Best ScanPST.exe Alternative

Updated on April 12, 2019

Summary: Stellar Repair for Outlook is the best ScanPST.exe free alternative. It quickly scans damaged PST files and efficiently recovers all mailbox items such as emails, attachments, contacts, calendars, tasks, notes, journals, etc.

Why is an alternative for ScanPST.exe needed?

Microsoft Outlook is the most widely used email client across the world; however, users can face issues because of unexpected errors. While some errors are easy to understand, others may seem complicated leaving users with no clue as to how to fix them. 

PST file (Personal Storage Table) is an Outlook Data file which stores Outlook data like email folders, Calendar, Contacts, Notes etc.Some Outlook errors occur if the PST file associated with your Outlook profile has been damaged or corrupted. The PST file is the storehouse of all your Outlook data on the local machine. Microsoft offers a built-in Inbox Repair Tool called ScanPST.exe which can find and fix minor errors within a faulty PST. But many a time, this tool fails to repair PST file issues; hence, a reliable Outlook repair tool becomes the need of the hour.

Why ScanPST.exe fails?

Although ScanPST.exe is Microsoft's proprietary Inbox Repair tool, yet it is not fool-proof. The tool can fail to fix a damaged PST under the following circumstances:

  • ScanPST.exe itself is damaged due to unknown application bugs or virus infections (applies to ScanPST Outlook 2019, 2016, 2013 and ScanPST.exe 2010)
  • Unexpected errors in MS Outlook that ScanPST is not programmed to fix
  • Severely damaged or corrupt PST file

What is the best solution for MS Outlook users?

When it comes to choosing a competent tool to scan PST file and repair Outlook PST file with accuracy, Stellar Repair for Outlook is a name that you can trust. This easy to use application also scans severely damaged or corrupted PST files and recovers all mailbox contents such as e-mails, attachments, contacts, calendars, tasks, notes and journals into a new usable PST which can be directly imported into MS Outlook. 


The product is equipped with an impressive feature set to help you salvage all your seemingly lost mailbox data from damaged PST in just a few clicks. Moreover, the product is laced with many user-friendly features like an interactive GUI, option to 'Find' PST, option to save new PST at the desired location, a preview of recoverable data before saving, etc. to make working with it more interesting and easy. 

Steps to Scan and Repair Corrupt PST

To scan and recover data from damaged PST, download and install Stellar Repair for Outlook. Launch the software and then follow the below-mentioned steps:

Step 1: When Home Screen appears. Go to "PST File for Repair" dialog box. It has two options: 'Browse' and 'Find'.

Step 2: If you know the exact location of the Personal storage Table (or PST), click on 'Browse' option. After selecting targeted PST file, click on 'Repair' button to initiate the repair process.

Step 3: If you're unaware of the PST file location, click on 'Find' option to let the software locate. Software searches for PST files in each folder and subfolder of the selected drive and enlists all files with .pst extension in 'Find PST File' section. Select the PST file you wish to rebuild and click on 'Repair' button.

Step 4: Stellar Repair for Outlook tool scans through the corrupt PST file. Estimated time depends on the complexity and severity of corruption in Outlook data file. You can scan any size of PST file using a free demo.

Step 5: Repaired items are displayed on the left panel of the 'Outlook mail preview' window. 'Browse' and check any of the mailbox items by selecting the right folder.

Step 6: This step is useful to save the scanned information about damaged PST file. If you wish to save scanned data, then click on 'Save Scan' button and save this DAT file at preferred location. In future, you can use this file to analyze the result of damaged PST file directly.

Step 7: Access scanned information of any corrupt PST file and load the saved scan information through 'Load Scan' option in the tool.

Step 8: Select the folder you wish to recover and click 'Saved Repaired File' button from the 'File' menu. Select saving format as 'PST' from the multiple saving options and click on 'Browse' to select the right location where you want to save recovered PST file.

Step 9: Click 'OK' to initiate the process. A progress bar displays the status of saving file.

Step 10: Once the new PST is saved, a 'pop-up' appears with appropriate notification. Click on 'OK' to complete PST repair process.

Support & Compatibility

One of the major strengths of this software is its wide compatibility. The software can work smoothly on:

Operating System: Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista 

Microsoft Outlook: 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, 2003, 2002 (XP), & 2000. It also supports MS Office 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010 (64-bit version), 2007 & 2003


We have discussed, PST file corruption, reasons of ScanPST.exe failure, followed by the best ScanPST.exe alternative to recover data from a severely corrupt or large PST file. However, the most important aspect is to keep a backup copy of the PST file before performing any operations on it, especially, if you are using ScanPST.exe utility. In case Inbox repair tool fails, you should always take the help of a professional tool like the Stellar Repair for Outlook. This tool comes with additional features like saving recovered emails in EML, MSG, RTF, HTML, PDF formats and can also help you repair the encrypted & password protected PST files.


"Ran scanpst.exe several times but failed every time. And tried Stellar PST repair tool just once, it recovered not only inbox emails, calendars & attachments but also recovered a lot of emails which were accidentally deleted a few weeks ago which even I didn't know. Absolutely a top-notch software!!"

-- Posted by Sebastian Watkins on 08/05/2016

"I have used this software recently and want to say that it is a highly useful utility to repair all type of corruption in PST file."

-- Posted by Constantine Artemiev on 24/03/2016

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. I used this software to repair my corrupted Outlook PST. Now how do I access the recovered data in Outlook?

A. Once all items have been recovered from a corrupted PST, you need to set the repaired PST file as the default Outlook PST. Here are the steps through which you can do so:

  • Go to the 'Control Panel' of your system.
  • Click 'Mail' > 'Data Files'.
  • Locate the repaired PST file from the list. Select the file and click the option, 'Set as default'.
  • Close all windows and open your Outlook application. 

After performing the above steps, you will be able to access all recovered mail items.

Q. I usually store a lot of sensitive data and emails in my Outlook profile. Thus, I encrypt my Outlook data files (.pst and .ost). Can this software help me out in case my encrypted PST file gets damaged?

A. Yes, PST Repair software from Stellar can overcome this hurdle with ease by recovering data even from password-protected files. The software prompts users to enter the password to decrypt the PST and then moves the repair process forward.

Q. Can I export the recovered data to my Office 365 account?

A. You can do that with the Technician version of Stellar Repair for Outlook.

Q. My Outlook PST file has been corrupted. Is there any way I can extract just a few critical emails from it? The other data is not that important.

A. Yes, Stellar Repair for Outlook allows you to recover individual mail messages in either EML or MSG format, which can be opened through Outlook Express and MS Outlook respectively.

Q. I don't frequently buy software online. How can I be sure that my investment in this software will not be wasted? That this software will recover the data I am looking for?

A. We completely understand your concern. That is why we allow users to preview recoverable items before saving them with the demo version of the software. The demo version can be downloaded directly to your machine, and it is completely free of cost. Once you are satisfied with the result, you can purchase the full version of the software to save the recovered files.