How Can You Manage the PST Files?


PST files are extremely popular amongst many professional organizations and they often contain sensitive and confidential information about the business. However, when they are not managed properly and regularly, they will undoubtedly pose security threats to the business as well as cause various problems for the IT support teams. Here we will take a look at the PST files and the problems caused by them.


What are the PST Files?

If you don’t belong in IT, this term might seem unfamiliar. The PST files are known as Personal Archives or Outlook archives that can be created by MS Outlook users when they enable the Auto Archive function. PST is known as Outlook data files or Personal Storage Table files. The auto archive feature of MS Outlook helps users bypass the mailbox quote limits which allow the IT departments to create a central Exchange server. But where the PST files are located? You can locate the PST files almost anywhere.

Are PST Files Secure?

The answer to this question is dependent on various factors, but normally the PST files aren’t secure. The PST files come with extreme portability features as they can be disconnected from MS Outlook and can be copied to other locations.

Outlook users can use the PST files to transfer email data between organizations as well as people easily. The PST files can be protected by passwords. But if you search on the internet, you will find various algorithms that are capable of breaking these passwords. If you think that PST files are extremely unreliable, you’re correct. Even the MS developers say that the PST files are not designed to store a massive amount of email data items. If you keep storing more and more email items on the PST files, they might be corrupted. In such cases, it’s best to use a third-party PST recovery tool to fix the corrupt outlook data files.

Are PST Files Always Available?

Even though many users believe that PST files are always available, this is not relevant most time. This is because MS Outlook needs to have access to the location of the PST files. This is relevant for office-based users who can access the same PST files over the network storage or local server. However, if the user is capable of working from different locations or desktops, they might not be able to access the PST files all the time they want. Additionally, if the users are dependent on MS Outlook Web Access, they won’t be able to access the PST files. Remember that users can easily disconnect the PST files from their MS Outlook profile. This is a common practice for some users when they try to manage different types of PST files from the same MS Outlook profile. As long as the user is aware of the location, the PST files can be accessed easily. However, most MS Outlook users cannot find the PST files once they are closed. As a result, the orphaned PST files will be created. These PST files still contain essential business information that needs to be stored.

Can You Backup the PST Files?

This is dependent on the location of the PST files as well as the capability of the IT department at managing the different types of PST files. If the PST files are located on laptops and desktops, then they might not be included in the backup strategy of the corporation. Therefore, they won’t be protected from possible data loss. However, if the PST files are located on networks, they can be backed up. But storing the PST files over the virtual network or cloud services might cause corruption. As per Norton, data backup is essential.

How Can You Know If the PST Files Have Problems?

This is one of the most common questions MS Outlook users ask about the PST files. If you don’t have much information about the PST files, you might fail to know whether they have problems or not. You need to contact the IT department as they will help you know whether the PST files have been affected. They will conduct an initial search that might indicate the presence of the problem. You also need to pay close attention to the actual data size of the PST files over the on-disk size. You also need to identify the owner of the data in each of the PST files, which is extremely important for the orphaned PST files. Once you get the relevant pieces of information, you need to come up with strategies.

Do Organizations Still Use the PST Files?

PST files are undoubtedly one of the most important aspects of MS Outlook and many businesses store the mailbox items of retired employees on the PST files as a retention method. But you might notice the inconsistency.


This is everything you need to know to manage the PST files. If you have any more questions, feel free to let us know in the comment box below.