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Outlook Error: The File is Not a Personal Folders File

Published By Nilesh Kumar
Debasish Pramanik
Approved By Debasish Pramanik
Published On January 29th, 2024
Reading Time 4 Minutes Reading
Category Email Tips

Microsoft Outlook is widely used as an email-client. All Outlook data is stored in PST file linked with it. Errors occur while working with PST files. In this blog, we will discuss about the common error message that Outlook users encounter, “The File is not a Personal Folders File”. First we will describe the reasons for this error, then we will elucidate on the ways, user can apply for removing the Outlook error not pst file successfully.

Reasons which Trigger Outlook.pst Not Found Error :

  1. Outlook error not pst file basically pops-up when outlook data file is corrupted. Receiving this message means Outlook application is unable to comprehend the file, and displays message that .pst not found outlook 2007.
  2. Other causes for stopping user to access data file could be its permission setting which had been changed to “read-only” mode. To read a PST file, it is required to have complete permission i.e. “Full Control”, otherwise it would display the error Outlook.pst not found.

Steps to Resolve the Error The File is Not a Personal Folders File

1. Change File Mode

To change “Read-Only” mode to “Full Control” mode, user is required to execute the steps given below:

  1. Select the file which is inaccessible and right-click on it.
  2. Select Properties and uncheck the Read-Only check box.
  3. Tap on the Apply Button followed by a click on OK.

Here, user has to verify if Outlook error not pst file is resolved or not by opening the same PST file again. If Outlook.pst not found error message continues to appear on the screen, then the reason behind the corruption would be different. To confront with that the user needs to adopt another method to remove Outlook error not pst file.

2. Use Free Utility ScanPST.exe

Ensure that Outlook is closed, before using scanpst.exe to remove the error Outlook.pst not found.

Follow the steps listed below :

1. Locate Scanpst.exe in your system:

Default location which could be different for different versions.

  • MS Outlook 2016: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16,
  • MS Outlook 2013: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15,
  • MS Outlook 2010: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14, and so on.

2. Browse and open the damaged PST file.

3. For initiating the repairing process, click on start.

Note: Here, user has to create a backup of scanned file for avoiding any data loss.

Again user has to open the damaged PST file in MS Outlook to verify if the file is error free or not. In case of minor errors, file will be recovered easily from the error message “The file is not a personal folders file”.

Limitations associated with ScanPST.exe Tool:

  • Capable of resolving errors at minor level only.
  • PST file having size than 2GB, can not be recovered.
  • Even after repair there is a possibility of data loss.


3. Use Advanced Tool

Advance tools are impeccable software which can repair any kind of PST file corruption, when all other methods fail. Outlook Email Recovery Tool recovers and restores damaged PST file, and retrieves them back in healthy format. It is well efficient to resolve errors like Outlook.pst not found.

Advantages of using AdvancedTool are listed below:

  1. Capable to resolve both minor as well as major corruption issues.
  2. Able to recover email, calendars, tasks, contacts etc. from the corrupted data file.
  3. All the attachments along with meta data are easily recoverable.
  4. The damaged file is recovered in healthy UNICODE/ ANSI PST format.
  5. If the PST file size is exceeding 2 GB then this tool provides the option to spilt the same into smaller size PST files.
  6. Compatible with Windows 32-bit as well as 64-bit versions.

Moreover, it has the features which makes it distinguished from others, for example maintains folder hierarchy, user-friendly naming conventions, recovery of password protected files, able to repair Archive file and so on. Error Outlook.pst not found can easily be resolved using the tool.


Different solutions, to the error “the file is not a personal folders file” were discussed in this blog. For minor damages, free built-in utility Scanpst.exe can be used as explained. However, it is not efficient enough to resolve major errors. Third party software Outlook Email Recovery Tool, then comes to rescue. It is considered an apt solution to quickly resolve Outlook error not pst file.