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Troubleshoot the Issue “PST File is Not An Outlook Data File” in Easy Steps

Shubham Dixit   
Published: Oct 3, 2023 • error • 5 Min Read

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Are you having difficulties opening an Outlook PST file? Is Outlook always opening with the error message “PST file is not an Outlook data file”? Or are you seeing this error while importing a PST file into Outlook?

In the best of circumstances, Microsoft Outlook is a reliable software. It’s doesn’t crash as frequently as some other applications. However, it is likely to be vulnerable in the same way that any other software is.

On your computer, a Personal Storage Table File is used to store emails, calendars, and other mailbox contents for POP3 accounts.

Additionally known as the PST file, it is used to archive older emails and mailbox items — not just for POP3 accounts, but also for IMAP & Exchange accounts. More crucially, a PST file may be transferred across machines, allowing users to move Outlook data to another system. However, users frequently report obtaining an error message stating that a PST file is not an Outlook data file when opening or importing them.


Why Does the Error PST File is not an Outlook Data File Occur?

The following are some of the factors that might contribute to the error:

Corrupted Outlook PST Files: It most commonly occurs when the data file you are attempting to import corrupted in some way. The PST file may become corrupt for any of the reasons listed below:

  • When moving mailbox data from one machine to another, if the Outlook application crashes or ends abruptly, the PST file may get corrupt.
  • Corruption can also occur as a result of bad sectors on a hard drive that was used to transfer Outlook data from one computer to another computer.
  • PST files can get rather huge in size if you start adding messages with hefty attachments. As well as an Outlook data file surpassing its declared size limit (50 GB) might quickly become corrupt.

How to troubleshoot “PST file is not an Outlook data file” issue?

There are several approaches using which you may try to troubleshoot the issue. If you are seeking for the same, please have a look below.

Step 1: Uncheck the ‘Read-Only’ box for the file

If you are attempting to access a PST file that has been saved to an external device, portable drive, or any other type of storage media, check to see if the PST file’s status is marked to read-only. To do so, right-click the PST file and then pick Properties from the context menu. Ensure that the ‘Read-only’ property is unchecked on the General tab of the Properties window. Whether not, uncheck it and see if the PST file opens.

Step 2: Copy the PST File to a Different Folder

Copy the PST file to another place. For example, copy the file from its default location & paste it into the Documents folder on your PC, then navigate to File > Access in Outlook to open the Outlook Data File.

Step 3: Please check the size of PST file

When trying to maintain a backup and get the error notice “The file is not an Outlook Data File” check to see whether it is oversized. Simply ensure that the file you are attempting to view does not exceed the maximum size allowed. If this has occurred, the PST file may become insecure (or corrupt).

What are the best solutions to repair PST file is not an Outlook data file?

Solution 1: As previously noted, corruption might be a significant contributing factor to the ‘PST not an Outlook data file’ issue. You might try to repair the PST file in order to gain access to its contents. You may identify and fix Outlook Data File issues by using the Inbox Repair Tool (ScanPST.exe), which is a built-in repair software provided by Microsoft.

Solution 2: Take the help of any professional solution to resolve this task such as 3Steps Software. It is a complete solution that can easily resolve the issue without facing hassle. The graphical user interface for this software is really straightforward. Technical as well as non-technical individuals will have no trouble using this program without encountering any difficulties. Also, this software easily overcomes all the limitations of manual and freeways. This software will also help users to repair and recover deleted emails from Outlook.

The Conclusion

When attempting to open or import to another system, you may receive the ‘PST is not an Outlook Data File’ problem. This can occur for a variety of reasons. The reasons are PST file corruption, exporting to a PST file from an already opened (or existing).pst file, and so on.

You may troubleshoot the problem by confirming that the file’s status is not ‘Read-only’ and that the Outlook data file does not exceed the recommended size. If the issue continues, use the Scanpst.exe utility to repair the PST file. If the tool is unable to repair corruption in the Outlook data file, you can restore and recover data items from PST using a professional solution such as 3Steps Software for Outlook.

By Shubham Dixit

Shubham is a distinguished subject matter expert and accomplished author with an unparalleled understanding of technology. With a deep-rooted passion for all things tech-related, Shubham brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to their written works.