Privacy is highly desirable for every mail account, be it personal or professional. You never know how information from your mail accounts will be misused. So it is advisable to protect your email accounts and data files. If you are an Outlook user, you can set a password for Outlook PST file to avoid outside interference with your data. Setting a password will surely make you feel secure and safe.

How to create password for PST files in Outlook?

  1. Open Outlook and select Account Settings > Account Settings from the File menu.
    Account settings from the file menu
  2. On the Data Files tab, choose the Outlook Data File (.pst) for which you want to create a password, and then choose Settings to open the Personal Folders dialog box.
    Select Data Files tab and click settings for more details
  3. Click the Change password button.
    Click the change password button
  4. Leave the Old Password field blank and enter a New Password and Verify Password. Make sure not to check Save this password in your password list box. Now click OK and the password for selected PST file is set.
    enter a new password and verify Password

    Note: If you are changing an existing password, then you need to fill Old as well as New password.

Password setting is an easy and quick process. But make sure that the password is strong so that security cannot be breached easily. The prober may try to guess or force attack your account if you have weak password. This can be avoided if you use strong password. A strong password:

  1. Is at least 6 characters long.
  2. Does not contain the user name
  3. Contains characters from:
    • Lowercase letters – a, b, c…
    • Uppercase letters – A, B, C…
    • Numerals – 0,1,2,3…
    • Symbols or special characters - /, ^, *, &, #, @ etc.

Further, there are some tips and best practices one should follow when setting up password on pst. These tips can help in better management of passwords and ensure better security.

Best practices for passwords
  • Don’t use your name or such common information in your password. These are easy to guess and can help in breaking a password using brute force.
  • It is not possible to set a password on individual folders in Outlook. The password set on .pst file if for all the folders.
  • You can opt to save your password by choosing to Save this password in your password list option. But you need to make sure that your Microsoft Windows is password protected because once you save your password, Outlook will not prompt you to enter your password each time you access the .pst file.
  • If you are using Microsoft Exchange, you don’t see a Change Password option. It is already taken care of and protected by Microsoft Exchange.
  • The password set on a .pst file prevents any misuse of the pst file. It doesn’t ensure the safety of Outlook data since there is no password required to open Outlook as such. Make sure to lock your system when moving away.
  • If you forget your password, Microsoft or Outlook can’t retrieve it for you. So, make sure to remember your password or note it down in a secure location. Don’t keep your password under the same data that is protected by that password.
What to do if you forgot the Outlook PST password?

After setting a strong password, it is essential to remember it accurately. And that becomes a tougher job if you have many passwords to remember. You cannot afford to lose all your files and data just because of forgetting the password. In the case of Outlook PST files, you need not worry about forgetting passwords. You can always use some free third party tools to recover the lost or forgotten password. A very efficient and reliable tool that you can try is Kernel PST Password Recovery Software which provides instant solution regardless of complexity and length of the password.

Kernel PST Password Recovery


This blog covered all the information required to set a new password on your Outlook data file as well as to change its existing password. We covered step by step instructions to be followed when creating a new password. Then, we covered some best practices to be followed to better manage your password and ensure safety of your data. It also included some tips specifically for setting a password on pst file. In the end, we recommended the Kernel Outlook Password Recovery tool for those struggling to recover their forgotten or lost password.