Previously, I’ve written about how you can secure your Outlook PST file with a password, which is great, unless you forget the PST password! Luckily for you, the password encryption for a PST file is not terribly strong, which means it can be hacked.
There are a few tools out there that you can use to try and retrieve a lost PST password, one of which I have written about before called Mail Pass View, a free utility to recover lost email passwords.
If Mail Pass View does not work for you, another free program you can try is PSTPassword. You can use this program to recover PST passwords for Outlook 2000, XP, 2003, and 2007!
The cool thing is that you don’t even need Office in order to recovery the PST password, only the PST file itself. Just choose your PST file and it will give you several passwords that you can use to open it!
That’s what is really cool about this program, you don’t even need the original password to open a PST file. The way the that Microsoft Outlook stores the password is what makes it easier to hack.
Basically, instead of storing the original password in an encrypted form, which would be harder to break, Outlook stores a 32-bit hash value that represents the original password.
However, this hash value can be generated using many different combinations of letters and numbers. For example, if you set a password to “1234”, the file can be opened using these passwords also: “hkNkwC” and “YUWqKD”. Go ahead and give it a shot if you think this is fake.
Note that the program will automatically find any PST files stored in the current user profile under
Document and Settings\User\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook
If you want a different PST file, just drag it into the window or press F7 to browse for the file.
This is the only program out there that I know that is free! All other PST password crackers are commercial software packages. If neither of these two programs work, you might have to end up buying something, but hopefully not! Enjoy!