Repair Outlook PST with Inbox Repair Tool

Barclay Tcareva
Barclay Tcareva

Updated On - January 25, 2022

Are you embarrassed on seeing a message of the kind “Cannot open the Outlook window. The set of folders cannot be opened. Errors have been detected in the file…..,” while attempting to open your Outlook Data File (OST or PST)? Probably your Outlook Data File is facing some problem. An inbuilt Microsoft tool, Scanpst.exe is there for your help now.

What does the Inbox Repair Tool do?

Scanpst.exe, commonly known as Inbox Repair Tool, is a first aid tool to diagnose and repair errors related to Outlook Data files.

  • It analyses directory structure of Personal Folders (PST) file and item headers to recover PST folders and items.
  • It validates and corrects errors in the internal data structure of the PST file.
  • It creates a backup copy of the PST before attempting to repair it.
  • It recovers PST files after repairing them to the possible extend.
  • It tries to change any .pst file (even renamed files) to a mountable PST file.

How does the Inbox Repair Tool work?

The Inbox Repair Tool checks and repairs various structures (BTrees and reference counts) of the corrupt PST file. It removes the block of a structure or table when it is corrupt or unreadable and enters it in the ScanPST log file. It checks folders the PST to ensure that correct tables are associated with the folder, and message; it also ensures that subfolder exists in the system (it is done by checking the rows of the table). The Inbox Repair Tool tries to validate every message or the folder, but treats them as corrupt when it fails to validate them. Corrupt messages are removed from the table and deleted from the database. When it does not find the message or the subfolder to perform validation, the tool removes the row from the table. When the validation is success, it double checks the recovered message values with that in the table; the corrupt folders are recreated, but without filling with user data. The Inbox Repair Tool performs basic validation on messages too, but not on body related or subject related properties.

Locate PST Files

While repairing the PST file using the Inbox Repair Tool, it is necessary to find a missing folder in Outlook.

  1. Open Outlook 2010/2013 and click the File tab on the ribbon; click the Info tab on the menu.
  2. Click the Account Settings tab.
  3. Again click Account Settings.
  4. Click Data Files tab and note the path of the PST file.

Locate the Inbox Repair Tool?

The Inbox Repair Tool is installed along with most versions of MS Outlook, but is not available for download from any Microsoft site. Its location varies according to the Windows version. It is easier to find it by entering scanpst.exe in the Search / Find box of the Windows Start menu. If you fail to find it by this method, you have to look for the installation folder using Windows Explorer (Start>All Programs>Accessories>Windows Explorer). Depending on your Windows and Outlook versions, the location of Inbox Repair Tool varies. Its location for Outlook 2013 and 2010 are given below:

Outlook 2013

  • <disk drive>\Program Files\Microsoft Office 15\root\office15
  • <disk drive>:\Program Files\Common Files\System\Mapi/MSMAPI\1033\

Outlook 2010

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

Note:- Scanpst.exe is a hidden file. So enable Show hidden files and folders settings on your computer before searching for it (steps are given below).

  • Go to Start and type Folder Options / Control Folders; click OK.

(For Vista, right click on Control Folders and click Run as administrator, double-click Folder Options)

  • Click the View tab
  • Select Show hidden files and folders under Hidden files and folders, and click OK.

Repair Corrupt PST Files Using the Inbox Repair Tool

Before running the Inbox Repair Tool, please exit Microsoft Outlook.

  1. Locate scanpst.exe (Inbox Repair Tool) and double-click it.
  2. Select the PST file using the Browse button (or you can enter the PST file name in Enter the name of the file you want to scan).
  3. Click Options and select specify the scan log option.
  4. Click Start.
  5. If errors are found, click Repair.

Note: You can change the name or location of the backup file created by the Inbox Repair Tool (Use the Browse button to select the file or enter new name in Enter name of backup file box).

  1. Now, start Outlook (profile that contains the repaired PST file).
  2. Click Folder List in the navigation pane (or use keyboard shortcut CTRL+ F6).
  3. Go to Recovered Personal Folders > Lost and Found.

Lost and Found folder contains the folders and items repaired by the Inbox Repair Tool. You may find some items missing in the Lost and Found folder; those items are beyond repair and cannot be repaired by the Inbox Repair Tool.

  1. Create a new Outlook Profile (steps given below) and drag the items from Recovered Personal Folders > Lost and Found in to the new data file.
  2. Finally, delete Recovered Personal Folders folder.

Create New Outlook Profile

It is easy to create a new Outlook profile. This is how you can do this in MS Outlook 2010/2013.

  1. Open Outlook 2010/2013 and click the File tab on the ribbon; click the Info tab on the menu.
  2. Click the Account Settings tab.
  3. Again click Account Settings.
  4. Click Data Files tab.
  5. Click Add.
  6. Enter a file name when the Create or Open Outlook Data File dialogue box appears; click OK.

Thus a new Outlook Data File (PST) has been created in the profile.

RecoveryFix for Outlook

RecoveryFix for Outlook PST Repair is an all-in-one recovery tool for all corruption issues related to MS Outlook. If you fail to resolve Outlook 2016 search greyed out error after using the inbuilt Microsoft tools, you should try this tool as the next step. You can use this simple and easy-to-use tool to recover your corrupt Outlook files even if you are not an Outlook expert.

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