There are two ways to repair a PST file:
- Use the built-in Inbox Repair Tool (SCANPST.EXE) that comes with Microsoft Outlook.
- Use a third-party PST repair tool.
The Inbox Repair Tool is a free tool that is available from Microsoft. It is a good option to try first if your PST file is not too badly corrupted. To use the Inbox Repair Tool, follow these steps:
You can use the Inbox Repair tool (SCANPST.EXE) to diagnose and repair errors in your Outlook data file. The Inbox Repair tool checks the Outlook data files on your computer to see if they’re in good shape1. Here are the steps to repair an Outlook data file (.pst) file:
- Exit Outlook and browse to one of the following file locations:
Outlook 2019: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16
Outlook 2016: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16
Outlook 2013: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15
Outlook 2010: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14
Outlook 2007: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office121
- Open SCANPST.EXE.
- Select Browse to select the Outlook Data File (.pst) you want to scan. If you need help locating your Outlook Data File, see Locating the Outlook Data Files1.
- Choose Start to begin the scan.
- If the scan finds errors, choose Repair to start the process to fix them1.
Note: The scan creates a backup file during the repair process. To change the default name or location of this backup file, in the Enter name of backup file box, enter a new name, or choose Browse to select the file you want to use1. You may need to run the tool several times in order to repair your Outlook Data File. In some cases, items may not be recovered if they were permanently deleted or corrupted beyond repair1.
When the repair is complete, start Outlook with the profile associated with the Outlook Data File you just repaired1.
There are many third-party PST repair tools available on the market. Some of the most popular ones include:
- Stellar Repair for Outlook
- Outlook PST Repair
- Kernel for Outlook PST Repair
- Recovery Toolbox for Outlook
These tools are more powerful than the Inbox Repair Tool and they may be able to repair PST files that the Inbox Repair Tool cannot. However, they are also more expensive.
If you are unable to repair your PST file using the Inbox Repair Tool or a third-party PST repair tool, you may need to contact a data recovery specialist. Data recovery specialists have the tools and expertise to recover data from damaged or corrupted PST files.
Here are some tips to help you prevent PST file corruption:
- Regularly back up your PST files.
- Avoid making large changes to your PST files.
- Close Outlook properly before shutting down your computer.
- Do not use third-party add-ins with Outlook.
- Keep your computer up to date with the latest security patches.
By following the above tips, you can help to prevent PST file corruption and protect your data as well as recover data from your damaged pst file.