Ways to recover corrupt Outlook PST files

Yatendra Singh
Yatendra Singh

Updated On - April 10, 2024

Summary: Dysfunction and corruption in PST files cause Outlook failure, which may be disturbing. This article will cover the efficient ways to recover and repair PST files with intrinsic methods along with an automatic professional Recoveryfix PST repair software that assures you of the risks of data loss to avoid a lengthy process.

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MS Outlook has many advantages over other email (Standalone) clients available on the internet, and since its initial release, the user interface of Outlook has changed.

Outlook creates two types of data files that contain user data like emails, calendars, contacts, events and other stuff which depends on the user.

These Outlook data files are PST and OST and are stored locally on your computer’s hard-drive allowing the user to have access to all data anytime even without an internet connection.

Outlook accounts which are associated with offline functionality, store the information in an OST file, PST format files store data vice -versa.

Sometimes, Outlook data files may stop working, or they may get damaged. Considering this Microsoft has already included a utility named Inbox Repair Tool for diagnosing & repairing common errors associated with PST files and a mechanism to recreate OST files automatically. Now, we will go through the common causes of PST files corruption.

Common causes of Outlook PST File corruption

  • Large PST file size.
  • Sudden shutdown or power failure.
  • Virus or malware attack.
  • Incompatible add-ins.
  • Force close Outlook or crashes.

Now, we’ll go through the different solutions to fix PST file corruptions.

Methods to repair damaged or corrupted Outlook PST file

This section consists of different manual methods which help you to recover and repair the damaged or inaccessible PST file. Go through the methods simultaneously.

Method 1. Using Inbox Repair Tool

If your account is using POP or IMAP settings, then you can proceed with the below steps-

  1. If Outlook is active, then close it.
  2. Open-File Explorer
  3. Browse the Path:
    C: \Program Files(X86) \Microsoft Office\root\Office16
    C: \ Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\Office16
    If you’re using an earlier version of Outlook the Path won’t be same.
    For Outlook 2013: C:\Program Files (x86) \Microsoft Office\Office15
    For Outlook 2010: C:\Program Files (x86) \Microsoft Office\Office14
    For Outlook 2007: C:\Program Files (x86) \Microsoft Office\Office13
  4. Inside the folder, find and double-click SCANPST.EXE
  5. Click Browse and locate PST file which you want to repair and click on Start.
    locate PST file

  6. It will initiate the utility and search for errors in the file. Also, you can check the checkbox if you want to create a backup of the file before starting the repair process.

  7. Click on Repair button
    click on repair button
  8. Further, this wizard will create a backup (if-opted). After the repair is complete, you can now open Outlook 2016 with the Data File.

Method 2. Additional recovery using Lost Found folder in Outlook

A few additional steps may be needed as well. For reference, upon the completion of the process, you may notice some of the recreated folders are empty, in such case, you may see a folder named Recovered Personal Folders or Lost Found Folder in the left pane, items that are repaired but can’t be restored are stored in these folders.
To get these items back:

  1. Open Recovered Personal Folders or Lost Found folder.
  2. Select the items you want to recover.
  3. Drag and drop those items into the correct folder.
  4. Now, empty the deleted folder
Method 3. Recover improperly repaired PST file with backup

In case these restored files are still missing, you can use PST file backup, via the built-in Import/Export tool:

  1. Select .bak file located in the same folder that contains PST file.Select .bak file
  2. Rename the file to .bak.pst and press Enter.
    Rename the file
  3. After renaming the File, it will automatically be detected by Outlook 2016 as below.

  4. Open Outlook and click on File Open Outlook
  5. Select Open & Export, then click Import/Export.
  6. Select Import from another program or file option and click Next.

  7. Select Outlook Data File (.pst) option and click Next.

    Select Outlook Data File

  8. Browse the location of PST file, select the Import option and click Next.
    Browse the location of PST
  9. Select the items you want to import and click Finish.
  10. Now you should be able to use Outlook with all your data normally.
    Note: These steps are common for Outlook 2007, 2010, 2013 & 2016.

Well, these were a few steps for fixing Outlook PST files using Outlook itself. If you don’t want to follow the above steps and need another method with more ease, then this Second method is the best fit.

How to fix an Outlook PST file using Recoveryfix for Outlook PST Repair software

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Using Recoveryfix for Outlook PST Repair tool can help you recover your Outlook PST files with no fuss, and it offers easy to use Software Interface.

  1. Double-click the Recoveryfix desktop icon, this would be the initial screen,
    Double-click the Desktop Icon or Launch using the Windows Start button
  2. Browse which Outlook PST file you want to recover and click Next.
    Once the file is loaded, you’ll see a screen with three sections, on the left of which you can see the list of all the folders in a Tree View (1), in the middle it is the Content List Area (2) and down below you can get preview (3) of a file by clicking on it.
  3. Here, select the folder (Left – pane) and click Save.
    select the folder (Left – pane) and click Save
  4. Recovery fix for Outlook PST Repair tool comes in two versions – Trial Version & Full Version.
    You can easily recover files with the Trial Version with a limitation of 30 items per Folder, but if you want this limitation out, then you can opt for the Full Version.

    Note: The features & capabilities of both the versions are same.

  5. Click Ok,
    Click Ok
  6. In the next screen, you can choose between the given Output types & Output file formats,

  7. Select the file location to Save, give a Prefix to your file (optional),
    Click Ok,
    Select the file location to Save, give a Prefix to your file (optional),
Click Ok
  8. Your files have been recovered & saved successfully.


    The chances of your Outlook PST file corruptions are quite high, and the built-in PST file repair utility of Microsoft Outlook doesn’t work all the time. But, Recoveryfix for Outlook PST Repair can prove to be a good companion. This tool can recover all types of objects from damaged Outlook OST and (PST) storage files and can also be used as a PST viewer. This tool is easy to use with minimal options to choose from, and it eliminates the doubt of confusion and maximum user interaction.

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