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Cracking Outlook .pst archive file passwords

The password encryption method used by Outlook for .pst archive files is not very sophisticated. Nirsoft has a free utility that can crack the password for these files if you come across them during collection and the custodian has either forgotten, or is not available to provide the password.

As you see the PstPassword utility actually generates three different passwords. One of these passwords will open the .pst archive, and none of them is the same as the password the user originally created for the archive. The documentation says that "This utility can recover the PST passwords of Outlook 97, Outlook 2000,Outlook XP, Outlook 2003, and Outlook 2007", but I tested it tonight and it can also detect .pst file passwords created with Outlook 2010. It will not generate passwords for Outlook 2016 .pst archives.

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