypted format.
Losing or forgetting the password for a protected PST file can be really frustrating. But no worries as, there are approaches to come out of this problem. You can opt automated software designed for password recovery or can try the manual techniques. With the discussed techniques in this post, you can unlock password-protected PST file & regain its access. It’s always a good idea to prevent such issues by using strong passwords, managing them carefully, and regularly backing up your data.