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How to Resolve ‘xyz.pst is not a personal folders file’ Error of MS Outlook

outlookAlmost all Outlook users know about PST file. PST is a personal folder file that contains all your mailbox data and is stored on the hard drive of your computer. This file is made up of two parts, one is the file header part, and the second is the data part. The header or file header part carries all the important information about your complete file, including the file header, file size, file signature, compatibility of the file, etc. On the other hand, the data part contains all the data included in your emails and other information present in your mailbox. Since the header is important to retrieve data from the data part, its corruption leads to inaccessibility of all the data stored in your PST.

An example of such a situation is explained herein. You may encounter the below-mentioned error message while opening a PST file in MS Outlook:

“The file xyz.pst is not a personal folders file.”

Here, ‘xyz.pst’ is the name of the PST file that you are trying to open. The reason for getting this error message is explained below:


The leading cause of getting this error message is PST file header corruption. The reasons responsible for such corruption of PST file are:

  • Quitting Outlook improperly while the PST file is in use
  • Virus infection to the system wherein the PST file is saved
  • Abrupt shutting down of system

These are some of the prominent causes responsible for the corruption of PST file; however, you can come across some other reasons as well.


Microsoft provides an efficient utility named ‘Inbox Repair Tool’ for repairing the corrupt PST file and restoring its data. This utility is installed with the installation of your Outlook in the form of ‘Scanpst.exe’ tool. Just run this .exe file, follow the steps provided, and repair your corrupt PST file. Before repairing PST or resolving the errors (if found), this utility asks you to create the backup of your PST file. However, it entirely depends upon you whether you want the backup of your PST before recovery or not.

Though the ‘Inbox Repair Tool’ is designed for repairing file header corruptions of your PST file; but if in case it fails to do any needful to you, then use of a professional Outlook PST repair software is recommended.

One recommended professional software is Stellar Phoenix Outlook PST Repair. It repairs all levels of corruptions of PST file along with those, which are unable to be repaired by Inbox Repair Tool. An efficient tool of this category does not cause any kind of data loss from your original PST file and its intuitive user interface guides you throughout the recovery process to provide you smooth working atmosphere.

So, if your ‘Inbox Repair Tool’ fails, then use of a Stellar Phoenix Outlook PST repair tool is recommended.


Written By

Jane Parker is a professional blogger and technology explorer, would love to write anything that she feels interesting or can helps user in understanding typical things in easy way. Currently she is doing research on various method to repair corrupted PST file and also analyses how to perform PST Recovery.

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