How to create secured Outlook data files

Worried about Outlook security? If you are getting nightmares that somebody could be reading your emails when you are not around then this tip is for you. It could be your wife, mistress, or a random tech support that likes to scour Outlook .pst files for anything that they could make fun of, or worse, blackmail you.

To keep your email secrets deeply hidden on your computer, a password encrypted Outlook Data File is what you need.

First, open your Outlook and click File menu > New > Outlook Data File…

If you are using Outlook 2003 and above you will be prompted with a window that lets you choose what type of Office Outlook file you want to create. Choose the default type to take advantage of the new features like more storage capacity. If you need to open this folder using an older version of Outlook like version 2002 and below choose the other type:

Then in the Create new Outlook Data File window type the name of the folder, in this case I typed “secured.pst” where “.pst” is the required file extension.

Last, put the name of the folder that will appear on Outlook, make sure to choose “Compressible Encryption” or “High Encryption” to encrypt your folder, choose a strong password (i.e. should be long and consists of characters, numbers and non-alpha numeric symbols). Do not check “Save this password in your password list” otherwise you will let anyone who can open your Outlook open this folder too.

Click OK to save the settings.

Once you have the secured folder showing up in your Outlook, move all of your sensitive emails to that folder.

Every time you want to open this folder in Outlook it will ask for the password you typed above:

Now you have a secured Outlook data file which asks for a password every time you need to open it. You can also create rules to move all sensitive emails to this folder. If you want, you can create more than one secured data file to keep things organized.

Stop worrying about Outlook security. Keep your sensitive emails in a secured encrypted folder!

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