Outlook 2010 PST Import issue: ".pst is not an Outlook data file (.pst)"


  • I recently installed the Office 2010 Beta and am attempting to import my old .PST files from Outlook 2007.  However, every time I try it I get the error, ".pst is not an Outlook data file (.pst)".  The two data files are large (2+ GB in size each) but have been working fine with Outlook 2007.  Steps to repro are:

    1.       In Outlook 2010, click the File tab.

    2.       Click Open and then click Open Outlook Data File.

    3.       Navigate to the .pst file to import and then click Ok.

    When I click "open Outlook data file" I get the error "the file Outlook.pst is not an outlook data file (.pst). 

    I've seen at least one other person post this question on another forum...  Any help you can provide would be fantastic as I have a lot of history (obviously ;-) tied up those files.


    Thursday, April 15, 2010 4:13 AM

All replies

  • Are your PST files on a CD/DVD by an chance?  Make sure you copy them to a local hard drive and make sure they're not Read-Only.

    Author: The Lawyer's Guide to Microsoft Outlook
    Thursday, April 15, 2010 4:23 AM
  • Hi Ben,

    Thanks for the reply.  I wish it were that easy... :-)  I had both local copies left over after an upgrade to Windows 7 and a backup on an external drive.  I did, however, finally get it to work.  What I ended up having to do is:

    1) On the PST file in question, go to "Properties" -> "Details" -> "Remove Properties and Personal Information" 

    2) Go with the defaults of "Create a copy with all possible properties removed" and apply the changes.

    3) After it was done I was able to finally open the resultant file (has a "- copy" appended to the filename) using Outlook 2010. 

    I think it was probably just an inappropriate error message for the condition (bug?).  Likely a good addition to the KB too in case anyone else runs into it.

    Thanks again!


    Thursday, April 15, 2010 6:48 AM
  • Hey Lutz, glad you figured your issue out.  COnsidering you were in my boat until yesterday (lol), perhaps you could shed some light on my situation. This is from my previous post tonight:


    Hi all - thanks for reading.  Quite some valuable insight you guys have.

    Here is my issue in a nutshell:

    My associate at work got the Conficker worm and affected everyone on our network.  The same night I ended up with the blue screen of death.  Reinstalled Windows that same evening (did not f/disk, just regular installation) and my Office 2003 would not load up properly.  I reinstalled Office 2003 in a separate folder to preserve my Outlook contacts, emails etc.

    Now, I tried to import the old Outlook files into the new Office 2003 install - no luck!!  The "old" files that I have are the following - verbatim:

    1. outcmd  (DAT file 2kb)
    2. Outlook.srs (SRS file 4kb)
    3. *Office (Office Data File renamed to Outlook Data File 579kb)
    4. Outlprnt (File 39kb)
    5. Outlook (XML Document 5kb)

    * denotes the official Microsoft icon for those type of files.

    Now, I am able to open up #3 in notepad and all of my old email contacts are listed, but it is nothing that I can import into my new Outlook installation.  I've tried to import it already, but keep getting errors.

    I am really at a loss here folks b/c this is my business compute r with over four years worth of emails etc.  I've run numerous searches for .pst files - nothing. 

    Anyone with any ideas that could please assist?

    Thanks in advance!
    Sunday, April 18, 2010 4:52 AM
  • One other thing, I did try your above advice, but the attribute box for "details" is not highlighted.  I tried toggling each of the check boxes to get "details" to highlight, to no avail :(
    Sunday, April 18, 2010 5:00 AM
  • So the "Office" file is actually "office.pst" is that correct?  When you start Outlook can you go to File | Open | Outlook Data File and open that "Office" file?


    Author: The Lawyer's Guide to Microsoft Outlook
    Sunday, April 18, 2010 5:38 AM
  • No such luck Ben - the file is a .NK2 which from my understanding is a "nickname" or something.  Either way, the email addresses (not the emails themselves) open up just fine, but I can't export/import it anywhere.   It would take me a year and a half to manually enter all of them back.  As per Microsoft's website, you can manually change the name from "Office" to "Outlook" under the Tools-->File Type which I did, but Outlook still won't recognize it as anything usable.

    I'm more than happy to send you the file if you like to see if you can drive down into the data.  The icon looks like the standard MS icon with the 4 rectangles.  Let me know!



    Sunday, April 18, 2010 3:36 PM
  • I'm having the same issue as lutz911 when trying to import a .pst file from Outlook 2003 to Outlook 2010, the error being "....pst is not an Outlook data file (.pst)".  I tried his fix for the issue (creating a copy with all possible properties removed) and it did not work.

    Are there any other possible fixes for this issue?  I read on Microsoft's site that the .pst files from Outlook 2003 is compatible with Outlook 2010.


    Tuesday, November 09, 2010 4:17 PM
  • Hi Lutz,

    Thanks for working this out. Just had to buy a new machine in a hurry as the old one was flatlining, and was getting very frustrated.

    In my case the error message was "you do not have permission to access this file" even though it wasn't password protected.


    Saturday, November 20, 2010 5:38 PM
  • I am also getting this ".pst is not an outlook data file(.pst)" error, and I have tried the fix above, I even ran the scanpst program and still get no where with my problem. The file size is 1.95GB and I am running Outlook 2010.  Anyone have any ideas?

    Monday, January 03, 2011 10:29 PM
  • This doesn't works out.... Any other suggestion to sort the issue out.. I m facing the same... and tried the ideas above... NOT WORKING!!!
    Thursday, February 24, 2011 6:08 PM
  • Good evening

    I have a similar problem.

    I have reinstalled Windows 7 & Outlook 2010 and am attempting to import the pst file from the previous installation of Outlook 2010 which I have copied to the hard drive. However, every time I try it I also get the error, ".pst is not an Outlook data file (.pst)".  I have not had any previous issues with the data files.

    I have tried importing the file (File > Open > Import) as well as simply opening it (File > Open > Open Outlook Data File).

    Either way I get the error "the file Outlook.pst is not an outlook data file (.pst).

    I have tried the fix suggested above ("Properties" -> "Details" -> "Remove Properties and Personal Information" ) but this has not worked; it is not "Read Only".

    Any other suggestions that might be tried ? It would be much appreciated.





    Monday, April 18, 2011 4:19 PM
  • I had the same problems. Used this link to find *.pst file scan tool and it fixed the file. Once it ran the file loaded quickly. Saved me months of hurt.


    Scan Tool:

    ~:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\SCANPST.EXE


    Friday, May 20, 2011 3:42 AM
  • Like the others, I'm having the same problem not being able to bring in my outlook.pst file. ScanPst is unsuccessful and does not recognize the file, outlook won't accept it either and states it is "not an outlook personal folder file (.pst)..". 

    File is on the local HDD, without read only attrib.

    Removing personal properites did not help.

    Scan Pst did not work either.


    Someone please help!


    Looking at 2 years worth of client emails here.


    EDIT (UPDATE!): Fortunately, 

    I've found a program that worked (the only one that managed to recover my files.)

    It's not cheap however,.. unfortunately.. its called Advanced Outlook Repair 3.4 (by DataNumen)


    Sunday, October 02, 2011 5:12 PM


    Thursday, March 01, 2012 7:33 PM
  • Hi TylerThrasher,

    I'm having the same problem, you described above about my pst file  "not an outlook personal folder file (.pst)..".

    Tried all the solutions metionned in this forum but no way unfortunately.

    The last thing that I didn't try yet is this recovery tool "Advanced Outlook Repair 3.4" which I'm not able to find on internet at all !!!

    Really I need your help as this pst file, will save my life... I got fired by my company for a no sens problem. Now I will start a justice process and all my evidences are inside my emails which are blocked inside this file.

    Really, will appreciate your help if you can as you already solved your problem.

    Thanks you in advance


    Friday, April 20, 2012 7:29 PM
  • I have the same problem.  The backup was to an external freeagent go flex hard drive.  I have used "extract all files" and "copy/paste" to restore the files.  I have also used the scanpst.exe app which did not work.  Is there a way to restore the .pst files from the external hard drive without corrupting them? 
    Sunday, April 22, 2012 5:51 PM
  • Hi Tyler, 

    I've already faced up with this problem twice during 6 months. i lost my 7 year old inbox which meant and might cost a lot for me. 

    Just use rstudio 5.3.13 and recover your pst file first as it was corrupted probably of hdd physicall error.

    scan your hdd by searching pst files and all you need is to be patient during scan. it may take more than a day depending on your hdd volume. not to lose additional time i recommend you to save scan data to your pc.

    when scan is finished just search pst files in the mess and recover them to your desktop. if you still wont be able to use in the first now you can try outlook repair tools to get your inbox back.

    Currently i am doing this job 3rd time as my hdd got down again. but i am not nervous about that )))

    Should you have any trouble to find rstudio just let me know i can upload a link for you. my email :

    who will recover own files i will ask to send me 1 pack cigarette for memory.)))

    Good luck!

    Thursday, July 19, 2012 11:51 PM
  • I've had this problem too, exporting a pst from Outlook 2010 and trying to import it (or open it) in another outlook 2010 program.  Nothing works.  Including your fix as mentioned above. :( The file is not a read-only.  I checked that. It was exported from 2010 as a PST (not OST) and transferred via an ftp. I've read all the posts and tried all the fixes (scanning the pst for errors, checking read-only, etc.) and NOTHING has worked. I keep getting the same error message "this i snot an outlook data file".  Funny thing is, I had 3 other pst files exported from the same Outlook account and sent to me and they all worked!  These last 2 psts don't.  Strange!
    Thursday, December 26, 2013 7:40 PM
  • If your outlook pst data is corrupted, First you should try scanpst inbuilt utilities to analyze and fix the issues in your Outlook .pst file.

    In case, these tools do not work then you may go for a third party pst repair application to repair and fix the problem. An effective and reliable Outlook Repair Toolbox that you may try is here:

    Sunday, June 22, 2014 11:06 PM
  • Try outlook pst recovery software. Read Review this software here
    or more information and free download click
    Wednesday, July 23, 2014 5:49 PM