Recently I got some queries from many users regarding an error they were facing while trying to open a PST file. The error they are facing is ".pst is not Compatible." Such type of error can be a serious threat to the integrity and safety of your PST file. Such errors should be taken seriously and treated with utmost care, and so I decided to write this blog to solve this problem for our users.

Causes for the error ".pst is not Compatible"

The error ".pst is not Compatible" occurs when the PST file is created in the UNICODE format but trying to open it with the ANSI format email client version. When a user creates a PST with newer versions of Outlook like 2003 and tries to open it with the older versions like 2002 and older. This error shows that the PST you are trying to open is not fit to open due to the wrong format.

How to fix error ".pst is not Compatible"

As we have discussed, the error PST not compatible occurs while trying to open a UNICODE PST with an older version of Outlook that uses ANSI format. So, it is simple that to tackle this error. For this, you will first need to create an ANSI format file. After you have created a file, you will import all the necessary data from the original PST file to this newly created PST. Once done, it can be opened without facing any error. Let’s know how to do it:

  1. Start with any version of Outlook from 2003 to 2016, let’s say 2010 and run it in your system.
  2. Once the program is running well, look for the File tab and click on it.
  3. Now, in the File’s menu, look for the Info option and select Account Settings option from there.
  4. As you do that, an Account Settings window will open and there you need to select the Data File option.
  5. In the toolbar section of Data File click on the Add button.
  6. Now, as the next important step of creating a file, you provide a name to the file.
  7. From the Save as type drop-down box select Outlook 97-2002 Data File as the saving option and click on OK to proceed.
  8. Now, when prompt, click on Yes to create in ANSI format.
  9. Finally, click on Close to finish it.
  10. Now, you will be back in the Outlook Navigation pane, there you can easily find the PST file you have just created. So, now it is the time to transfer all the data from the original PST.
  11. To transfer all the contents and items of the original PST to the newly created PST, all you need to do is drag and drop.

Once you follow the steps mentioned above you will be able to open that newly created ANSI format file with the older version of Outlook. This technique is workable, free and easy to understand, but it is hectic too. In this method, you have to drag and drop every single item from the original file to the new one. This process can be tiresome and time taking, so just in case it is bothering you, you can use the Import and Export utility of Outlook to perform the process.

If you can’t perform the action mentioned above, or you still face the error, that means your PST is corrupt. In this case, you would need to fix your corruption. PST may get corrupt due to many reasons but there are not many ways to fix it. So, we recommend you using Kernel for Outlook PST Repair for the same. This tool repairs severely corrupt PST files in no time and also saves them at a desired location. This tool is so efficient that it has no limitation to the size and the numbers of files, without interfering with the original quality of the file.


In this blog, we have discussed how the users are facing the error ".pst is not Compatible" while they are trying to open a PST file. We concluded that this error was happening due to the format clash between UNICODE and ANSI. Here, we used Outlook 2010 to create a new ANSI format PST and then transferred all the items from the original PST to the new one. If you still get the error, it means the PST file is corrupt and you need to resolve PST corruptions to proceed. For this, we used Kernel for Outlook PST tool and fixed the PST file and finally got rid of the error.