BlogMike Klökler4 min read

How to Search Outlook PST archives with Curiosity

How to Search Outlook PST archives with Curiosity

You can quickly open and search Outlook archives with Curiosity. If you don’t want to install new software, you can also do it with Outlook (more slowly).

Your mailbox has reached its maximum size limit

If you work in a large company, you probably know this dreaded message: Your mailbox has reached its maximum size limit at which you cannot send or receive any more content.

That means you have to delete emails (yikes!) or archive some on your computer. Outlook archives have the extension .PST and there are great tutorials to help you create one.

But how do you open a PST archive if you need to find an email later? You can use Curiosity or Outlook, and this post will show you how. Let’s jump right in!

How to open a PST archive with Curiosity

Add email archive to Curiosity

Opening and searching a PST archive with Curiosity is easy (user guide).

  1. Download and install Curiosity

  2. Select Apps & Files

  3. Select Outlook Archive and Select File

  4. Navigate to the archive file you want to connect and select Open

  5. Close the window

Your archive will appear as a space in the left menu and you can search and open all your emails and attachments. 🎉

Use the filters in the search bar to narrow down your search, e.g. to focus on a specific time or file type.

You don’t need to worry about anybody seeing your emails because all your data stays on your computer.

How to open a PST archive with Outlook

In case you don’t want to install new software, you can also open PST files with Outlook. Here’s how.

Import PST file

To open a PST file with Outlook, you need to import it.

  1. Open Outlook and open the File menu in the top ribbon (on the left). In the left menu, select Open & Export and click the Import/Export box.

Opening a PST file in Outlook

  1. In the “Import and Export Wizard” that opens, select Import from another program or file and click Next.

Import from another program or file

  1. Select Outlook Data File (.pst) and click Next.

Outlook Data File

  1. Select Browse, navigate to your PST file, and select Open. Before you select browse, you can decide whether you want to import duplicate items (usually we recommend replacing duplicates, as shown here).

Browse to your PST file

  1. Choose which folder you want to import to. You can choose (a) the folder you currently have selected or (b) the top-level email folder. Select Finish.

Select where to import your PST file

  1. Outlook will now start indexing your PST file. Indexing means “making it searchable” and you might as well go make coffee. Or have a nap or something. Seriously, this can take a very long time.

How long depends on the size of your PST file the power of your computer. If your PST is several GB and you have an old machine, it can take hours (I hope not!).

Search for the email… and remove the PST file from Outlook

When Outlook is finished indexing your PST file, it will appear as an email folder in the left hand bar. You can search it using the Outlook search bar.

After you’ve found what you’re looking for, I recommend removing the PST because it can make your Outlook slow (especially if it’s several GB).

You remove the PST archive by right-clicking on the archive folder name and selecting Close [Archive Name].

I hope this was useful for you — let me know in the comments if you have any questions or suggestions! Happy searching. 🔍

To try Curiosity for free, download it at Follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn to hear first about new features.

Try Curiosity today

Download for free

Keep in touch

Sign up for updates, productivity tips and new features, and offers.
Unsubscribe any time.

Privacy policy | Terms of Service | Blog | Docs