How To Password Protect an Outlook PST File

If you’re on a shared computer without separate user accounts, you don’t want the other user(s) looking at your private email. You can password-protect the PST file.

If you’re on a shared computer without separate user accounts, you don’t want the other user(s) looking at your private email. Here’s how to password protect your Personal Folder (.pst) file in Outlook 2003, 2007, and 2010.

Password Protect an Outlook PST File

In Outlook 2010, click the File tab then Account Settings.

Account Settings

Next, click the Data Files tab. Then highlight the account you want to protect—click Settings.


The Outlook Data File screen opens. Click Change Password.

change password

Now type in a strong password twice. The password can be up to 15 characters in length and contain symbols and numbers. Since this is a shared computer, don’t check the option to save the password. Click OK and close out of the remaining open screens.

change pw

Restart Outlook, and you’ll need to enter the password you just created to use that account.

restart outlook

If a user clicks Cancel, Outlook will open, but they can’t access the protected account without the password.

cannot Open

You can do this in Outlook 2003 and 2007 too. To get to the Outlook Data File, go to File > Data File Management.

Data Management

Then set or change the password on the PST data file following the steps above.

Data File 2003

If you don’t want someone you’re sharing a PC with snoop in your email, create a password for it. The main thing to remember is not to check to save the password.

If you really want to make sure your data is protected, create individual user accounts as a best practice.



  1. Jane

    It is true that creating a password for an Outlook data file helps in protecting the data from any authorized access. I too created password for my .pst file but one day the problem occurred when I lost the file in which I saved the password. Tried many times to enter password… but no luck. But thankfully my colleague suggested me about Stellar Outlook Password Recovery software, I read about it here which helped me to recover the password and now I am able to work with my Outlook again.


    • Azus Smith

      Hi Jane,

      This recovery methodology is worked for me. Now, I access my Outlook emails without barrier.


  2. Chaitanya

    Is it not possible to password protect Mailbox Data File? I am not talking about PST. When you open Data File Management -> Data Files. You will see PST and another Data File. I am talking about this Data File. I tried but you will not see change password button under Settings popup window

  3. Leon

    How can you do this, i.e. password protect your data file on a Mac in OS X? (Maverick’s)

  4. Anam

    what do you mean by Old Password in PST File, how can i set a new setup.

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