How to password protect Outlook PST files

Shaant Minhas

Updated on:

outlook email

In a world racked by constant cyber-attacks and never-ending security loopholes, you wouldn’t be wrong to take extra precautions to password protect your files. It adds an extra layer of security to your PC and keeps it safe from unauthorized access.

When you’re dealing with email, this holds doubly true. Your emails carry a variety of sensitive information, which, if leaked, can cause massive damage to your business or personal goals. In what follows, we’ll look at the best methods to password protect an Outlook PST file. Let’s get started.

How to password protect Outlook PST files

A .pst file is a personal folder file that stores your messages, events, and other items on your system. It keeps all the information in Outlook and Exchange within it.

To set up a password on your Outlook .pst file, follow the steps below:

  1. Launch the Outlook app, click on File, and select Account Settings > Account Settings.
  2. Click on the Data Files, choose the .pst file you’d like to create or change your password, and then select Settings.
  3. Then click on Change password.
  4. Enter a password in the New password and Verify password field, and write it somewhere to keep it safe.  
  5. Click on OK.

If you follow the above steps, you’ll be able to password protect your PST files without any hassles. However, remember that you can’t set separate passwords for individual folders in your PST files. Instead, when you put the password it will be set for the entire .pst folder. 

Password protecting your .pst file

Password protecting your Outlook .pst files gives you an extra layer of protection against unauthorized access to your files. Of course, it isn’t the be-all and end-all for your security, but it’s undoubtedly a start. You have, in fact, a gauntlet of tactics to dial up your security. For example, Microsoft has listed a slew of points you should review as a starting point before you think of improving your Windows security.