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How to recover a corrupted PST file

In this article, we’ll show you different ways to recover data from a corrupted PST file.

Outlook recovery tools
Image: KnowTechie

Personal Storage Format (PST) file is the data file used by Outlook to store a local copy of your mailbox data. However, a PST file can get corrupted due to many reasons.

As a result, you can’t send or receive emails or even access the items stored in it. So, you need to repair or recover the corrupted PST file.

In this article, we’ll show you different ways to recover data from a corrupted PST file. But before moving to the solutions, let’s take a quick look at the causes of corruption in PST files.

Causes of corruption in PST files

There are various factors that can lead to corruption in PST files. Here are some common ones: 

  • Virus or malware attacks
  • Damaged hard drive
  • Improper shutdown of Outlook or system
  • Incompatible Outlook add-ins
  • Oversized PST file
  • Outlook crash

Ways to recover data from a corrupted PST file

Below, we have mentioned the ways to safely recover data from corrupted PST files. 

Use Outlook Inbox Repair tool or SCANPST

Microsoft offers a free Outlook repair data file tool, called SCANPST.exe that comes installed with the Outlook program. It can help fix minor corruption issues in the PST file. Here are the steps to use this tool:

  • First, close Outlook and then locate the SCANPST. Depending on your Outlook version, you can find the tool at the following 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\Office12
  • Navigate to the SCANPST location and open it. On the home screen, click Browse to select the corrupted PST file. 
  • Click the Start button to start the scan.
  • If this tool finds any issues with your PST file, click the Repair button. Ensure to select the “Make backup of scanned file before repairing” option.
Microsoft Outlook Inbox Repair tool.
Image: KnowTechie
  • After successfully repairing the corrupted PST file, close the Inbox Repair Tool and launch Outlook. 

Note: SCANPST is suitable for fixing minor corruption issues in the PST file. Also, it may fail to fix large and encrypted PST files. Check its limitations

Use a third-party PST repair tool

You can use a third-party Outlook PST recovery software, such as Stellar Repair for Outlook, to easily and quickly repair & recover corrupt PST files.

It is an advanced tool that can even repair large, severely corrupted PST files. The advantage of using this tool is that there’s no data loss during the repair process.

It guarantees 100% data integrity and maintains the folder structure and hierarchy after repairing the file. 

The other capabilities of this tool are:

  • It retrieves emails, calendar items, tasks, contacts, and all other items from the corrupt PST file.
  • It recovers deleted items from the PST file.
  • It allows to save the scanned file data in a DAT file for recovering the contents later.
  • It offers filters to include or exclude specific email items. 

Now, let’s look at the steps to repair corrupted PST file using this Stellar Repair for Outlook tool.  

  • Download the tool from its product page and install it.
  • After installation, open the tool. You’ll be prompted to select the corrupted PST file.
Stellar repair Outlook
Image: Stellar
  • If you click the “List Profiles” option, the tool will automatically list all the PST files associated with your profile. From this list, select the corrupted PST file and click the Repair button.
Stellar program tool in the Home section
Image: Stellar
  • Alternatively, you can select the “Choose Mailbox Manually” option to select the corrupted PST file manually.
Choose Mailbox Manually
Image: Stellar
  • As soon as you click on the Repair button, the tool will start repairing the file. The process may take some time depending on file size and severity of corruption. 
Repair button
Image: Stellar
  • After scan, the tool will list all the extracted items. You can click on any item to see its preview.
extracted items
Image: Stellar
  • Now, select the items you want to save.
  • Next, click Save Converted File option and select the file format (e.g. PST) in which you want to save the data. Click Next.
PST- select
Image: Stellar
  • Then, choose the location where you want to save the repaired PST file. You can also choose to auto-split the resultant PST file, if it is large.
choose the location
Image: Stellar
  • After making your selections, click OK and monitor the progress. Once done, you’ll get a notification.

Now, you can import the repaired PST file into Outlook using the Import and Export wizard. 

Final thoughts

PST files can become corrupted due to reasons, like network failure, large file size, virus attacks, and various other reasons. Above, we have discussed different ways to repair the corrupt PST file.

You can use SCANPST – an inbuilt utility in Outlook to repair the corrupt PST file. However, the utility is limited to fix only minor corruption issues and does not guarantee data integrity.

A better option is to use an advanced PST recover tool that can repair corrupted PST file without ScanPST.exe.

It guarantees data safety, maintains folder integrity, and provides option to choose the items you want to recover from the PST file. The tool is compatible with PST files of all Outlook versions.

Have any thoughts on this? Drop us a line below in the comments, or carry the discussion to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. However, our opinions, reviews, and other editorial content are not influenced by the sponsorship and remain objective.

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