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Understanding How PST Enterprise Determines the PST Owner

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This article refers to the Barracuda PST Enterprise version 2.2 or higher.

You can automatically determine the PST owner by analyzing its data using the Determine Ownership feature which utilizes four separate algorithms. Each algorithm has a different confidence factor in the determined owner.


  1. Found Connected – If the PST is found open in a user's Outlook profile, that user is assigned as owner (confidence factor = 100 percent)

  2. All Sent – iI the PST has a Sent Items folder, and all items in the folder were sent by one user, that user is assigned as owner (confidence factor = 95 percent)
  3. Received By – If the Exchange/PST emails have a received by property and all messages in the PST have the same user in that property, then that user is assigned as owner (confidence factor = 90 percent)
  4. Recipient Count – Every message in the PST is reviewed and recipients are counted; the user to whom the most messages were sent (or CC or BCC) is assigned as owner (confidence factor = 90 percent, 70 percent, or 50 percent based on the ratio of most prominent recipient to the next most prominent recipient)

The Found Connected algorithm is used only when looking in Outlook mode, i.e., by examining which PSTs are loaded into the currently open Outlook Profile. All Sent, Received By, and Recipient Count are used (in that order) when looking in File System mode, i.e., by examining which PSTs are on the file system, using the first one that matches.


There are four scenarios under which ownership cannot be determined:

  1. The PST is completely empty.
  2. The PST contains only non-mail items, e.g., Contact or Appointment, which have no recipient data.
  3. The PST contains data that is mostly for an external account, e.g., a user’s gmail data.
  4. The PST cannot be opened, e.g., it is uncoupled and password protected, or is corrupt.


It is possible that a PST be examined and the owner determined as an external non-Exchange) user. For example, if a user had a PST containing all of their gmail data. In this case, the determined owner is listed as [External] and the name or SMTP email address of the owner:

  • [External] John Doe
  • [External]



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