Microsoft Outlook is undoubtedly a robust email client used by millions of users across the world. However, it is not free from issues and errors. The majority of errors in Outlook occur due to issues with the Outlook data file (PST) that stores the mailbox items, such as emails, contacts, calendar items, tasks, attachments, journals, etc.
When the Outlook PST gets corrupted, it can lead to consequences, such as inaccessibility to mailbox data, loss of mail items or folders, frequent Outlook crash/freeze, etc. So, you need to repair corrupt PST file as soon as possible. In this post, we have covered the causes of PST file corruption and the methods to repair the corrupt PST file.
Causes of Outlook PST File Corruption
Below are some common reasons for corruption in Outlook PST file:
- Mailbox size has exceeded the defined size limit
- Conflict between Outlook and any other software installed on the system
- Improper or unexpected shutdown of the system or Outlook application
- Force closing of Microsoft Outlook
- Virus and malicious software on the system
- Bad sectors on the drive where PST file is stored
- Lack of storage space on the hard drive
How to Repair Corrupt Outlook PST File?
If the PST file is corrupt, you can use the SCANPST.exe – an inbuilt tool in Microsoft Outlook to fix minor corruption issues in PST file. Also known as Inbox Repair tool, it is located in the program’s installation directory. However, the exact location may vary depending on the Outlook and Windows version you’re using.
Follow the below steps to repair PST file using the SCANPST:
- Step 1: Exit the Outlook application and find the location of SCANPST on your system.
- Step 2: When found, double-click on SCANPST to launch the Inbox Repair Tool.
- Step 3: Select the Browse option to select the corrupted Outlook PST file that you want to repair.
- Step 4: Click Start to initiate the scanning process. The tool will scan the PST file for errors.
- Step 5: If any errors are found, click Repair to initiate the repair process.
- Step 6: Once the repair process is completed, restart Outlook using the associated profile with the repaired PST file.
Limitations of the SCANPST
Though SCANPST can repair the PST file, it has some limitations, such as:
- The process is time-consuming as you may need to run the tool several times
- It may not work if there is severe corruption in PST file
- It may fail to repair large-sized PST files
- It cannot repair multiple PST files
Alternative Solution – Use an Efficient PST Repair Tool
To overcome the limitations of SCANPST, you can use a professional PST repair tool, such as Stellar Repair for Outlook. With the help of this professional tool, you can easily fix any kind of PST file corruption. The tool comes with a user-friendly interface and can be used even by a non-technical user.
It can also repair severely corrupted PST files of any size (50 GB or more). It recovers all the mailbox items, including emails, attachments, contacts, etc. from the corrupt PST file and saves them in a new PST file, by maintaining original folder structure. You can then easily import the PST file into your Outlook account to access your mail items. Moreover, the software can also directly export the repaired PST file to a live Exchange Server mailbox or Office 365 account.
Outlook PST file contains your important messages and other mail items. Any damage to this file can lead to various negative consequences. If the PST file is damaged or corrupted, you can try using the Outlook Inbox Repair tool (SCANPST.exe) to repair the file. However, the tool has various limitations.
As an alternative, you can use a professional PST repair tool, like Stellar Repair for Outlook. It can even repair severely corrupted PST files of any size quickly and efficiently. It allows you to preview and verify all the mail items, before saving them in a new healthy PST file. The software supports PST files of all the Microsoft Outlook versions. You can download the free demo version of the software to scan and preview the corrupt PST file.