Outlook PST files, Set up password protection, Bypass password protection

Password-protected PST file and forgotten your password? Let’s take a look at how to determine the password for the PST file.

Outlook offers the option of protecting data files with a password. However, this is not really secure, as we will see later on.

Assigning an Outlook PST file password

Let’s first look at how we can assign a password. We can do this in the properties of the file.

In the “Advanced” sub-item, we can assign a password.

Outlook then asks for the password for the file when it is opened.

Where is my Outlook PST file saved?

The first step is to find out exactly where the password file is located. We can find this out via the account settings.

We can find out the path in the tab for the “File end files”.

Crack Outlook password data file

Now to the main topic, how can the passwords be determined? For this we use the free software “PstPassword” from Nirsoft.

Virus scanner fails

Windows doesn’t make things quite that easy for us. Although Nirsoft is a well-known provider of tools and has a good reputation, Windows Defender (presumably other virus scanners too) recognises it as a hacking tool or threat.


Running software in a virtual machine

What to do? In the end, I decided to run the software only in a virtual machine.

To be able to undo any changes, I created a backup point. I copied the PST file into the virtual machine, then downloaded PstPassword and started the software.

Then all that remains is to select the .pst file and the software determines three passwords.

Three passwords? The explanation is that the password protection of the PST file is not particularly secure. Different passwords open the PST file, like an old lock in which several other keys work.

In my case, no password was the correct password that I assigned, but the Outlook file can be opened with the password without any problems.

You can then change or remove the password in Outlook.


The “PstPassword” software worked without any problems during the test. The virus scanner is a bit of a worry, so my recommendation would be to simply run it in a virtual machine and then reset it.

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