Michal Bednarz of CodeTwo software discovered this simple method for removing ghost pst's from a profile when his free utility, CodeTwo PST Ghostbuster doesn't remove them.
- Close Outlook.
- Go to the folder where the pst is stored:
C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook (Windows XP)
and make a copy of the Outlook.pst file. The file should be copied to the same folder. (Select the PST, press Ctrl+C to copy, Ctrl+V to paste)
- Rename the original file to Outlook1.pst and the other one to Outlook2.pst.
- Restart Outlook.
- Since Outlook cannot find the PST file, it displays a message box asking you to choose which PST file it should use. Select the Outlook1.pst file.
- Outlook will again display the same message box for the ghost PST. This time select the Outlook2.pst file.
- Outlook will start and you will see two PST stores in the profile as usual.
- Right click on the second PST and the Close command should now be active so you can remove it from the profile.
- Close and start Outlook again. If everything is all right and the second PST file didn't appear again in the profile, you can delete the Outlook2.pst file from your disk.
If this does not work, you can follow the instructions in Delete Ghost PSTs to delete it from the registry if you want to avoid making a new profile. If that method fails you'll need a new profile.
Note that ghosts often indicate corruption in the profile and you may have other issues until you create a profile, but these methods will take care of the immediate annoyance until you have time to redo the profile.
Published May 14, 2011. Last reviewed on July 28, 2014.