How to fix corrupt Microsoft Outlook PST files in few easy steps

Microsoft Office Outlook is one of the best and popular email client applications developed by Microsoft. It is mainly used as an email application, but it also offers multiple functions such as: calendar, task management, contact management, note taking, diary and web browsing. MS Outlook is a popular email client application and is therefore often used in large organizations to send, receive and manage emails as well. But sometimes MS Outlook causes problems or works abnormally. The main reason behind this unexpected MS Outlook behavior is corruption. The data file, which stores all MS Outlook email messages and other mailbox items, has a size limitation problem. The Outlook data file is known as PST or Personal Storage Table. There are two types of PST files: ANSI and Unicode. ANSI is used in older versions of MS Outlook and has a maximum size of 2 GB. Although Unicode is used in the newer versions of MS Outlook and has no size limit i.e. up to 20 GB. In the higher version of MS Outlook, the maximum size is increased by 50 GB. If a PST file exceeds the size limit (mentioned above), it can become inaccessible or damaged. You cannot open an ANSI PST file in newer versions of Outlook and a Unicode PST file in older versions of Outlook. Trying such a thing will make your PST files more prone to corruption.

Other than this, a PST file can also get corrupted for various reasons such as: virus attacks, abrupt system shutdown, sudden power failure, unexpected Outlook cancellation, storage media malfunction, hard drive has bad sectors, human error and many more . When opening a damaged PST file, you will receive an error message that the file is corrupted or cannot be used. Some of the common error messages are listed below that can occur at the time of corruption:

  1. Errors were detected in the Outlook.pst file.
  2. The Outlook.pst file was not found.
  3. Outlook.pst is not a personal save folder file.
  4. “PST has reached its size limit.”

Whenever you face these errors, it means that your Outlook PST files cannot be used until you repair them. You must restore the files or you will not be able to use them. There are two effective ways to fix corrupt PST files:

SCANPST.EXE or Inbox repair tool:SCANPST.EXE is an Inbox repair tool for corrupt MS Outlook data files. It scans a corrupt.pst file, fixes the corruption issues and fixes it in a few minutes. SCANPST.EXE is installed during the installation of MS Office or MS Outlook. It is located here in these locations:

  • In MS Outlook 2013: C: Program Files Microsoft Office Office15
  • In MS Outlook 2010: C: Program Files Microsoft Office Office14
  • In MS Outlook 2007: C: Program Files Microsoft Office Office12
  • In MS Outlook 2003: C: Program Files Common Files System MSMAPI
  • In MS Outlook 2002 or XP: C: Program Files Common Files System MAPI scanpst.exe

When the SCANPST.EXE file is found, double-click it. But make sure your MS Outlook application is closed before doing this i.e. it is not running in your system. You need to follow these simple steps to recover corrupted file with SCANPST.EXE:

  1. Double click SCANPST.EXE.
  2. Recovery program for Microsoft Outlook Inbox window will appear.
  3. click on Leaves to select corrupt PST files in your system folder.
  4. Now click on Get started to start scanning corrupt files.
  5. Be patient. It may take a while (the scan time depends on your file size).
  6. click on Leaves to select the location for this new repaired file.
  7. The box ‘Please backup the scanned file before repairing’ is checked by default. Keep it checked if you want to back up the file.
  8. Now click on Repair to repair the scanned file.
  9. Once the file has been repaired, you will receive a message “Repair completed”.

Now you can check the repaired file. But sometimes SCANPST.EXE cannot repair the corrupt files. It may happen that your SCANPST.EXE does not report an error in the corrupt file, but your MS Outlook program is still complaining when you try to open it. Other than this, SCANPST.EXE cannot recover the email messages accidentally deleted by the Outlook user. SCANPST.EXE can sometimes lose a large amount of data from damaged PST file during recovery. In all these critical situations, when you are not satisfied with the result of SCANPST.EXE, you can try third party PST recovery software. An external PST repair or recovery application is the best solution to fix MS Outlook file corruption.

Third Party PST Recovery Tool: Third party PST recovery programs are specially designed to fix high level of corruption caused by Outlook PST files. There are several software companies that offer such recovery applications at a very affordable price. When you search for some advanced PST repair applications on Google, you will get a wide variety of repair tools for corrupt PST files. This can be a big challenge for you to find out which software application is the best. In such situations, you can check the demo or trial version of this recovery software. The demo or trial version is very similar to the full software and will help you check it before purchasing. It repairs your corrupt file and recovers your data like a full software application does. Then it will show you a preview of recovered data. If you are satisfied with the preview, you can download the full version to save the recovered data. Overall, these recovery software applications are very safe and easy to use. Any technical and non-technical user can use them without the need for additional technical knowledge. Third party PST repair or recovery software is the best solution for MS Outlook users especially when SCANPST.EXE cannot fix the corrupt files.