How to use PST Walker

Basic Functions

Install or run portable version of PST Walker. Browse and open an Outlook Data File (.pst) or Offline Outlook Data File (.ost) file on your PC.

There are two options for opening a file: Like Microsoft Outlook and Extensive Scan. The Extensive Scan option allows you to recover data from a damaged or corrupted file, but processing takes longer than Like Microsoft Outlook option. Try both options and compare.

Open .pst, .ost file options

When the .pst or .ost file opens, you'll think you're looking at your email program! All of your contact information, email files and folder, and calendar information is present.

OST PST Viewer

If you want to view several emails at once in separate windows, select several messages and click "Selected Items" from the View tab on the menu. Numerous messages can be selected using the standard ctrl-left click and shift-left click commands.

PST Walker email view

PST Walker also lets you save any attachments that are on your emails. Select the email of your choice that has an attachment you wish to save, and select "Save Attachments" from the "File" menu button. Attachments can be opened by double-click as well.

Search Function

Having all of your email available isn't really worthwhile if you can't find what you want. Fortunately, PST Walker has a great search function.

Input the search query you want in the search box and click "Enter". In the example used below, "April", was used in the search field. After the search is performed, only matching entries are displayed.

search in .pst and .ost files

Click "x" to clear the search results and show the contents of the entire folder.

Advanced Search

To enable boolean search select "Advanced search" under "Tools->Search Options...".

search multiple .pst and .ost files

Boolean search allows you to broaden, limit, and define your search criteria.


Type this To find this
body:agenda Items that contains agenda within its contents.
from:( OR "bobby moore") Items in which the e-mail address equals OR sender name contains bobby moore.

Note the use of parentheses to group the display name and email address.
ALL(messagesize:<=100kb, hasattachment:yes,
ATLEASTONE(attachments: "txt", attachments: "pdf"))
Items less than 100KB in size with attachments with the extension txt or pdf.

See more examples

Export Function

With "Export..." under File menu you can convert .pst and .ost files to MSG, EML and MBOX files or to PST file. There are three options to save:

  • Selected items
  • All items in this folder
  • All items in this folder and subfolders

And three options for titles: item subject, incremental numeric Id and PR_ENTRYID.

Export to a file

Command line options

With the use of command line parameters you can automate PST Walker workflows in batch processing.

Note: Command line parameters are not available in the Home license.

   [-HardDeleted | -HardDeletedOnly]


The filename parameter specifies the .pst and .ost files to process. A filename mask can be applied, e.g. c:\users\*.pst

The E parameter specifies the file format for the saved messages. Exports to a file of the specified format:
  • msg - .msg file format
  • umsg - unicode .msg file format
  • eml - .eml(rfc 822) file format
  • pst - .pst Outlook Data File
  • mbox - .mbox Mozilla Thunderbird file format
The Name parameter specifies the naming style for the saved messages:
  • Id - incremental Id
  • EntryId - PR_ENTRYID (unique message identifier)
  • Subject - message subject
Specifies search query, see search keywords and boolean search operators

Specifies destination folder for bulk extracted messages

Extensive scan (to recover data from a damaged or a corrupted .pst, .ost files)

Find 'hard deleted' and 'orphaned' items

Export only 'hard deleted' and 'orphaned' items

Create .log file in ExportPath folder


Example 1

cd "C:\Program Files (x86)\PST Walker\"
$PSTFiles = @("c:\a.ost", "c:\b.ost") foreach ($PST in $PSTFiles){ .\pstwalker-cli.exe "$PST" --% -E:pst -SearchQuery:'from:( OR "bobby moore")'-ExportPath:"D:\PST-Exports\" }

This example searches c:\a.ost and c:\b.ost mailboxes for items in which the e-mail address equals OR sender name contains bobby moore. The search results are exported to D:\PST-Exports\a.pst and D:\PST-Exports\b.pst

When running native commands from PowerShell, the arguments are first parsed by PowerShell. Beginning in PowerShell 3.0, you can use the stop-parsing (--%) token to stop PowerShell from interpreting input as PowerShell commands or expressions.

Example 2

Command Prompt
cd C:\Program Files (x86)\PST Walker\
pstwalker-cli.exe c:\users\*.pst -E:eml -ExportPath:"D:\PST-Queries\" -SearchQuery:'subject:"Your bank statement"' -FullScan -HardDeleted

This example searches all .pst files in c:\users folder for messages and hard deleted messages that contain the phrase "Your bank statement" in the subject. The search results are exported as .eml files to D:\PST-Queries\.

Updated on April 10, 2023

Facebook Email

See Also

Sort and group email files and messages

Sort, arrange and group your email files and messages in a way that's helpful to you. For example, group by the name of the sender or the recipient and sort by the date of the email message, its size, and other options.

Recovering emails from an OST file

There are several tools available that can help you recover data from an OST file. They can help you recover important data from your OST file and save it in various file formats for future use.

Recover disappeared Rules and Alerts in Outlook

Find hidden Outlook Rules and Alerts. Create a backup copy of your rules by exporting rules to a .rwz file. Import Rules and Alerts. Supports corrupt, orphan, protected .pst and .ost files.

Recover deleted folder and emails in Outlook

Accidentally and permanently deleted items in Outlook? Stop using Outlook immediately, download a recovery tool, open your mailbox in safe mode, and follow the tool's instructions to recover your deleted items.

Search multiple .pst and .ost files without Outlook

Learn how to search through multiple .pst and .ost files without using Outlook. With Boolean search, built-in search filters, and Instant search, you can easily locate essential emails, contacts, and more within multiple Outlook data files.

Convert .pst and .ost files to Thunderbird (MBOX)

The normal Thunderbird import process requires that you have a compatible version of Outlook installed on your computer. If you do not have Outlook installed, there are alternatives as noted below.

Email Investigations and Digital Forensics

Email messages contain numerous MAPI properties that can be useful for digital forensic analysis of emails. This article explore how to gather and analyze data related to email investigation and forensic analysis.

Boolean Search Syntax

This guide explains boolean search operators, functions and wildcards (AND, OR, NOT, ALL, ATLEASTONE, NEITHER, NOTALL, ?, *)