How to Open PST Files Using Google Chrome

01 May 2022 by Ross eDiscovery PST Chrome

Takeaway: Add the ‘GoldFynch PST Viewer’ plugin to your Google Chrome browser (via Chrome’s Web Store) to open PST files for free. And for more advanced PST review tools, upgrade to GoldFynch’s eDiscovery service for an affordable monthly fee.

Opening PST and OST files can sometimes be frustrating.

Microsoft created the PST (Personal Storage Table) file type to package data (emails, attachments, calendar events, etc.) from their Outlook email client. PSTs work great when you have an active internet connection, and their sister OSTs (Offline Storage Tables) can fill in for when you’re offline. (Learn more about PSTs and OSTs.) Unfortunately, PSTs and OSTs have become a liability nowadays. For example, they’re designed to work on only one device at a time, so they get corrupted if two people try opening them simultaneously. (Not ideal in our current Cloud-driven business world.) But most annoyingly, PSTs are locked into the Microsoft ecosystem, so it’s difficult to open them without Outlook.

Here’s where a Google Chrome ‘PST Viewer’ plugin can help. Available for free at the Google Web Store.

GoldFynch’s free PST Viewer plugin lets you open PSTs and OSTs using only your Chrome browser. Just go to GoldFynch’s Chrome Web Store page to instantly add the plugin. No need to sign up or download any software. The plugin attaches itself to Chrome, the same as other plugins like Google Calendar, Lastpass, and Grammarly. And it comes with a bunch of advantages.

1. You’re not uploading anything, so you stay in control.

It’s an unnecessary commitment if you have to upload your PSTs/OSTs just to have a quick peek at their contents. But you also don’t want to have to download and install any software. So GoldFynch simplifies things by sitting in your Chrome browser (i.e., not in the Cloud or on your computer). You’ll use Chrome to choose PSTs to open, and GoldFynch’s javascript code will read and analyze whatever you ask it to. If you want to change the plugin’s settings, Chrome can also store those changes. Remember, you (and Chrome) stay in control.

2. Chrome acts as a buffer, so you’re not exposed to malware.

Free applications sometimes come bundled with malware like viruses, adware, spyware, and more. The software’s End User License Agreement (EULA) usually outlines everything you’re agreeing to install, but not always. GoldFynch eliminates this risk since everything is run via Chrome. The trusted Chrome Web Store filters out malware threats, so you know that nothing malicious will get onto your computer.

3. The plugin opens PSTs/OSTs without changing any metadata.

Each PST/OST comes with a bunch of external data attached to it. Data like who created it, when they created it, when it was last opened, etc. This type of contextual data is called ‘metadata,’ and it acts like a virtual footprint tracking a PST’s history. But metadata gets altered quite easily. For example, you’ll change a PST’s ‘last opened’ metadata entry if you open it in a third-party viewer. Here’s where GoldFynch’s Viewer is different because it only skims the surface of your PSTs/OSTs, not going deep enough to change metadata. So, you’ll still have access to raw data like a file’s MAPI [Messaging Application Program Interface] properties.

4. Your PSTs open instantly because they don’t need to be ‘processed.’

Some third-party apps ‘process’ your PSTs so that you can do more advanced email reviews. This processing involves plugging PST data into behind-the-scenes databases, making it easier for a search engine to find keywords and topics. But data processing takes time, which means your PSTs open slower. So, the GoldFynch plugin does a ‘quick open’ of PSTs, letting you start exploring immediately.

GoldFynch can process your PSTs/OSTs for more heavy-duty work, though.

The GoldFynch plugin is great for a quick look at your PSTs. But if you want to do more than just skim through your email archive, consider using GoldFynch’s web-based eDiscovery service. You still won’t be downloading any software, but you’ll sign in to GoldFynch’s suite of online review tools. That way, you’ll be able to search your emails for keywords, tag similar emails/PSTs (so they’re easier to find), redact sensitive information, and leave notes, annotations, and comments for your team. Plus, you’ll be able to produce your PSTs in their native formats, or as PDFs/TIFFs. And remember, GoldFynch handles all file types – not just PSTs/OSTs – so you can work with PDFs, Word documents, spreadsheets, and more.

Crucially, all these tools are affordable and easy to use.

GoldFynch’s online eDiscovery service makes data review simple, intuitive, and surprisingly affordable.

  • It costs just $27 a month for a 3 GB case: That’s significantly less than most comparable software. With GoldFynch, you know what you’re paying for exactly – its pricing is simple and readily available on the website.
  • It’s easy to budget for. GoldFynch charges only for storage (processing files is free). So, choose from a range of plans (3 GB to 150+ GB) and know up-front how much you’ll be paying. You can upload and cull as much data as you want, as long as you stay below your storage limit. And even if you do cross the limit, you can upgrade your plan with just a few clicks. Also, billing is prorated – so you’ll pay only for the time you spend on any given plan. With legacy software, pricing is much less predictable.
  • It takes just minutes to get going. GoldFynch runs in the Cloud, so you use it through your web browser (Google Chrome recommended). No installation. No sales calls or emails. Plus, you get a free trial case (0.5 GB of data and a processing cap of 1 GB) without adding a credit card.
  • It’s simple to use. Many eDiscovery applications take hours to master. GoldFynch takes minutes. It handles a lot of complex processing in the background, but what you see is minimal and intuitive. Just drag-and-drop your files into GoldFynch, and you’re good to go. Plus, you get prompt and reliable tech support.
  • Access it from anywhere, and 24/7. All your files are backed up and secure in the Cloud.

Want to find out more about GoldFynch?