As an email application, MS Outlook is far better and user-friendly in comparison to other email programs. Many people all over the world are using MS Outlook as their primary emailing solution. But there are times when it gets hard to manage Outlook due to various factors. Situations do arise when it becomes slow or unresponsive due to some kind of errors.

One of error message which might occur is stated as below:

.pst is not a personal folder file

pst is not a personal folder file

This error message itself indicates that the issue is directly related to the Outlook data file, i.e., Outlook PST File (.pst). We all very well know that the MS Outlook PST file is very much responsible for retaining all the Outlook data and facing any condition that corrupts or makes it difficult to access the .pst file cannot be taken very lightly. In fact, any harm to the .pst file could result in the loss of the entire Outlook data. The error message mentioned above clearly indicates the corruption of the MS Outlook PST file.

The possible cause for Outlook .pst is not a personal folders file error could be:

  • Crash or inappropriate reinstallation of operating system
  • Taking backup of PST file even when the work is still running in MS Outlook
  • Unexpected system shutdown when Microsoft Office Outlook is still running


Before you get to know about the suitable way to tackle any such situation, it is important that you note that the PST file is composed of two parts, the file header and the following data part. In general, the file header contains the information about the whole file, like file signature, file size, etc. Once the header gets damaged and cannot be recognized, MS Outlook will consider the complete file as invalid and report such error as mentioned above.

To repair the corrupt PST file, one can very well use the Inbox Repair utility (scanpst.exe). This inbuilt utility scans and repairs the corrupt PST file. Generally, the default location of scanpst.exe is C:\Program Files\Common Files\System\MSMAPI\1033. Moreover, there is a possibility that the utility may further show you some error that it has found in the PST file.But, sometimes, it happens that it does not find any error, yet you cannot open your .pst file in Outlook. Scanpst.exe may recover the file based on factors like the lower corruption level or if the .pst file size is not exceeding 2 GB. But, talking about the error, if the Scanpst.exe utility fails to rectify the condition, then the usage of a third-party PST repair tool like Kernel for Outlook PST Repair is recommended.

The software can very well recover emails, attachments, images, notes, email properties (like To, From, Subject, CC, BCC, Date, and Time), and all other items from damaged PST files. To operate the software, you don’t have to be an expert. It has got an interactive user-interface that makes it ideal for any user to run. Also, this tool supports PST files of all Outlook versions