Microsoft Exchange and Blackberry Server Specialists

Remove a Password on a PST File

Microsoft produced a utility called "pst19upg.exe" which was used to upgrade old versions of "pst" (aka Personal Folders) files to the later version. One side effect of this was that it removed any passwords from the "pst" file.
Therefore if you find that you cannot access a "pst" file because the client has forgotten their password or has left the company, you can use this utility to get access to the data.

NOTE: This process does NOT work for PST files that have been created in the new UNICODE format in Outlook 2003 and higher that allows PST files to exceed 2gb.

PDF Version of these instructions


This procedure is unsupported by either Microsoft or Sembee Ltd. We cannot be held responsible for any loss of data that occurs by attempting this procedure. You should always work with a copy of the pst file, not the original file. This will ensure that if it does go wrong you don't loose everything. You can then try an alternative solution.

Before You Start

Before using the utility, make certain you have at lease three times the size of the "pst" file in temporary free the disk space.

For example:

  • Original "pst" file is 150mb
  • Copy of "pst" file is 150mb
  • "psx" file (created during process) is 150mb
  • New "pst" file 150mb
  • Therefore an additional 450mb of temporary free space required for process to complete


You will need two utilities:

  1. "pst19upg.exe" - You will need to find this from a third party web site as Microsoft have removed it from theirs. It is not distributed from here due to licensing concerns. Try this site: or search on Google. 
  2. "scanpst.exe" - This can be found on all systems with Outlook installed. Search for it using the built in tools if it isn't on your start menu.

How to strip a password from a "pst" file using the "pst19upg.exe"

  1. Calculate the necessary free space ("pst" file size x 3) to run the utility.
  2. Find that amount of temporary space in which to perform the recovery.
  3. Copy the utility into the "recovery" free space.
  4. Copy the target PST file into the "recovery" free space. There is the possibility this utility may corrupt the contents of a "pst" so always use a copy of the file. Remember that Outlook needs to be closed completely before you can copy the file.
  5. Run "scanpst.exe" (without any LOG or Backup options enabled) against the copy of "pst" and "Repair", if prompted.
  6. Open a Command Prompt and change into drive/directory of the "recovery" free space.
  7. At the command prompt, type "pst19upg.exe -x filename.pst" and hit enter (where filename.pst is the name of the "pst" file you are working on). A progress bar will appear.
    This utility will create afile from the target "pst" called "filename.psx" (where filename is the same name as the original "pst" file).
  8. When complete, rename the original pst file to something else (for example filename-old.pst).
  9. At the command prompt, type "pst19upg.exe -i filename.psx" and hit enter. Again a progress bar will appear.
    This utility now creates a password free "pst" file from the "psx" file.
  10. Run "scanpst.exe" (again without LOG or Backup options enabled) against recovered "pst" and "Repair", if prompted.
  11. Test access to file using Outlook, then return it to the client.

If It Doesn't Work...

No support is offered for this application.
If you no other resolutions work, then the file may be corrupt. You should try one of the commercial applications to see if they can read the file. Many of them have trial versions which will allow you to view some of the content proving they work before you pay for them.

For a list of applications that may be suitable, please see this link on DMOZ Directory: