Fix corrupt pst file error

What is a PST File?

A PST (Personal Storage Table) file is an Outlook data file used by Microsoft Outlook to store all its mailbox data including Emails, Attachments, Contacts, Calendar items, Tasks, Notes, Drafts, Inbox, Appointments, Outbox, Journals, Sent items, Deleted items etc. By default, PST file gets stored on your computer systems hard drive.

There is another type of Outlook data file, OST (Offline Storage Table) file which stores the mailbox data of MS Outlook when it is not connected to the server or say offline mode. OST files are basically cached copies of Exchange Server. You can access them offline. The entire mailbox data of MS Outlook is also stored on Exchange Server in EDB (Exchange Database) files if you use Outlook with Microsoft Exchange Server.

Coming back to PST file, it is used to store archived email items of Outlook. PST file stores Outlook data for web based mail accounts, POP3 and IMAP. It is used by all versions of Outlook. Data storage capacity of PST file varies from version to version of Outlook. Earlier versions of Outlook had a storage capacity of 2GB for PST file. This capacity has been increased to 10GB 50GB in later versions.

Why PST file corruption happens?

Just like any other file, PST file is also vulnerable to corruption. During corruption, PST file stops working smoothly or becomes inaccessible. There can be various reasons for the PST file corruption.

During corruption, you cannot access PST files until you repair them to recover their data. If you try to open a corrupt PST file, Outlook might generate different error messages. MS Outlook too gets slow during PST corruption.

PST corruption can leave you in jittery if not resolved quickly and properly as PST files carry all your crucial Outlook mailbox data. The quickest way to fix PST corruption is using native PST repairing tool that comes with Microsoft Office suite.

How to resolve PST corruption issues?

To repair corrupt, damaged or inaccessible PST file, Microsoft offers a free Inbox Repair Tool (Scanpst.exe) which automatically gets installed on your system during Microsoft Office installation. It is quite easy to use, but if you are non-technical, it might be a bit confusing for you.

Location of Inbox Repair Tool depends on the version of Outlook you are using. The default location of the Scanpst.exe tool is: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office

Now, begin the PST repairing process. First, go the location of Inbox Repair Tool. Before you start the repairing process, close MS Outlook application and perform the following steps:

  1. Go to the above mentioned location of Scanpst.exe
  2. Double click SCANPST.EXE
  3. The window of Microsoft Inbox Repair Tool will appear

  4. 1.Click on Browse to select corrupt PST file from system Inbox Repair Tool Main Screen
  5. Select File To Scan window will pop-up. Here, select corrupt PST file and click OpenSelect File Screen
  6. Click Start to begin the scanning process
  7. After scanning the selected PST file, Scanpst.exe tool will show its errors

  8. Click Repair button to repair the scanned PST file (It might take couple of minutes)File checking screen
  9. Once repairing process is complete, Repair Complete message will appear. Click OK

Once repairing process is done, start MS Outlook and open Folder List. If the corrupt PST file has been repaired successfully, you will see a folder named Recovered Folder List in it. If it is not, it means the file has not been repaired. You can try running the Scanpst.exe tool again and again but if it still fails to repair, it means the file is severely corrupted.

Scanpst.exe tool ( recovers data from corrupt PST file and saves it in a new PST file at the stated location. However, the Inbox Repair Tool is effective with minor PST corruptions only. In case of severe PST corruption, the tool fails to recover data. Itis also possible that Scanpst.exe does not show any error or corruption issue in the selected PST file but when you try to open the same file in MS Outlook, it fails to open it. It means that the PST file is severely corrupted.

How to create a PST file in MS Outlook?

You can create a new PST file by yourself. All you need to do is open MS Outlook and perform the easy steps given below:

Benefits of PST file

There are certain benefits of using PST file beyond storing Outlook mailbox data. Here are some of them:

How to repair PST file? Eugene Smith . 13th Apr 2017 . 1 Reply

You can follow these steps to successfully repair your corrupted PST files

  1. Exit Outlook and browse C:Program Files.
  2. In the Search box, type SCANPST.EXE. Use different search commands for different versions
    • Outlook 2016: C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft Office ootOffice16
    • Outlook 2013: C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft OfficeOffice15
    • Outlook 2010: C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft OfficeOffice14
    • Outlook 2007: C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft OfficeOffice12
  3. Now open SCANPST.EXE. and either manually enter the name of the .pst file you want to check, or choose Browse to select it. (This will create a new log file during the scan. You can choose Options and opt not to have a log created, or you can have the results appended to an existing log file.)
  4. Choose Start to begin the scan.
  5. If the scan finds errors, choose Repair to fix these.
  6. Once the repair is complete, start Outlook with the profile associated with the Outlook Data File you just repaired.
Sullivan Miller . 21st Apr 2017
How to avoid PST corruption? Alix Meridian . 29th Mar 2017 . 2 Reply

Although, precaution is better than cure, the same rule even applies on the effective management of PST file. In order to avoid the PST corruption, some of the key tricks that you can opt are as follow:

  • Save PST file in hard Drive. You must understand the fact that PST files are ideally meant to be saved on hard drives and so it is ideally recommended to save them there only.
  • Also, it is advised to exit MS Outlook properly only when all the running operations are accomplished effectively.
  • Always ensure to maintain your system endangered with updated anti-virus software. In fact, the best approach you can opt is to protect your system with the tool that has definitions for all up-to-date viruses and capable of performing a detail scanning of the downloaded emails and files.
Jeffery Jeffery . 4th May 2017
How to change PST location? admin . 16th Mar 2017 . 1 Reply

Yes, the registry editor command i.e. regedit helps you to change the default location of Outlook PST files

James James . 16th Mar 2017
How to fix "Outlook not responding" errors. Jency twist . 28th Feb 2017 . 0 Reply

Scanpst.exe usually doesn't work if PST file is heavily corrupted but still as an alternate solution, there are several professional Outlook PST repair software in the market, which can easily repair PST file. Non-technical users can also follow the instructions and use it.

Haden patt . 17th Feb 2017

It seems that your PST files are corrupted, you can try Scanpst.exe tool to fix PST error issues. There are lots of professional Outlook PST repair software also available on the Web that can help you to solve PST corruption issues.

Tabitha hurly . 14th Dec 2016

You can get the help of an Outlook PST recovery software to recover data from corrupted Outlook PST files. The software enables you to fix PST errors and recover your all desired data from PST files.


Ruby Philips . 18th Nov 2016
"Outlook. pst is not a personal storage folder file" leo witt . 30th Sep 2016 . 1 Reply

If Scanpst.exe tool fails to solve your PST corruption issues, then you can get the help of a third party Outlook PST repair software. The software helps you to repair damaged PST files and recover all crucial data.

karry cliont . 27th Oct 2016

MS Outlook offers an inbuilt application named as Inbox Repair Tool (Scanpst.exe), you can use it to solve your PST corruption issues. Scanpst.exe usually doesn't work if PST file is heavily corrupted, but still as an alternate solution, there are many third party software available that can easily repair corrupt or inaccessible PST files within seconds.

philips johan . 23rd Sep 2016
How to recover corrupted Outlook PST File? Steve Fan . 13th Aug 2014 . 2 Reply

You can repair your corrupted PST file, with the help of Inbox Repair Tool (Scanpst.exe). If it is not a major issue, then Scanpst.exe tool is an effective solution, but to fix a critically damaged PST file you should try a third party Outlook PST repair software. The software can easily fix PST errors and recover inaccessible data from corrupted PST file.

Neels jack . 8th Sep 2016