PST! Hey! Pssssst!! …..

I hate it when people PST me! PSTs are useless and is super annoying [to manage that is]. I mean PST as in, the much elusive personal folder file in Outlook. Folks have been using this 10 years ago, back in the day of Outlook 2000, even 97, and has been a constant headache. I had AUTODESK clients call me and asking me for my take on it, and the solution. Well, not all things work for all people, and one solution doesn’t work for everyone. BUT! Taking that grain of salt, you can actually disable PSTs in Outlook (and disabling the autoarchive feature). Instead, you can store everything in your inbox and make it really really big. And if you have Exchange 2010, you can archive them automatically (great for ‘discoveries,’ which can be a total headache if you don’t have the right mechanisms in place).

Since Microsoft Office XP SP2, you can make a DisablePst entry of type REG_DWORD in the … THE JOYS OF REGISTRY EDITTING!! =)

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\10.0\Outlook registry subkey. Create (or set) the value of DisablePst to 1 to prevent users from creating or opening Personal Folders (.pst) files, which in turn will disable any autoarchiving features.

If your users already use PSTs, make sure you merge them together FIRST before you disable it. If not, you won’t be able to use the PSTs and your old dusty emails will be useless! You can also do this via Group Policy:

  • User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Microsoft Office Outlook 2007\Tools\Options\Other\AutoArchive, select Disable File, Archive….ENABLE. Enabling it will disable the feature. HAHAHA, funny isn’t it? I love how GPO are done.

Here’s the reference article:

And if you ever thought of putting your PSTs on the LAN for “management” and “backup” purposes, think again. It’s totally not smart. If you don’t believe me, try it yourself. If you’re bored and want to know more, read it here:


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