How to repair corrupt or damaged Outlook PST files?

Sunil Sharma
Sunil Sharma

Updated On - April 3, 2024

Summary: Microsoft Outlook is used by almost every organization for handling email communications. Outlook stores confidential and crucial data of these emails in a PST file. This blog revolves around the common reasons for PST file corruption and their solutions. In addition, we will look at an expert-recommended tool, Recoveryfix for Outlook PST Repair.

There is no better program than MS Outlook for managing emails and contacts, organizing events, scheduling tasks, and keeping notes. That is why organizations as well as individual users across the world, rely on this Microsoft program for their email communication requirements. Outlook makes use of PST(Personal Storage Table) files to store copies of messages, calendar events, and other items as a backup.

However, these PST files are prone to corruption as well. Under such a scenario, immediate and reliable solutions are crucial to implement. In this blog, you will understand the most effective ways to repair a corrupted or damaged PST file. The corruption may happen for several reasons. The most common ones are listed below.

Common reasons of PST corruption in MS Outlook

Outlook Data File (PST) is vulnerable to corruption due to various reasons such as:

  • PST size limitation errors
  • Exceeding storage space
  • Sudden termination of Outlook program
  • System corruption
  • Virus attacks

Having an understanding of these issues might help with prevention. But circumstances may arise at times, and you might face corruption, so let’s discuss how to deal with it.

Recommended Solution
Try Recoveryfix for Outlook PST Repair tool to repair corrupt large sized PST files and save to new PST, DBX, MSG, & EML file.
Methods to repair corrupt PST files

Here, in this section, we will discuss different methods to help you repair corrupt or damaged PST files with ease. You will be learning a few manual and free methods to fix the issue. Also, for a more robust and quick solution, we will see how to solve the issue with Recoveryfix tool.

Method 1: Use the Inbox Repair tool (Scanpst.exe) to solve PST corruption issues

Scanpst.exe is an inbuilt PST repair tool by MS Outlook. It can be easily searched and accessed, this inbuilt utility diagnoses and repairs the corruption in a PST file. Follow the steps given below to run the Inbox Repair tool on corrupt PST:

  1. Locate and execute Scanpst.exe.
    Location of the Inbox Repair tool (Scanpst.exe)
    Windows 32 bit Windows 64 bit

    Outlook 2016/2019/Office 365

    <\Program
    Files\Microsoft Office \root\office16

    <\Program
    Files(x86)\Microsoft Office \root\office16

    Outlook 2013

    <disk drive>\Program
    Files\Microsoft Office 15\root\office15

    <disk drive>\Program
    Files(x86)\Microsoft Office 15\root\office15

    Outlook 2010

    <disk drive>:\Program
    Files\Microsoft Office\Office14

    <disk drive>:\Program
    Files\Microsoft Office(x86)\Office14

    Outlook 2007

    <disk drive>:\Program
    Files\Microsoft Office\Office12

    <disk drive>:\Program
    Files(x86)\Microsoft Office\Office12

  2. Browse and select the corrupt PST file. Click Start, and wait till process is finished.select the corrupt PST file
  3. Choose if you want a backup or not and specify a location for it. Then, click Repairclick Repair
  4. Click OK to complete the repair process.Click OK
Method 2. Recover from the Lost&Found folder.

If some folders are empty after the repair, then those files can be found in the Lost & Found folder in Outlook. After repairing the PST file with Scanpst.exe, every recovered file and folder are available in Lost & Found folder in folder pane. Users can create a new PST file and drag the folders from the folder to the new file.

  1. Open Outlook, then, click File > Account Settings > Account Settings.Account Settings
  2. Select the Data Files tab. Click Add.Click Add
  3. Click OK to generate new PST file.Click OK
  4. Select the files from the Lost & Found folders and drag them into the new PST file(will be available on left pane).
Method 3: Using the backup file

Sometimes, files are missing even from the Lost & Found folder. In this scenario, user can restore these files from the PST backup file created in method 1.

  1. Locate the backup file. It would be available at the same location specified in method 1. It would be a file with a .bak extension.
  2. Copy and paste it in another location. Change the pasted file extension from .bak to .pst.
  3. Note: If you can’t view the extension, click View in the folder window menu. Check the File name extensions option.

  4. Open Outlook, click Files > Open & Export > Import/Export.
  5. Select Import from another program or file. Click Next.
  6. Select Outlook Data File(.pst). Click Next.
  7. Browse the newly created PST file. Select Do not import duplicates. Click Next.
  8. Tick Include subfolders. Select Import folders into the same folder option. Choose an account to start importing.
Method 4. Importing data in a new PST file

Sometimes user cannot access certain items. In this case, moving the data to a new PST file may solve the problem.

  1. Create a new PST file. Follow Steps 1,2, and 3 in method 2 to create one. The newly created PST file will be shown on left side pane
  2. Open the PST file from which you want to move data.
  3. Select all emails and drag them to the newly created PST file.
  4. Verify if you can access all the mails normally.
Method 5. Access Outlook in safe mode

If Outlook is not behaving normally, then it’s not necessary the problem lies in PST file. Outlook itself could be the culprit. To know it for sure, try opening Outlook in safe mode. For that, open Run dialog with Win key + R. Type Outlook.exe/safe, and click OK.

Note: If Windows can’t find Outlook.exe /safe, try using the full path. Like C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\Officexx, replace xx with office version(10,13,16) number.

 Access Outlook in safe mode

If Outlook opens and you can access all email data like regular, then PST file is not at. It’s best to export this PST file. Later, create new profile and import this PST file there.

Method 6. Using Recoveryfix for Outlook PST Repair

Above mentioned methods will help you with minor issues only. Also, you might have to repeat methods like Scanpst.exe multiple times to repair file. 100% data restoration might not be possible with the manual methods. Therefore, large PST files with severe issues will require a professional tool like Recoveryfix for Outlook PST Repair.

Download Now

Features of the PST Repair Tool

  • It uses an advanced algorithm to recover 100% of data with complete integrity.
  • It features a user-friendly user interface for accessibility.
  • Optimised to provide quick and reliable results.

Steps to recover corrupt or damaged Outlook PST files are as follows:

  1. Launch Recoveryfix Outlook PST Repair tool.
  2. Click Browse to select corrupt or damaged PST file, select Standard mode as the file recovery mode.
    Click Browse to select corrupt or damaged PST file
  3. Note: For badly corrupt or damaged Outlook PST File(s), choose Advanced Mode and click Next.

  4. Upon PST file scan completion, all the mailbox info will pop on-screen in distinct sections:
  5. File Tree: In this section, all the parent folders are arranged in a tree structure.
    Folder Content: This area displays what’s inside of each folder.
    Preview Pane: By clicking on the mail item or attachment, a preview will be shown in this section.

    By clicking on the mail item or attachment, a preview will be shown in this section.

  6. Checkmark all or some specific folders (1) you want to recover and click Save (2).
  7. some specific folders you want to recover and click Save

  8. Select Save in Outlook (1) and select Save in PST (2). Browse file saving location (3) and click Ok (4).
  9. Select Save in Outlook (1) and select Save in PST (2). Browse file saving location (3) and click Ok (4).

    Note: Here, you can save the file in MSG format. Also, you can save the file in Outlook Express format.

  10. Wait for the process to complete.
  11. Wait for the process to complete.

    Note: If something goes wrong or you want to adjust some settings before final PST file recovery, click Stop.

  12. Thus, PST file is repaired & recovered successfully; click Ok.
  13. PST is file repaired & recovered successfully; click Ok.

    Conclusion

    PST files with minor issues can be repaired with the manual methods discussed above. In case those methods fail, users can go with the automated advanced method. To restore data from a majorly corrupted large PST file, experts recommend using Recoveryfix for Outlook PST Repair. It provides a swift and accessible procedure to export data with 100% integrity and data retention safely.

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