Microsoft Outlook is one of the most popular email clients used by individuals and organizations for managing their email communications. However, like any other software, Outlook is not immune from issues. One of the errors that Outlook users encounter is “The file xxxx.pst is not a personal folders file”. This error message indicates that the Outlook PST file is invalid. Since it is a severe error, ScanPST fails to fix it. Here, we will discuss the causes and solutions to remove this error message.
Reasons for Getting “The file xxxx.pst is not a personal folders file” Error
“The file xxxx.pst is not a personal folders file” error message can occur due to several reasons, including:
Corrupt PST File: One of the most common causes of this error message is a corrupt PST file. PST files can get corrupted due to various reasons such as power failures, system crashes, virus attacks, and improper system shutdown. When a PST file is corrupt, Outlook may fail to open it, and; a user may experience the error message “The file xxxx.pst is not a personal folders file”.
PST File Extension: Outlook data files have the .pst extension. However, in some cases, the file may not have a .pst extension or; may have a different extension, causing Outlook to display the error message. “The file xxxx.pst is not a personal folders file”. That can happen when the user renames the PST file or changes its extension; accidentally.
Incompatibility: Another cause of this error message is incompatibility. PST files created in older versions of Outlook may not be compatible with newer versions of Outlook, causing this error message.
Solutions to “The file xxxx.pst is not a personal folders file” Error Message
Resolving Outlook PST file errors is not an easy task. It requires expertise and patience to repair the file; manually. However, you can try some of the common troubleshooting techniques to resolve the problem. There are several ways to fix this; “The file xxxx.pst is not a personal folders file” error message. The most effective methods are the ones listed below:
Repair PST File: If the PST file is corrupt, the first step is to repair it. Microsoft provides a built-in tool called the Inbox Repair Tool (scanpst.exe) to repair corrupt PST files. To use this tool, close Outlook and locate the scanpst.exe file. Double-click on it and follow the instructions. This tool will scan the PST file for errors, and; repair them if possible. If the ScanPST fails to repair the PST file, you may need to use a third-party PST repair tool.
Rename the PST File: If the PST file extension is incorrect or missing, you can rename the file to its original name. To do this, right-click on the file and select “Rename”. Change the name to the original, which should be “Outlook.pst” by default. That should resolve the issue.
Use Compatibility Mode: If you create the PST file in an older version of Outlook, you can try opening it in compatibility mode. To do this, right-click on the PST file and select Properties. Go to the Compatibility tab and choose “Run this program in compatibility mode”. Select the version of Outlook in which the PST file was created, and click Apply. That should allow you to open the PST file without errors.
Create a New PST File: If none of the above solutions work, you can create a new PST and import the data from the old file. For this, go to File > Account Settings > Account Settings. Select the Data Files tab, click on Add, and create a new PST file. Once the new PST file is created, you can import the data from the old file.
When everything fails, it is best to export Outlook PST to MBOX or any other formats compatible with different applications; that will help you to create a backup of your data. And in case you ever plan to switch from Outlook to any other email service, you can utilize the data easily.
The “The file xxxx.pst is not a personal folders file” error message can be caused by various reasons and this article explains the possible solutions for it. However, it is always better to avoid such errors to occur; because this might lead to permanent data loss.