.PF File Recovery

Have files been deleted due to a user’s error or software error? Have you formatted a disk by accident and need to know how to recover the files? Read our .PF file recovery guide for Windows, MacOS, Android and IOS in 2024.

PF File Recovery

What is a .PF file?

A PF file is a password-protected file compressed and encrypted by Stuffit Deluxe, a popular file compression and expansion utility. It is similar to a .SIT file, but requires a password to decrypt and decompress. PF files are often used for archiving confidential or personal data.

What Are Common Causes of ".PF" Files Lost or Failure?

There are several common causes of ".PF" files lost or failure:

  1. Accidental deletion: Users may accidentally delete ".PF" files while trying to clean up their system or free up storage space.
  2. Software or hardware issues: System crashes, software bugs, or hardware failures can lead to the corruption or loss of ".PF" files.
  3. Virus or malware attacks: Malicious software can infect and damage ".PF" files, rendering them inaccessible or causing them to be deleted.
  4. Improper shutdown: Power outages or improper system shutdowns can interrupt the saving or loading process of ".PF" files, resulting in corruption or loss.
  5. Disk errors: Bad sectors on the hard drive or other disk errors can cause ".PF" files to become unreadable or get deleted.
  6. File system issues: File system corruption or errors can prevent the operating system from accessing or recognizing ".PF" files.
  7. Software conflicts: Incompatible software or conflicts between different software programs can lead to the corruption or loss of ".PF" files.
  8. Human error: Human mistakes, such as accidental formatting of the wrong drive or improper handling of files, can result in the loss of ".PF" files.

It is important to regularly back up important ".PF" files to prevent permanent loss and use reliable data recovery software or services in case of accidental deletion or file corruption.

How to recover lost ".PF" files?

Sometimes while working with a computer, laptop or other stationary or mobile devices, you may encounter various bugs, freezes, hardware or software failures, even in spite of regular updates and junk cleaning. As a result, an important ".PF" file may be deleted.

Go to view
🧺 How to Recover Files and Folders After Sending Them to the Recycle Bin and Deleting? (Windows 11)

🧺 How to Recover Files and Folders After Sending Them to the Recycle Bin and Deleting? (Windows 11)

By no means should you think that the only way to recover a ".PF" file is always to create it once more.

Use programs for recovering ".PF" files if a file was lost after accidental or deliberate deleting, formatting the memory card or the internal storage, cleaning the storage device, after a virus attack or a system failure.

Programs to recover ".PF" files

Looking for a way to get files back? In cases when files were deleted and they cannot be restored by using standard operating system tools, use Hetman Partition Recovery.

The tool recovers data from any devices, regardless of the cause of data loss.

Follow the directions below:

  1. Download Hetman Partition Recovery, install and start the program.

  2. The program will automatically scan the computer and display all hard disks and removable drives connected to it, as well as physical and local disks.

    File Recovery Software
  3. Double-click on the disk from which you need to recover ".PF" files, and select analysis type.

    Hetman Partition Recovery - Analysis Type
  4. When the scanning is over, you will be shown the files for recovery.

    Hetman Partition Recovery - Files that Can be Restored
  5. To find a file you need, use the program’s interface to open the folder it was deleted from, or go to the folder "Content-Aware Analysis" and select the required file type.

    Hetman Partition Recovery - Deep Scan
  6. Select the files you have been looking for and click "Recovery".

    File Recovery Software - Files List for Recovery
  7. Choose one of the methods for saving the files and recover them.

    Saving recovered files in Hetman Partition Recovery

How to open file with ".PF" extension?

Looking for how to open a stereo private File image file file?

Programs that open ".PF" files

Smith Micro StuffIt Deluxe for Windows Smith Micro StuffIt Deluxe for Windows
Smith Micro StuffIt Deluxe 16 Smith Micro StuffIt Deluxe 16

Additional Information

  • File type: Private File

  • File extension: .PF

  • Developer: Smith Micro

  • Category: Compressed Files

  • Format: N/A

  • HEX: 17 00 00 00 53 43 43 41


  • File types that use the extension .PF:

    • Private File

    • Windows Prefetcher File


We will be happy to answer your questions!

Comments (1)

  • Hetman Software: Data Recovery
    Hetman Software: Data Recovery 18.12.2019 11:48 #
    Leave a comment if you have any questions about Recovering lost .PF files after deleting, cleaning or formatting!
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Vladimir Artiukh

Author: Vladimir Artiukh, Technical Writer

Vladimir Artiukh is a technical writer for Hetman Software, as well as the voice and face of their English-speaking YouTube channel, Hetman Software: Data Recovery for Windows. He handles tutorials, how-tos, and detailed reviews on how the company’s tools work with all kinds of data storage devices.

Oleg Afonin

Editor: Oleg Afonin, Technical Writer

Oleg Afonin is an expert in mobile forensics, data recovery and computer systems. He often attends large data security conferences, and writes several blogs for such resources as xaker.ru, Elcomsoft and Habr. In addition to his online activities, Oleg’s articles are also published in professional magazines. Also, Oleg Afonin is the co-author of a well-known book, Mobile Forensics - Advanced Investigative Strategies.


Questions and answers

  • What is a ".PF backup" file and how is it created?

    A ".PF backup" file is a backup file created by the Microsoft Outlook email client to store a copy of the user's personal folder data.

    Outlook uses Personal Folders (.PST) files to store emails, contacts, calendar items, and other data. When you create a backup of your Outlook data, it is saved as a ".PF backup" file.

    To create a ".PF backup" file in Outlook, you can follow these steps:

    1. Open Microsoft Outlook.
    2. Click on the "File" tab in the top-left corner.
    3. Select "Open & Export" and then click on "Import/Export".
    4. In the Import and Export Wizard, choose "Export to a file" and click "Next".
    5. Select "Outlook Data File (.pst)" and click "Next".
    6. Choose the folders you want to backup (e.g., Inbox, Sent Items, Contacts, etc.).
    7. Specify a location and filename for the backup file (e.g., backup.pf).
    8. Click "Finish" to start the backup process.
    9. Enter a password if you want to secure the backup file (optional).
    10. Wait for Outlook to export your data and create the backup file.

    Once the backup is created, you can use it to restore your Outlook data or transfer it to another computer if needed.

  • How can I restore a ".PF backup" file to its original format or use its contents?

    A ".PF backup" file is typically associated with Microsoft Outlook Personal Folder backup. To restore or use the contents of a ".PF backup" file, you can follow these steps:

    1. Open Microsoft Outlook on your computer.
    2. Go to the "File" tab in the top-left corner.
    3. Select "Open & Export" and then choose "Import/Export".
    4. In the Import and Export Wizard, select "Import from another program or file" and click "Next".
    5. Choose "Outlook Data File (.pst)" and click "Next".
    6. Click on the "Browse" button and locate the ".PF backup" file on your computer.
    7. Select the file and click "Open" to return to the Import and Export Wizard.
    8. Choose the desired options for importing, such as whether to import the file into your existing Outlook folders or create a new one.
    9. Click "Finish" to initiate the import process.

    Once the import process is complete, the contents of the ".PF backup" file should be restored in your Outlook application. You can access the restored data by navigating through your Outlook folders and viewing the corresponding items (emails, contacts, calendar events, etc.).

    Note: If the ".PF backup" file is not associated with Microsoft Outlook or if the above steps do not work, please provide more details about the specific file format or application you are referring to for further assistance.

  • Are there any specific software programs or tools that are commonly used to manage or open ".PF backup" files?

    There is no specific software program or tool that is commonly used to manage or open ".PF backup" files as it depends on the context and the origin of the files. ".PF backup" files could refer to various types of backups created by different software or systems.

    To determine the appropriate software or tool to manage or open ".PF backup" files, you need to identify the software or system that created the backups. Once you know the origin, you can search for the corresponding software or tool that is designed to handle those specific backups.

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