Fix the “PST File is Not an Outlook Data File” Error

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Fix the “PST File is Not an Outlook Data File” Error

Some Mind-Blowing Ways to Fix the “PST File is Not an Outlook Data File” Issue

While transferring the PST files into your MS Outlook or any other system, sometimes you might encounter a ‘PST file is not an Outlook data file” issue. There are some possible causes behind the error, and if you don’t look for proper solutions, you might corrupt the PST files and lose the essential data. 

PST files or Personal Storage Table Files are one type of MS Outlook data file, just like the OST files, where the MS Outlook users store all the mailbox items on their computer. The PST files will help you archive older mailbox items and messages through Exchange and IMAP accounts. The PST files can also be transferred from one location to another, which will help you transfer the data of Outlook to another device. However, many users report that they encounter a ‘PST file is not an Outlook data’ error while transferring the files. 

What are the Reasons for PST File is Not an Outlook Data File Error?

If you encounter this error while trying to import, export, or open the PST files on another system, it will create problems regarding the Export/Import process of the PST files. Here are some reasons why the ‘PST file is not an Outlook data file’ error shows:

Corrupted PST File 

The PST file corruption is one of the most common causes behind this error. This usually happens when the data file you’re planning to transfer is damaged or corrupted. In addition, the PST files can face corruption due to various issues:

    • Improper termination of the MS Outlook application: The PST files will be corrupted if the Outlook application is closed improperly. Therefore, to avoid PST corruption, make sure you migrate the mailbox items to another computer without any problems. The PST repair tools also help you with the pst fix process. 
    • Presence of Bad Sectors in Your Hard DriveWhile moving the MS Outlook data from one computer to another, the PST files will be corrupted if there is any bad sector present in the hard drive. 
    • Oversized PST: If a user crosses the size limitation of the PST files, the PST files will become oversized and more vulnerable to corruption. 

Exporting MS Outlook Data from Existing PST Files to New PST Files 

If you fail to connect the MS Outlook client to the Exchange mailbox, then all the contents of your MS Outlook mailbox will be stored in .pst file format. Therefore, you should not export the data to the PST files. This is because exporting data to the new PST files from the exiting PST files will cause not only PST corruption but also data loss. You will also receive a “PST file is not an Outlook data file” error. Uni Trends states software conflict is one of the most common causes of data loss.

If you encounter this problem, ensure you don’t panic as all the data are safe. There are a couple of methods that will help you troubleshoot this problem. Continue reading these troubleshooting methods so that you can resolve this problem. 

Uncheck the ‘Read Only’ Attribute 

Suppose you want to access the personal storage table file already stored in a portable drive, removable media, or any other storage media. In that case, you need to check whether the status of the PST files is set to read-only. To achieve so, you need to right-click on the PST files and then choose the Properties. Then, from the Properties window in the General tab option, make sure you uncheck the ‘read only’ attribute and see whether you can open the PST files without any error. 

Copy and Store the PST Files in another Location 

To solve this error, make sure you copy the PST files to another location. For example, if the PST files are stored in the default location, from the files from that specific default location and then paste them into another Documents folder. After that, consider opening the Outlook data file and see whether the problem is still there. 

Check the size of the PST File. 

Oversize PST files are one of the most common causes of the “PST file is not an Outlook data file” error. If the system provides you this message while you try to restore a proper backup of the original PST files, check whether the PST files are oversized or not. In other words, ensure that the PST files you want to access come with their permissible size limit. If the PST files are oversized, they will undoubtedly corrupt and create such errors. If the PST files are corrupted, you will have no choice but to repair the corrupted PST files to access the entire file as well as its contents. This is why MS Outlook developers ask the users to pay close attention to the size of the PST files. 


These are great ways to fix the “PST file is not an Outlook data file” error. If you think that your PST files are corrupted, and you don’t know any effective solution to fix the corrupted PST files, make sure you contact us.

Fix the “PST File is Not an Outlook Data File” Error