Set a password to help protect your Outlook information

Many people, especially those who share a computer with other people, want to protect their Microsoft Outlook information and e-mail from intrusion. You can protect your personal Outlook data, such as messages, calendar items, etc., with a password to help prevent accidental viewing by other people.

 Notes 

  • There is no logon password for the Outlook program itself. The password you set with the instructions here protects your personal data that is used in Outlook, but will not prevent people from using Outlook or help secure data against hackers. You can create a Windows user account and password that would help make sure that other users cannot access your files, not only in Outlook but all files that you create and save in programs running on Windows.
  • If you are running Outlook through Microsoft Exchange - common in business environments and rare for personal or home e-mail - you do not need to set a password for your Outlook data. Protection of your Outlook data is already managed by Microsoft Exchange.
  • When you set a .pst password, it is set for the entire .pst file. You cannot set a password for individual folders within the .pst.

Set a password for your Personal Folders file

Items you create and receive in Outlook are stored in personal folder (.pst) files on your computer's hard disk. The default location is \Users\your username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook. Each person who uses the same computer can have their e-mail delivered to a separate personal folder, each of which can have a password set.

  1. On the File menu, click Data File Management to open the Account Settings dialog box.
  2. On the Data Files tab, click the Personal Folders file (.pst) for which you want to create a password, and then click Settings to open the Personal Folders dialog box.
  3. Click the Change password button.

 Note   This button does not appear if your e-mail account runs on Microsoft Exchange. Your Outlook folders are already protected by your Exchange password.

  1. In the New password box, type your new password. The password can be up to 15 characters long and case-sensitive.

Use strong passwords that combine uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Weak passwords don't mix these elements. Strong password: Y6dh!et5. Weak password: House27. Passwords should be 8 or more characters in length. A pass phrase that uses 14 or more characters is better. For more information, see Help protect your personal information with strong passwords.

It is critical that you remember your password. If you forget your password, Microsoft cannot retrieve it. Store the passwords that you write down in a secure place away from the information that they help protect.

  1. In the Verify password box, type your new password again.
  2. If you share a computer with others, don't select the Save this password in your password list check box. Anyone with access to the computer could potentially open your .pst file. If your Windows user account is password protected, and no other user has access to the computer, you can select the Save this password in your password list check box if you want to avoid entering your password each time you need to use the .pst file.
  3. Click OK twice, and then click Close.

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Applies to:
Outlook 2007