Outlook for Mac - Open a PST File

Tags Outlook Mac PST


  • What is a PST file?
  • How can I open a PST file with Outlook for Mac?
  • Will a PST file take up space in my mailbox after I import it?

About PST Files

Personal Storage Table (PST) files are a Microsoft proprietary file format for storing copies of emails, calendar items, and other contents of mailboxes. At OSU, PST files are commonly used to export the contents of a Microsoft Exchange mailbox (First.Last@oregonstate.edu).

PST files can be opened and imported with Microsoft Outlook. Once open, users can read and modify the contents of a PST file locally, as if they were accessing a mailbox. Historically, features for working with PST files have only been available to Windows users of Microsoft Outlook.

Opening PST Files with Outlook for Mac

Microsoft has added features for working with PST files in Outlook for Mac over many releases, but this practice is not recommended for CN users. Long processing times and inconsistent performance have led to a low success rate in importing PST files into Outlook for Mac.

The recommended work-around is to use a Windows computer or terminal service with Microsoft Outlook to open PST files.


  1. Make sure your PST file is stored somewhere accessible, like a network drive. You will still be able to access these network drives when you log in to the terminal service.
  2. Connect to the CN-Lite terminal service.
  3. Open Outlook. If logging in for the first time, set up your Outlook mailbox.
  4. Open the File menu.
  5. Select Open and Export, then Open Outlook Data File
  6. Use the dialog to navigate to your PST file. Select the file, and click Ok.
  7. The contents of the PST file are now available in the left sidebar of the Outlook window. You can copy contents of the PST file to other folders in your mailbox or a shared mailbox as necessary.

For assistance, contact the IS Service Desk.


Article ID: 71441
Mon 2/4/19 4:21 PM
Sun 4/17/22 10:34 AM