Outlook can’t be alive without a PST file (not applicable for Exchange, Outlook.com or Hotmail). And, the PST-file which is also known as Personal Folders or Outlook Data File holds all your emails, contacts, calendar, tasks, notes and lot of things related to your Outlook email account.
But, many times Outlook users find themselves in a situation where their profile is having duplicate PST files. This might be caused either by accident or knowingly. But, the thing is these duplicates add clutter and at the end of the day, it will eat up your hard drive space. This factor eventually drains productivity of your computer (of course yours too!).
So, even if you are facing these sorts of problems due to duplicate or unwanted PST files then here is how to delete PST file from the local system.
Caution: Before you start with this process of deleting PST file from your local system, I suggest you back up your PST files on some safe location like external storage device. If in case, you later find it you need the PST file which you have deleted then you can, make use of the backup.
How to Delete PST File from Local System?
Step 1: Find Your PST File Location
By default, PST files are created in the below-given locations
In Outlook 2007 and previous versions of Windows XP systems:
C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\
In Outlook 2007 and previous versions of Windows Vista, 7, 8 or 10 systems:
In Outlook 2010 running on Windows XP systems:
C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\My Documents\Outlook Files
In Outlook 2010, 2013 and 2016 versions on Windows Vista, 7, 8 or 10 systems:
Note: By default, Local Settings and AppData folders are hidden folders. If your Windows computer is not configured to show hidden files and folders, then these folders will not be visible. Hence, you can type or copy-paste the above paths directly in the title bar of the Explorer window to access your PST file.
You can also find the location of your PST file using your Outlook application. To do this,
- Open your Outlook application
- Right-click on any folder situated within the parent folder of the PST file which you want to delete
- Select Properties and switch to AutoArchive
- Click on the Archive this folder using these settings radio button
- Note down the file location located under Move old item to
The noted down path is the location where your Outlook PST file is present.
Step 2: Remove PST File from Outlook
Before you delete the PST file, make sure that you have removed it from your Outlook. If not, you will have a risk of potentially corrupting the PST file and end up with errors in Outlook.
How to Remove PST File from Outlook?
Method 1# To remove a PST file quickly from your Outlook, right-click on the root folder (top folder of your mailbox). Select Close <name of root folder>.
Method 2# Another way to easily remove a PST file from your Outlook profile is via Data Files list.
In Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007 Versions:
Go to File menu -> Select Data File Management.
Choose the PST file that you want to remove from Outlook -> Hit Remove button.
In Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013 Versions:
Click the File menu button and select Info.
Switch to Account Settings and opt for Account Settings
Click on Data File tab and select the PST file which you want to remove.
Finally, hit the Remove option.
Note: If PST files are still connected to an e-mail account or if it is a default PST file then you cannot remove it as the file will be in use.
After removing the PST file from your Outlook, close the running Outlook application to release the lock on the PST file.
Step 3: Navigate to the PST File Location
Go to the location of your PST file (which you want to delete) using the earlier noted down path either via My Computer/This PC or by directly copy-pasting the file path into the address bar of the Windows file explorer window.
- Through My Computer/This PC
Launch My Computer/This PC.
Follow your respective path (depending on your Windows and Outlook version) and reach Outlook folder.
Open the folder and find your PST File.
- Via Windows File Explorer Window
Copy the path of your PST file location, paste it at the address bar of the explorer window and hit Enter key.
Step 4: Delete the PST File
Once you have reached the PST file that you wish to delete, select the file, directly right-click on it and choose Delete option. Say Yes when you are asked for the confirmation.
There you have a cleaner, less-cluttered version of your Outlook.
A Note On Fixing the Broken PST File:
When a PST file gets corrupted or damaged, you can use scanpst.exe (Inbox Repair Tool by Microsoft Outlook) to search for and fix issues in the file. The location of scanpst.exe varies depending on the version of Outlook you are using.
But, Scanpst fails to repair PST file if it is severely damaged or corrupted! Thus, Scanpst.exe cannot fix all type of corruptions of a broken PST file. So, if your PST file is too critically corrupted or damaged then you can try Yodot Outlook PST Repair for fixing your file. Use its trial version first to decide whether it is capable of repairing your PST file and judge its ability.