Summary: If you have corrupt PST files, you can use the SCANPST or Inbox Repair Tool to fix the PST file and then import or open it in Outlook. However, if SCANPST isn’t available or fails to fix the PST file, you can use an advanced Inbox repair tool, such as Stellar Repair for Outlook, to fix PST file corruption and restore all mail items with complete integrity.
Personal Storage Table or PST files, also known as Personal Folders, are Outlook data files that store mail items, such as emails, contacts, attachments, etc. When you add a POP (POP3) email account in Outlook, it creates a PST file to store the mail items on local storage. You can also export the mailboxes or items from your Outlook profile to PST via Outlook Import/Export wizard for backup or migration purposes.
However, PST files are prone to corruption and damage when they are large or handled improperly. In addition, unforeseen events, such as system crashes, abrupt shutdowns, power failures, malware/virus intrusion, etc., can damage the PST file.
By using SCANPST or Inbox Repair Tool, you can fix the inconsistencies and errors in PST files that can otherwise lead to performance issues in Outlook, such as delay in sending or receiving emails, synchronization errors, and slow search results, increased load time, etc.
SCANPST is available with Microsoft Outlook installation. By default, SCANPST is located in the MS Office installation directory, i.e., %programfiles%/Microsoft Office/Officexx (64-bit version) or %programfiles(x86)%/Microsoft Office/Officexx folder (32-bit version).
You can look for the SCANPST or SCANPST.EXE file location based on your Outlook version. If you can’t find the SCANPST at the default location, it may have been deleted or moved to another location.
When SCANPST isn’t available at the default location, you have three options.
To reinstall Outlook, you need to reinstall MS Office. The steps are as follows:
Once the process completes, check the default location (installation directory) to verify if SCANPST is now available. If it’s available, launch it and fix your Outlook PST file.
However, SCANPST has a few limitations.
However, you can still use SCANPST as it fixes the problem with the PST file in most cases. But make sure you backup (create a copy) the PST file before using the SCANPST. If SCANPST fails, you can install and use Stellar Repair for Outlook to fix the PST file and save the mail items from the repaired PST file to a new one. It also provides many advanced features, such as advanced filters to include/exclude mail items, split the oversized or large PST into smaller PST files, compact and compress large PST files, etc.
If SCANPST is not available at the default location, you can reinstall Microsoft Outlook. Then, try to repair your inaccessible or damaged PST file using the SCANPST or Inbox Repair Tool. If it fails, you can always download and use an advanced Inbox repair tool or PST file repair software, such as Stellar Repair for Outlook, to fix the PST file corruption, extract all mail items, and save them in a new healthy Outlook importable PST file. It keeps the original folder structure and hierarchy intact. You can also use the software to repair and export the PST file directly to Office 365 or live Exchange Server.
Ravi Singh is a Senior Writer at Stellar®. He is an expert Tech Explainer, IoT enthusiast, and a passionate nerd with over 7 years of experience in technical writing. He writes about Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft 365, Email Migration, Linux, Windows, Mac, DIY Tech, and Smart Home. Ravi spends most of his weekends working with IoT (DIY Smart Home) devices and playing Overwatch. He is also a solo traveler who loves hiking and exploring new trails.
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