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Opeiong .pst files from .Net

Does anyone know any way of reading the contents of a pst file without opening outlook, I am busy writing a mail back-up system in VB.net. I want to be able to run this from a server or the cliuent, hence the requirement to not use outlook. Also as a bonus, I would like to be able to do this even if the user has their outlook open

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8/22/2022 - Mon

Greetings, sparksolutions !

You cannot view PST file without Outlook being open.  And you cannot open a PST file while it is being used by another user. PST file is design to use by one user at a time.

Best wishes!

Hi sparksolutions,

To do this, your going to have to develop your application to read .pst files.

The .pst file is Microsoft's proprietary database file for Outlook, as you are probably well aware. I have seen a few software companies who have developed similar readers for commercial applications, mostly designed to export .pst contents into ASCII format.


Hi rivusglobal,
I am happy to look at buying a pst reading component, if you could point me towards some of those companies you mention, that would be great.
This is the best money I have ever spent. I cannot not tell you how many times these folks have saved my bacon. I learn so much from the contributors.

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David Lee

Greetings, sparksolutions.

As war1 has already said, and as the Mailnavigator web page clearly states, you cannot access a PST file without Outlook.  If your requirement is to do this without Outlook, then you have an impossible task.  war1 is also spot on when he points out that PST files are strictly single user.  


sparksolutions, any update?