Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have some old Outlook 2003 pst files with a lot of messages (~100k) on a backup drive that I would like to be able to search and read from time to time. I don't want to import them into my copy of Outlook, since I don't want the clutter. I see there are some pst readers, but the only ones I can find cost.

What can I do to read and search the pst files without importing them or buying a reader?

I have outlook 2003 and can get 2007 if that will help.

share|improve this question
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Just Open them, no need to import. File > Open > Outlook Data File

share|improve this answer
I was worried open would import them. I can just read, then dismiss without a trace? – foosion Oct 16 '09 at 15:47
Yes, you can just open them, read, and close them without a trace. I think you can also open them read-only. Each one will show up as a separate mailbox in Outlook. Note that they won't be indexed for fast searching (e.g., Lookout Search, Windows Desktop Search, Google Desktop Search, or Outlook 2007 search) if you only open them as-needed. – rob Oct 16 '09 at 16:04

protected by Journeyman Geek Mar 23 '14 at 11:58

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.