How to Repair Outlook PST File?

Personal Storage Table (PST) is an Outlook data file that contains your messages, contacts, calendar, attachments, and other mailbox items. PST files are also used for backup purposes and migrating mailbox data from one Outlook profile to another or to Office 365. However, PST files are prone to corruption.

A PST can get corrupted due to sudden system shutdown or crash, hard drive errors, forced Outlook termination, network-related issues, faulty add-ins, malware infection, large file size, and various other reasons. When the PST file gets corrupted, it can put your mailbox data at risk. In this post, we will be sharing different methods to repair the Outlook PST file and recover all its data.

Methods to Repair Outlook PST File

You can follow the below-given methods to repair the corrupt Outlook PST file.

#1: Repair PST File with Inbox Repair Tool (Scanpst.exe)

Outlook has a built-in PST file repair utility, called Inbox Repair tool (Scanpst.exe). This tool helps fix minor corruption and inconsistency issues in PST files. It comes automatically installed with Outlook. Follow the steps given below to repair Outlook PST files with Scanpst.exe:

  • Close your Outlook.
  • Locate the Scanpst.exe tool on your system. The default location of the Scanpst.exe tool on Windows system is: Local Disk (C:) > Program Files > Microsoft Office > Officexx.

Note: The location of Scanpst.exe varies based on the Outlook and Windows versions installed on your system.

  • When found, double-click the Scanpst.exe to open it.
  • Then, click Browse to select the PST file you want to repair. The default location of PST file is: drive:\Users\<username>\Documents\Outlook Files or drive:\Documents and Settings\\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook.
  • Once selected, click Start to start scanning the file.

  • Once the scan is completed, the tool shows the errors and inconsistencies in the file (if any). Click Repair.
  • Before clicking repair, make sure to select the option to create a backup of your Personal Storage Table (PST) file.
  • Once the repair process is complete, close the Scanpst program and launch Outlook.

Limitations of Scanpst.exe:

There are some limitations of this Inbox Repair tool, such as:

  • You may need to run the Inbox Repair Tool (Scanpst.exe) several times to repair PST file.
  • It cannot repair encrypted PST files.
  • It may fail to repair large PST files.
  • The tool can’t recover items that are permanently deleted or severely corrupted.

#2: Use a Third-Party Outlook PST Repair Tool

To overcome the limitations of the Outlook’s Inbox Repair tool, you can use an Outlook PST repair tool, such as Stellar Repair for Outlook. The software can efficiently repair severely corrupted or damaged PST files without any file size limitations. It can recover all the mailbox items, including contacts, calendars, emails, attachments, etc., with 100% integrity and precision. This Outlook PST repair software comes with a user-friendly GUI to facilitate the repair process. This easy-to-use PST repair tool has several advanced features:

  • Repairs large PST files (50 GB and above)
  • Successfully recovers all Outlook mailbox items
  • Shows an enhanced preview of all the recoverable items
  • Multiple file format saving options, including PST, HTML, PDF, RTF, etc.
  • Advanced filters to filter out trash/spam messages

Follow the given steps to repair the corrupt Outlook PST file with Stellar Repair for Outlook:

  • Download, install, and launch Stellar Repair for Outlook.
  • Click ‘List Profiles’ or ‘Choose Manually’ to select the corrupted PST file.

  • When you select the ‘List Profiles’ option, you’ll see a list of all Outlook data files associated with your Outlook profile. Select the file from the list and click Repair. You can select the ‘Choose Manually’ option to select the PST file manually if it is not located at the default location. There is also a ‘Find’ option to search for the file on the system.
  • When you click Repair, the software will initiate the scanning of file.

  • After scanning and repairing process, the software will present all the recoverable PST file data. You can click on any item to see its preview.
  • Click ‘Save Repaired File’ to save the repaired PST file.

  • Choose PST as the save option and click Next.

  • Select the location to save the repaired file and click OK.

You can then import the repaired PST file into your Outlook profile using the Import Export wizard.

Measures to Prevent Corruption in PST File

Here are some best practices you can follow to prevent PST file corruption:

  • Always keep the PST file under the recommended size limit.
  • Split or compact the PST file if it becomes large.
  • Always close Outlook and related programs before shutting down your system.
  • Avoid storing the PST file on servers or network drives.


There are various reasons that can lead to corruption in PST file. You can repair the corrupt Outlook PST file using Outlook’s Inbox Repair Tool (Scanpst.exe) or a third-party advanced PST repair software, such as Stellar Repair for Outlook. However, Scanpst may fail to repair the PST file if it is severely corrupted or damaged. Therefore, the best option is to use Stellar Repair for Outlook. This advanced PST file repair tool can easily repair PST files in case of severe corruption or damage. It can restore all mailbox items, such as contacts, messages, emails, etc. with complete integrity.

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