Create an Outlook Data File (.pst) for use with Outlook 97-2002

When you run Outlook for the first time, the necessary data files are created automatically. However, sometimes you will create additional data files. For example, archived items can be saved in another Outlook Data File (.pst). You might also keep different projects in their own Outlook Data File (.pst).

Beginning with Microsoft Office Outlook 2003, a new Outlook Data File (.pst) (Outlook Data File (.pst): Data file that saves your messages and other items on your computer. You can assign a .pst file to be the default delivery location for email messages. You can use a .pst to organize and back up items for safekeeping.) file format was introduced. This file format increases storage capacity for items and folders and supports multilingual Unicode data. A file that is created in Outlook 2010 is incompatible with Outlook 97-2002. However, you can save your data in an Outlook Data File (.pst) that uses the older file format. This is useful if you are using your data file on another computer that has an older version of Outlook installed.

ShowHow can I tell what type of Outlook Data File (.pst) I am using?

  1. Click the File tab.
  2. Click Account Settings, and then click Account Settings.
  3. On the Data Files tab, select the data file that you want to verify, and then click Settings.
  4. View the Format box to see if it contains the text Outlook Data File or Outlook Data File (97-2002).

Outlook Data File indicates the new format that supports multilingual Unicode data and offers greater storage capacity for items and folders. Outlook Data File (97-2002) indicates the earlier format that is compatible with all versions of Outlook.

Create an Outlook Data File (.pst) for use with Outlook 97-2002

To create a data file that is compatible with Outlook 2002 and earlier versions, you can create an Outlook 97-2002 Outlook Data File (.pst).

  1. On the Home tab, in the New group, click New Items, point to More Items, and then click Outlook Data File.
  2. In the Create or Open Outlook Data File dialog box, select Outlook 97-2002 Data File.
  3. In the File name box, type the name as you want it to appear in the Outlook Navigation Pane (Navigation Pane: The column on the left side of the Outlook window that includes buttons for the Mail, Calendar, and Tasks views and the folders within each view. Click a folder to show the items in the folder.), and then click OK.
  4. By default, data files are not password-protected. To add a password to your data file, under Password, type that password that you want to use in the Password and Verify Password text boxes.

 Important    Microsoft, your Internet service provider (ISP) (ISP: A business that provides access to the Internet for such things as electronic mail, chat rooms, or use of the World Wide Web. Some ISPs are multinational, offering access in many locations, while others are limited to a specific region.), or your e-mail administrator do not have access to your password, nor can they assist you with recovering the contents of the Outlook Data File (.pst) if you forget the password.

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Applies to:
Outlook 2010