How to Add PST Files

by Diana Braun
Adria Richards ( under Creative Commons 2.0 Attribution License.

Microsoft Outlook stores offline copies of your messages, contacts, notes and calendar events in a personal storage table file known as a PST. This file is critical in that it contains a backup of your Outlook account. If you switched email accounts, need to restore to a backup or just want to add an additional folder to help keep you better organized, you will need to add a PST file to Outlook to get your old information synced and up and running.

Step 1

Open Microsoft Outlook. Select the "Tools" tab and select "Options."

Step 2

Select the "Mail Setup" tab; then select "Data Files" from the Options task window.

Step 3

Click the "Add" button from the Outlook Data Files task window. Select "Office Outlook Personal Folders File (.pst)" from the New Outlook Data File task window. Click "OK."

Browse to the PST file you want to add. If you would like to add a new PST file, select a file name and click "OK." A window will show that the PST file was added to Outlook. Select "Close" and then "OK." Your Personal Folder (PST) file is now visible in the folder list of Outlook.


  • You must have read and write permission to open your Personal Folder (.pst) in Outlook. Copy the PST file to your local drive or a shared file location that has both permissions enabled.


Photo Credits

  • Adria Richards ( under Creative Commons 2.0 Attribution License.

About the Author

Diana Braun began her writing career as a consultant and technical writer for a software company focusing on how-to, training, white paper, and internal process documentation. After two years, Braun left to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams. Since then, she has launched several startups including a t-shirt business, an online marketing and advertising t-shirt distribution business, and an entertainment site. She currently resides in South Florida.

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