How to repair and restore corrupt outlook pst file?

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  • Updated on January 19th, 2023

MS Outlook is the world’s most widely used email client, and there are reasons for it – a simple-to-use interface, advanced features, and efficiency being the main ones. The outlook is generally used as an email application which comprised of contact manager, calendar, journal, task manager, note-taking, and web browsing.

All the data is stored in a database file with the extension. PST (personal storage table), which resides on the computer’s hard drive. Outlook pst file recovery tool is designed to repair and scan all the corrupted PST files, and restore the data completely in MS Outlook as it is. It enables you to retrieve lost/deleted mailbox items, and export them in different formats. But it is also prone to corruption which may cause by hardware/software hindrances.

Infographic shared below show the causes of PST file corruption

Causes of PST File Corruption

How to fix a corrupted PST file?

Despite all precautions taken there are still some chances that your PST file may get corrupted. Thus to deal with them you may have to try a couple of the methods described below to repair pst file.

Method 1 – Inbox Repair Tool

A simple tool that has been around for a long time from Microsoft which basically tries to repair the header of the PST file and delete anything from the file it does not recognize or understand.

The tool is actually already installed on all Windows 2000 and XP computers in the following directory: (For Office 2007, it’s in C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\)

C:\Program Files\Common Files\System\Mapi\1033\NT

If it’s not in this directory for whatever reason, click on Start and perform a normal Windows search for the following executable, scanpst.exe. You can also just download the pst repair tool, from Microsoft’s website and it’ll run it for you automatically.

Now click Browse and choose the PST file that is corrupted. If you are not sure where your PST file is stored, it’s usually in this directory:

C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

After selecting the file, go ahead and click on Start.

Inbox Repair Tool

After it is completed, it will tell you the errors found in your PST file. Go ahead and click on Repair now to begin the repair of the file.

Thus after following this step, hopefully, your Inbox will be back to normal and all of your email messages will be there. If not, give it another shot. Sometimes you have to run scanpst.exe several times in order for all errors to go away.

Note that you can use this tool not only on PST files but also to repair OST files, which are basically offline Exchange Server folders.

Method 2 – Truncate Oversized PST File

The second reason why your PST file can become corrupted is that the file size limit for Outlook data files is 2 GB. The second you go over 2GB, the entire file becomes corrupt! Not very smart, but it happens. This only applies to older versions of Office.

In order to fix this problem, you have to truncate the PST file so that it goes back below 2 GB.

Note that using this tool WILL DELETE some of your emails, however, it’s really the only way you can get the file to open in Outlook again. So use this tool with care and only as a last resort.

Oversized PST Recovery Tool

You can follow the step-by-step instructions on the Microsoft KB article linked above in order to use this tool.

If you are running Outlook email recovery connected to Exchange Server, there is also an OST repair tool. Just like you searched for the scanpst.exe file, now search for scanost.exe. Choose Scan all folders or select a folder to scan and then check the Repair Errors box. Then click Begin Scan.

OST Integrity Check

Method 3 – Recovery Toolbox for Outlook

If you feel that none of the above methods are working then you can try out a third-party program. One such third-party tool is Outlook PST Recovery Tool – A professional solution to fix all types of PST corruption issues. The software is designed to recovers and restores all the Outlook mailbox items like emails, notes, attachments, calendars, contacts, and journals completely and accurately.

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