Recover a forgotten PST password

You may at some time have password protected your pst-file but by now completely forgot what the password was and can no longer open it and get to your data.

In that case, there is some bad news and some good news;

  • The bad news is that Outlook’s password protection method is really weak.
  • The good news is that there multiple tools, including free ones, to quickly generate a recovery password or remove the password protection altogether.

Don’t use any of the following methods for any illegal activities!!!

Tool 1: pst19upg.exe

Command Prompt buttonThis handy free command line tool can be used to strip the password of a pst-file.

The funny thing is that this tool wasn’t even creating for stripping the password of a pst-file but for upgrading the pst-file to a newer format. Stripping the password was just a (handy) side effect.

Read the pstread.txt file included in the zip before using the utility!


Tool 2: NirSoft PstPassword

NirSoft PstPassword buttonNirSoft PstPassword is a free tool which provides multiple recovery passwords that will work for your password protected pst-file.

These recovery passwords my not include the original password that you had set, but that doesn’t matter. This is because Outlook doesn’t actually store your password but only a simple hash of it via the CRC32 algorithm. At the same time multiple passwords result in the same CRC32 hash and thus will also provide you access to the pst-file.

NirSoft PstPassword
NirSoft PstPassword offers multiple recovery passwords in case you’ve forgotten it.

View: NirSoft PstPassword

Your virus scanner such as Microsoft Defender Antivirus could recognize it as a threat. This is normal for password cracking tools. You’ll need to set it to “allow on device” or mark it as “safe” before you’ll be able to use it.

Tool 3: Atomic PST Password Recovery

Atomic PST Password Recovery buttonAnother tool which has been designed for pst password recovery is Atomic Pst Password Recovery.

This tool isn’t free but does guarantee you to regain access to your data or otherwise you’ll get your money back.

View: Atomic Pst Password Recovery