Archive.pst is Not an Outlook Data File (.pst) Error! – Issue Resolved

admin | January 28th, 2019 | outlook

Microsoft Outlook showing ‘archive.pst is not an Outlook data file’. Explore solution to fix this Outlook PST file issue without any data loss or data damage. Explore the scenarios, causes and its solutions to resolve this Windows Outlook PST file error efficiently.

Today, Microsoft Outlook is used by several professional and individual users as their default email client. It uses Personal Storage Table (PST File) to store its mailbox data items like emails, contacts, calendars, tasks, notes, journals etc. However, it imposes some limitation on size for Outlook PST mailbox and the limit depends on Microsoft Outlook version. In order to overcome the size limit issues, users generate archive.pst files as this helps to free up space for new items. Afterward, users can import archive.pst in MS Outlook for use, whenever it is necessary. But, there come some situations when users face issues while attempting to access the archive.pst. Also, they may get error messages like Archive.pst is not an Outlook data file (.pst) while launching Outlook application or importing PST file.

But Why Microsoft Outlook Show Archive.pst File Error Issue?

Encountering archive.pst is not valid error while importing archive.pst file in MS Outlook is such a common problem. Below are some possible reasons that may responsible for the same:

  • Outlook data file might be corrupted
  • Presence of bad sectors in hard drive
  • Archive.pst is corrupted due to virus
  • Import/ Export issues in MS Outlook
  • Improper termination of Outlook
  • Power failure while accessing PST file
  • Practice of undependable applications

How to Fix Archive.pst is Not an Outlook Data File (.pst) Error?

Error message ‘Outlook archive file is not Outlook data file’ implies that your PST file goes into inaccessible state and become corrupted/ damaged. Below are some simple techniques to fix this ‘archive.pst is not a personal folders file error’ in an efficient manner:

Method 1. Use Inbox Repair Utility

If you are unable to access or import archive.pst in Outlook then, there are chances that your PST file is damaged or gets corrupted. Microsoft provides an in-built utility (Scanpst.exe) to diagnose and repair PST file errors. Scanpst.exe gets installed on the system while installing MS Outlook and it can repair all the minor issues via resetting and rebuilding the data file structure. Follow the guidelines given below to repair corrupted archive.pst file:

Note: Close MS Outlook application before using Inbox Repair Tool as it cannot be accessed within Outlook. And try to resolve Outlook archive.pst is not an Outlook data file (.pst) error.

  1. First of all, open Windows Explorer and navigate to C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\OFFICE14 folder. Or, you can perform a direct search for Scanpst.exe
  2. Select and open Scanpst.exe tool

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  1. Browse and add the archive.pst that you want to scan.

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  1. Hit the Start button

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  1. If there will be any errors, the tool will list them all and ask to start the repair process to fix them
  2. The tool will create a backup file during the repair process. In order to change the default name and location of the backup file, enter a new name for the backup file
  3. Click on Repair

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  1. Now, start Outlook application with the profile that includes the PST file that you have just repaired
  2. Check if the error Archive.pst is not an Outlook Data File (.pst) error still persist or resolved

Limitations of Scanpst.exe

  • Repairs header part only and minor level corrupted PST
  • Cannot repair the Outlook PST file with corrupted body
  • High probability of data loss while repairing PST files
  • Cannot repair oversized PST files that exceed 2 GB limit

Method 2. Use Professional PST Repair Tool

Total PST Repair Tool is a powerful and most secure way to repair corrupted Outlook PST file and restore it back in multiple file formats like PST, EML, MSG or in Office 365. The software can repair archive.pst fle efficiently and can fix issues like ‘Outlook archive.pst file access denied’. The utility can repair damaged PST files of Microsoft Outlook 2019, 2-16, 213, 2010 and below versions with minor as well as major corruption. Using this, one can repair emails, contacts, calendars, tasks and all other data items from a Outlook PST file. It has the capability to recover both UNICODE and ANSI Outlook data files. The software can easily fix archive.pst is not an Outlook Data File (.pst) error as it can repair Outlook BAK file generated by inbox repair utility and restore archive file in PST format. Follow the steps below to repair Outlook PST file and fix archive.pst is not an Outlook file error:

  1. Download and launch Outlook PST File Repair Software
  2. Browse PST file and preview the emails with attachments
  3. Recover the damaged PST file and restore healthy PST file
  4. Export recovered PST file in PST or other desired file format

After that try to import or access the recovered archive.pst file in MS Outlook and you will not get any error message after this. Thus Outlook archive.pst is not valid PST issue is resolved.


How to resolve Archive.pst is not an Outlook Data File (.pst) error is such a common query asked by several Outlook users. In this write up, we have disclosed some simple and actually working techniques to fix this archive.pst is not a personal folder file. Now, it is all up to users that which method they want to opt.