1.1 Importance of PST Search Tool
A Personal Storage Table (PST) is a file format used to store copies of messages, calendar events, and other items within Microsoft software such as Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Exchange Client, and Windows Messaging. Over time, these files can become quite large and may contain a massive amount of data. Searching through this data manually can be time-consuming and inefficient.
This is where a PST search tool becomes invaluable. These tools are specifically designed to allow users to quickly and accurately search through their PST files. Whether you need to locate a specific email, event or attachment, the right PST search tool can make the task a lot easier.
PST search tool only works with healthy PST files. If your PST file is corrupt, you need to use an Outlook PST repair tool to repair it first. DataNumen Outlook Repair is the best one in the market:
1.2 Objectives of this Comparison
The primary objective of this comparison is to look at different popular PST search tools and provide a comprehensive analysis. This will include brief introductions to each tool, their advantages or pros, and any possible weaknesses or cons.
The goal here is to help you – the user – make an informed decision about which PST search tool is the best for your needs. Different tools may be more suitable for different users depending on various factors such as pricing, interface design, advanced features, and so on. Therefore, in this comparison, we will try to provide as much relevant information about each tool as possible.
2. PSTWalker .pst and .ost Search
The PSTWalker tool is designed to help users navigate, search, and recover data in .pst and .ost files. Open-source and highly user-friendly, this application is able to process data without the need for MS Outlook installation, making it a handy tool for individuals and businesses that operate outside of the MS Outlook platform.
- Independence from MS Outlook: PSTWalker operates without requiring the installation of MS Outlook. This gives users considerable flexibility and means those who don’t use MS Outlook can still handle .pst and .ost files effectively.
- Recovery Capabilities: Beyond its search feature, PSTWalker is beneficial for data recovery, helping users retrieve data from corrupted or inaccessible .pst and .ost files.
- User-friendly interface: PSTWalker has a generally user-friendly and intuitive interface, allowing new users to get up-to-speed quickly and easily.
- Limited Features in Free Version: The free version of PSTWalker is limited in its features. The full set of capabilities is only unlocked in the purchased version, which may be a deterrent for some users.
- Advanced Search Functions: While PSTWalker’s search functionality is competent, it might not satisfy the needs of some users who require more advanced options and finer granular control over their search parameters.
3. Freeviewer PST Viewer Pro
Freeviewer PST Viewer Pro is a tool specifically designed for viewing, searching, analysing, and managing PST files. It gives users comprehensive control capability over their PST files, providing a broad range of functionalities including the ability to view and search data along with various PST management solutions.
- Advanced Search Capabilities: Freeviewer PST Viewer Pro boasts an advanced search function that lets users set a range of search parameters, making it easy to find specific data.
- File Management Features: Beyond its search capabilities, this tool also has a range of management features such as message filtering and PST file conversion which add value to its functionality.
- No Outlook Dependence: Like PSTWalker, it has the advantage of functioning without requiring Outlook to be installed on the system.
- Interface Usability: Some users might find the interface to be less intuitive than other tools, making it more difficult for new users to navigate and maximize its features.
- Cost: While there is a free version available, to access the full spectrum of its capabilities, the Pro version must be purchased, which might not be within everyone’s budget.
4. MyThickSoft FileLocator Pro
MyThickSoft’s FileLocator Pro is a robust and advanced search tool that works not only with PST files, but with a wide range of other file types as well. This versatile tool is known for its speed, detail-oriented searching, and thorough search result reporting.
- Versatility: FileLocator Pro can search a diverse range of file types, not just PST files, making it a more comprehensive tool.
- Efficiency: Tagged as one of the fastest search tools, it allows users to perform complex searches conveniently.
- Detailed Reporting: One of its strongest features is its detailed search result reporting, which is particularly useful for documentation and analysis purposes.
- Not Free: Unlike some other tools, FileLocator Pro does not have a free version. Users must purchase a license to use the software.
- Complex Interface: With its many features, the interface can be quite complex and may intimidate new or less-technical users.
5. 4n6 Software PST File Viewer Wizard
4n6 Software’s PST File Viewer Wizard is designed to search, open and view PST files with ease. It’s a user-friendly tool that allows users to efficiently browse and analyze the contents of PST files, regardless of their size.
- Handling Large Files: The solution performs efficiently even when viewing and searching through large PST files.
- User-friendly: Its simple and intuitive interface makes it easier for novice users to handle their PST files.
- Support for Various Data Types: The application supports various types of data (emails, contacts, calendars, tasks, notes) within PST files.
- Cost: Regardless of its beneficial features, there’s no free version available. Users need to purchase the tool for use.
- Limited Advanced Features: While it handles basic tasks well, it might not satisfy users expecting more comprehensive features or advanced functionalities.
6. GoldFynch’s Free Web Browser-Based PST viewer
GoldFynch’s PST viewer is unique in that it is a web browser-based tool. This frees users from having to download and install a dedicated application. Instead, they can simply access the tool through their web browser and use it to view PST files.
- Browser-Based Tool: Because it’s a web-based tool, it eliminates the need for software installation, making PST viewing more convenient and reducing the burden on system resources.
- Free of Charge: GoldFynch’s PST viewer is available free of cost, which makes it a budget-friendly option for users.
- Secure: GoldFynch employs an advanced security framework that provides robust data protection.
- Internet dependence: As a web-based tool, it requires a stable internet connection to function properly. Any interruption or slowness in the network can diminish the user’s experience.
- Limited sophistication: The browser-based nature of the tool may limit some of its functionalities, compared to standalone software. Users may not find some advanced features they might encounter in downloaded tools.
7. MailsDaddy Free PST Viewer
MailsDaddy Free PST Viewer is a free and easy-to-use tool to view PST files. It offers various features including email viewing, searching, and basic PST file management. It prides itself on its simplicity and user-friendly design.
- Free of Charge: This tool is completely free of cost, making it an excellent option for users with budget constraints.
- User-Friendly: The software has a clean and intuitive interface, which can improve the user’s experience.
- No Outlook Dependence: It can display data from PST files without Outlook needing to be installed on the system.
- Limited Features: While beneficial for basic tasks, MailsDaddy Free PST Viewer lacks some advanced features that other tools offer.
- Performance with Large Files: The performance of the tool may be slowed down when dealing with larger PST files.
8. OST PST Viewer tool to read Outlook PST
The OST PST Viewer is specially designed to provide robust read capabilities for both OST and PST files. A highly versatile tool, it’s developed to efficiently open, view, and examine data without the need for an Outlook installation.
- OST and PST Files Support: It can handle both OST and PST files, offering greater versatility.
- No Outlook Required: As with several other tools, it does not require Outlook to be installed, offering greater flexibility.
- Advanced Viewing Options: The tool provides advanced viewing options allowing users to examine data according to their requirements.
- Higher Learning Curve: Because of its detailed features, it can have a slightly higher learning curve for beginners.
- No Free Version: While it offers a trial version, continued use requires the purchase of the professional version.
9. X1 Search
X1 Search is a comprehensive desktop search tool that not only handles PST files but also covers a wide variety of other formats. Known for its speed and precision, this tool offers both basic and advanced search capabilities in a user-friendly manner.
- Desktop Search Solution: Apart from handling PST files, X1 Search efficiently searches for data in multiple locations on the desktop.
- Speed: It offers fast search speeds and gives quick, precise results enhancing user productivity.
- Support for Multiple File Types: Beyond PST files, it supports a variety of other document formats, increasing its usefulness and versatility.
- Cost: Although it offers a free trial, maintaining use requires the purchasing of the software, which may not be affordable to all users.
- Resource Intensive: As a powerful tool, it’s more resource-intensive than some other options. This could affect PCs with limited resources or slow the users’ machines down.
10. Xobni for Outlook
Xobni for Outlook is a plugin tool that incorporates seamlessly into Microsoft Outlook. It enhances Outlook’s built-in search utility by speeding up the email search process and integrating social connections into your inbox.
- Integration with Microsoft Outlook: The tool integrates with the existing Outlook setup, offering a swift, more efficient search capability within the familiar Outlook interface.
- Social Media Incorporation: Xobni offers the unique feature of incorporating social media connections into Outlook, providing additional context to your communications.
- Free Version Available: A free version of Xobni is available for users who only require basic features.
- Outlook Dependence: Unlike other tools, Xobni requires Outlook to be installed and operational on the system.
- Advanced Features Limited to Pro Version: While the basic version is free of cost, for advanced features or functionality, the paid version is required.
11. Email in Detail – Email Detail Search
Email Detail Search from Email in Detail is a versatile tool used to quickly and reliably search through emails in different formats including PST. With this tool, users can search through a large number of files and emails in a short amount of time.
- Speed: With Email Detail Search, users can perform high-speed searches, allowing for efficient exploration of bulky repositories of files and emails.
- Versatility: The tool can work with numerous file formats, making it a comprehensive solution.
- User-friendly interface: The interface is intuitive and user-friendly, making it easy to navigate and use the tool’s features.
- Cost: The software comes at a cost, and there is no free version available. This could be a limiting factor for users on tight budgets.
- Resource Intensive: Email Detail Search is an intense tool that requires a good bit of system resources to run at its optimum efficiency. Users with less powerful computers might experience performance issues.
12. Encryptomatic PstViewer Pro
Encryptomatic’s PstViewer Pro is a professional tool designed for viewing, searching, and managing Outlook PST files. With this tool, users can perform detailed searches and regulate the display of their emails.
- Robust Search Capabilities: The system has a robust search engine, facilitating precise searches on both small and large Outlook PST files.
- Bulk Operation: It can manage and work on multiple PST files simultaneously, which can enhance productivity.
- Extensive File Support: Not only does it handle PST files, but it also supports several other email file types, thus offering greater versatility.
- Costing: While the software does offer a wide range of features, it comes with a substantial price tag which can be steep for some users.
- Complexity: Given its comprehensive depth of features, it may have a steeper learning curve, specially for non tech-savvy users.
13. CubexSoft Outlook PST Viewer
The CubexSoft Outlook PST Viewer is a comprehensive tool that allows users to access and view PST file data without the need for Outlook. The software can effectively view emails, contacts, calendar items, tasks, and other elements within PST files. It also offers the flexibility to open and read both ANSI and UNICODE PST files.
- Universal compatibility: The software is capable of reading both UNICODE and ANSI PST files, making it universally compatible.
- No Outlook dependency: It does not require MS Outlook installation to view data, which makes it handy for users who don’t have access to Outlook.
- Detailed preview: It offers a detailed preview of all data components within the PST file for more accurate searches.
- Interface complexity: The software interface could be overwhelming for novice users, leading to a more difficult learning curve.
- Limited trial version: The free version of the software offers limited features which may not provide a comprehensive view of its full capabilities.
- No search in attachments: The tool lacks the ability to search within attachments, limiting its effectiveness for comprehensive searches.
14. Corbett PST Viewer Tool
The Corbett PST Viewer Tool is a streamlined software option for those wanting to simply and efficiently view their PST files. Aimed at both professionals and home users, this tool allows for the viewing and managing of PST file elements including emails, contacts, calendar items, and more. With a built-in search function, it makes sifting through large amounts of data an easy task.
- User-friendly Interface: The tool has a simple, easy to navigate interface, reducing the time needed to understand and use it.
- Search Function: It includes a search function which becomes very handy when dealing with large PST files. This feature simplifies the task of finding specific data.
- No Outlook Required: This software is also capable of functioning independently of MS Outlook, providing ease of use for non-Outlook users.
- Limited Preview Capability: The tool’s primary limitation is its limited preview capacity. Certain elements cannot be previewed in detail before full extraction.
- No Attachment Search: Like many of its counterparts, searching within attachments is not a feature that is included in this tool.
- Limited Compatibility: The tool does not support UNICODE PST files, limiting its compatibility with certain Outlook versions.
15. SYSKARE PST File Viewer Tool
The SYSKARE PST File Viewer Tool is designed for users who need to view PST files without having Outlook installed. The tool supports all versions of Outlook PST files and provides a detailed preview of emails, contacts, calendar entries, notes, tasks, and other Outlook items. The tool’s built-in advanced scanning mode also aids in damaged or corrupted PST file recovery.
- Detailed Preview: The tool offers a detailed preview of PST file contents, aiding users in the search and identification of specific data.
- Advanced Scanning: The advanced scanning feature helps in detecting and recovering data from corrupted or damaged PST files, ensuring no data is lost.
- Universal Compatibility: This tool is compatible with all versions of Outlook PST files and does not require Outlook to function.
- Complex User Interface: For novice users, the interface might be a bit complex to navigate and understand, bringing in a possible learning curve.
- No Attachment Search: The tool lacks the ability to search within attachments, a feature that could improve the search experience.
- Limited features in the trial version: The free version of the software only offers limited features, which might not give a complete picture of its capabilities.
16. Mail backup X
Mail Backup X offers a versatile PST viewer tool that not only allows users to view PST files but also to create backups of emails and carry out complex email searches. It does not require Outlook to function and supports different mail clients. The tool’s standout feature is its focus on email backup alongside its PST viewing capabilities, thus providing an all-round tool to manage and back up email and PST files.
- Backup feature: Mail Backup X provides a one-stop solution for viewing PST files and backing up email, making it an efficient tool for Outlook users.
- Support for multiple mail clients: The tool supports various mail clients, not just MS Outlook, expanding its compatibility range.
- Complex Search capabilities: It offers advanced search mechanisms, enabling users to conduct complex searches from large email datasets.
- Price: The tool might be expensive for individual users, or small businesses trying to keep costs low.
- Advanced functionality learning curve: Some users may find learning and managing the advanced functionalities, especially the backup settings, a bit challenging.
- Software bulkiness: Due to the wide range of features it offers, the software might run a bit slower on older systems or systems with lower processing power.
17. PCDOTS PST File Viewer Software
The PCDOTS PST File Viewer is designed for ease of use, allowing individuals and organizations to view large PST files without the need for Outlook installation. Able to read both ANSI and UNICODE PST files, this viewer presents a simplified UI and easy access to browse, view, and search through emails, contacts, calendars, and other Outlook items.
- User-friendly Interface: PCDOTS offers a simplistic and clean interface that’s easy to navigate and understand, even for non-tech savvies.
- Reads Both PST Versions: It’s capable of reading both UNICODE PST and ANSI PST files which includes all versions of Outlook data files.
- Free to Use: Unlike most PST viewers, PCDOTS PST Viewer is free for both personal and corporate use, making it a cost-effective solution.
- Limited Functionality: While it does an excellent job as a viewer, it lacks advanced functions like detailed search or data recovery.
- No Attachment Search: There is no provision to search within attachments, limiting its search capabilities somewhat.
- Requires Manual Updates: The software does not support automatic updates; hence it needs to be manually updated which could be inconvenient for non-technical users.
18. DotStella PST File Viewer
DotStella PST File Viewer offers a straightforward solution for viewing and managing PST files. It enables users to view contents such as emails, contacts, calendar items, and more, all without the need for Outlook. This tool is designed with an easy-to-use interface, making it user-friendly even for those with limited technical knowledge.
- Intuitive Interface: One of the highlights of the DotStella PST Viewer is its easy-to-navigate and user-friendly interface, ideal for users with varying technical knowledge.
- No Outlook Dependency: The software does not require Outlook to function, allowing users to view PST files even without the email client installed.
- Support for Large Files: The tool can handle large PST files, providing a robust and reliable solution for large-scale entreprises.
- Limited Search Capability: The search capabilities of the DotStella PST Viewer are somewhat limited, particularly when compared to other tools in the market.
- Lack of Recovery Features: Unlike some competitive tools, DotStella does not offer any features to recover corrupted or damaged PST files.
- No Attachment Search: This tool lacks the ability to search within attachments, meaning users may not be able to find specific information contained in attached files.
19. SysTools PST Viewer Pro Tool
SysTools PST Viewer Pro is a comprehensive tool designed for viewing and managing Outlook PST files. The tool demonstrates robust features such as advanced searching, extraction of data, and the ability to handle large files. The Pro version also allows for exporting emails to PDF format, further enhancing its functionality.
- Advanced Search: The tool incorporates an advanced search feature that makes it easy to locate specific information within the PST files.
- Data Extraction: Users can extract and save data from the PST file to another file format, offering an additional layer of flexibility.
- Email to PDF Export: Unique to this tool is the ability to export emails directly to PDF format, making sharing of information easier and more efficient.
- License Cost: The cost of the Pro version could be a barrier for some users, especially those looking for budget-friendly options.
- Complicated User Interface: Users may find the interface a bit complex to navigate due to the abundance of features, particularly for less tech-savvy individuals.
- Limited Free Version: The free version of the tool lacks many of the advanced features that come with the Pro version.
20. Kernel Outlook PST Viewer Free
Kernel Outlook PST Viewer Free is a tool aimed at providing a no-cost solution for viewing PST files. It offers users the necessary features to manage and view emails, calendar items, contacts, and other Outlook data. Its ability to open both healthy and corrupted PST files sets it apart from many of its competitors.
- Cost-Free Solution: As a free tool, it offers a budget-friendly solution for users who need to view PST files without the need for advanced features.
- Views Corrupted Files: The tool can view data from both healthy and corrupted PST files, a feature absent in many PST viewer tools.
- Simple Interface: It comes with a straightforward and easy-to-use interface, suitable for both novice and professional users.
- Limited Functionality: Being a free tool, it lacks some advanced features found in paid options, such as advanced search features, recovery of corrupted files, and export options.
- No Attachment Search: The tool doesn’t have the ability to search within attachments, creating potential hurdles for users needing comprehensive search results.
- Slow with Large Files: Performance tends to lag when dealing with larger PST files, which can sometimes lead to slower search results.
21.1 Overall Comparison Table
|Ease of Use
|PSTWalker .pst and .ost Search
|Independence from MS Outlook, Recovery Capabilities
|Limited Free Version
|Freeviewer PST Viewer Pro
|Advanced Search Capabilities, File Management Features
|Interface Usability Moderate
|Free and Paid Versions
|MyThickSoft FileLocator Pro
|Versatility, Efficiency, Detailed Reporting
|4n6 Software PST File Viewer Wizard
|Handling Large Files, Support for Various Data Types
|GoldFynch’s Free Web Browser-Based PST viewer
|Browser-Based Tool, Secure
|MailsDaddy Free PST Viewer
|No Outlook Dependence
|OST PST Viewer tool to read Outlook PST
|OST and PST Files Support, Advanced Viewing Options
|Higher Learning Curve
|Free Trial Available
|Desktop Search Solution, Support for Multiple File Types
|Free Trial Available
|Xobni for Outlook
|Integration with Microsoft Outlook, Social Media Incorporation
|Free Basic Version
|Email in Detail – Email Detail Search
|Encryptomatic PstViewer Pro
|Robust Search Capabilities, Bulk Operation, Extensive File Support
|CubexSoft Outlook PST Viewer
|UNICODE and ANSI PST support, Detailed preview, No Outlook needed
|Corbett PST Viewer Tool
|Search Function, No Outlook required, User-friendly
|SYSKARE PST File Viewer Tool
|Detailed preview, Advanced scanning, No Outlook needed
|Mail backup X
|Email backup, Multiple clients support, Advanced search
|PCDOTS PST File Viewer Software
|Simple interface, UNICODE and ANSI support, Free
|DotStella PST File Viewer
|Intuitive interface, No Outlook needed, Large files support
|SysTools PST Viewer Pro Tool
|Advanced search, Data extraction, Email to PDF Export
|Kernel Outlook PST Viewer Free
|Free, Supports Corrupted Files, Simple Interface
21.2 Recommended Tool Based on Various Needs
For ease of use and affordability, the MailsDaddy Free PST Viewer makes for a solid choice. If searching a wide range of file types are needed, the MyThickSoft FileLocator Pro and X1 Search are potent solutions though they come at a cost. The PSTWalker shines in terms of recovery abilities and independence from MS Outlook. Those who need to handle large files could consider the 4n6 Software PST File Viewer Wizard, while users needing browser-accessible PST viewing can opt for the GoldFynch PST viewer. For advanced viewing options with OST file compatibility, the OST PST Viewer also stands out, albeit it comes with a learning curve.
Each PST search tool comes with its own set of features and benefits, as well as potential drawbacks. The choice of a PST search tool ultimately depends on individual user needs, budget constraints, and comfortability with the user interface.
For users frequently handling large PST files, tools that perform well with high volumes of data are necessary. Those who are concerned about cost may benefit from the many free or low-cost tools available, and for those with limited technical abilities, consider tools with intuitive, user-friendly interfaces. It’s crucial to remember that efficiency, speed, and accuracy can greatly enhance productivity and help you get the most out of your chosen PST search tool. Always keep your specific requirements in mind when choosing the right PST search tool.
Vera Chen is a data recovery expert in DataNumen, which provides a wide range of products, including Excel file recovery product.