Protect Access to an Outlook PST File with a Password

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Protect Access to an Outlook PST File with a Password

Out of Office Vacation Auto-Reply in Outlook for Mac

Protect Access to an Outlook PST File with a Password

Your Windows account is protected with a password, and since your PST files—where Outlook keeps all mail, contacts and calendar data—is in your Windows account, they are password-protected, too.

What about archive PST files you may have flying around, though? What if you want to grant some people access to them—or parts of your Outlook?

Outlook, quite conveniently, lets you assign a password to an individual PST file.

Protect Access to an Outlook PST File with a Password

To add password protection to a PST file in Outlook:

  • Make sure the folder pane is visible in Outlook:
    • Open the VIEW ribbon in Mail view.
    • Select Folder Pane | Normal in the Layout section.
  • Click the right mouse button on the root of the PST file you want to protect with a password.
  • Select Data File Properties… from the menu that appears.
  • Click Advanced….
  • Now click Change Password….
  • If a password has previously been set for the PST file:
    • Type the existing password under Old password:.
  • Enter the password you want to use for the PST file under New password.
  • Type the password again under Verify.
    • You can remove a password by leaving both New password: and Verify.
  • To avoid typing the password every time you open Outlook:
    • Make sure Save this password in your password list is checked.
    • Note that the PST file will not be protected inside Outlook; people who can open Outlook can also open the PST file.
  • Click OK.
  • Click OK again.
  • Now click OK once more.

Protect Access to a PST File with a Password in Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007

To protect a PST file with a password in Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007:

  • Select Go | Folder List from the menu.
  • Click on the root item of the desired PST file with the right mouse button.
    • If you want to protect only certain email folders with a password, you can move them to a newly created PST file and assign a password only for that file.
  • Select Properties for… from the menu.
  • Click Advanced….
  • Now click Change Password….
  • Enter the desired password under both New password: and Verify password:.
    • If a password had already been set for the PST file, enter that phrase under Old password:.
    • If you assign a password to a previously unprotected PST file, leave the Old password: field blank.
    • To remove the password from a PST file, enter it under Old password:and leave both New password: and Verify password: blank.
  • Click OK.
  • Click OK again.
  • Now click Cancel.

Remove Password Protection from a PST File

To remove the password from a PST file on Outlook:

  • Make sure you can see Outlook’s folder pane:
    • Open the VIEW ribbon.
    • Select Folder Pane | Normal in the Layout section.
  • Click the right mouse button on the root for the data file you want to open without password in the future.
  • Select Data File Properties… from the menu that appears.
  • Click Advanced….
  • Now click Change Password….
  • Enter the PST file’s current password under Old password.
  • Make sure both the New password: and the Verify fields are blank.
  • Click OK.
  • Click OK again.
  • Click OK once more.

Remove Password Protection from a PST File in Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007

To delete the password set for a PST file in Outlook 2003 and 2007:

  • Select Go | Folder List from the menu in Outlook.
  • Click the right mouse button on the root of the PST file from which you want to remove password protection.
  • Select Properties… from the menu that appears.
  • Click Advanced….
  • Click Change Password… now.
  • Type the current password under Old password.
  • Make sure New password: is empty.
  • Make sure Verify password: is empty as well.
  • Click OK.
  • Again, click OK.
  • Click OK.

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