Solved: Microsoft Outlook Inbox Repair Tool Not Responding

  • Written By Ravi Singh

  • Updated on March 31, 2021

  • Min Reading 5 Min

Summary: Summary: In this guide, you will learn why Inbox Repair Tool (SCANPST.EXE) stops responding when you try to repair a corrupt or damaged Outlook PST file. You’ll also learn various troubleshooting steps to fix the problem with Inbox Repair Tool and successfully repair your PST file.

Microsoft Outlook stores mail items such as emails, contacts, notes, etc. in PST file on the local storage. When this Outlook data file (.pst) gets corrupt or damage due to any reason, a user can’t open and access the mail items in Outlook. We are going to discuss “what to do when Microsoft Outlook inbox Repair Tool not Responding”

Microsoft Outlook provides Inbox Repair Tool, also called SCANPST.EXE, which is located in the installation directory of MS Office. The Inbox repair tool can fix minor corruption issues with PST files of up to 2 GB and helps restore the Outlook account.

However, if Microsoft Outlook Inbox Repair Tool is not responding while repairing a corrupt PST file, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the tool is not working or there’s a problem with the tool. Sometimes, the Inbox Repair Tool displays ‘Not Responding’ message as it’s too busy to fix the PST file corruption. Thus, it’s actually working hard on the damaged PST file to fix it.

Outlook Inbox Repair tool

Generally, if the PST is not encrypted, severely corrupt or larger than 2 GB, the Inbox Repair tool can fix it. Ideally, you should wait for the Inbox Repair Tool to start responding. The time can vary based on the level of corruption and PST file size. But if it’s taking forever to fix the PST file, there could be other problems with the tool or the PST file.

In this guide, we will discuss reasons for the ‘Not Responding’ error with Inbox Repair Tool and the ways to fix this issue.

Reasons for Inbox Repair Tool Not Responding

The Inbox Repair Tool may freeze and stop responding due to several reasons, which are as follows:

  • The PST file is currently in use by another application
  • Inox Repair Tool can’t find a fix for the corruption
  • Read/write disk permissions
  • Drive errors (bad sectors)
  • Virus Infection

Microsoft Outlook Inbox Repair Tool Limitations:

  • It can’t repair a PST file larger than 2 GB
  • The tool fails to repair an encrypted or password protected PST files
  • Severely corrupt PST file can’t be repaired

So now that you know the common reasons behind the Inbox Repair Tool not responding error, head to apply various fixes to make it work and repair the corrupt PST file.

Steps to Fix Inbox Repair Tool Not Responding Issue

Following are the steps that you can follow to troubleshoot the Inbox Repair Tool not responding problem and fix it. In case these steps don’t help fix the issue, download and install Stellar Repair for Outlook software on your system.

After download, you can scan and repair your PST file even if it’s severely corrupt, encrypted or larger than 2 GB. The software can repair PST of any file size and help you restore mailbox when the Inbox Repair tool fails. You can also save the repaired PST data in other file formats such as HTML, PDF, RTF, EML, and MSG.

Step 1: Locate and Run Correct SCANPST.EXE (Inbox Repair Tool)

In Outlook 2016 & 2019

  • C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office19\
  • C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office19\
  • C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office16\
  • C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16\

In Outlook 2013

  • C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15\
  • C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15\
  • C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\office15\

In Outlook 2010

  • C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14\
  • C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14\
  • C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14\

In Outlook 2007

  • 32-bit Windows: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\
  • 64-bit Windows: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office12\

Once you have located the SCANPST.EXE, double-click on it to launch the tool.

Inbox Repair Tool to fix PST file corruption

Step 2: Verify PST File Size

Now browse the PST file location and check the PST file size. You can right-click on the PST file and choose ‘Properties’ to check the file size.

If the PST file is larger than 2 GB, Inbox Repair Tool can’t help. If you try, it will stop responding and crash. To fix large PST file, as mentioned earlier, install Stellar Repair for Outlook software.

Step 3: Close MS Outlook and Other Programs

To avoid Inbox Repair Tool freeze problem, close all running programs, especially one that access your PST file such as MS Outlook. Then run the Inbox Repair Tool to repair the damaged PST file.

Using the Inbox Repair Tool (scanpst.exe) - HowTo-Outlook

If you still face the same problem, sign out and then sign in. This will close all running programs and then you can use the tool without any issue.

Step 4: Ensure Drive Health Status & Read/Write Permissions

Download and install CrystalDiskInfo and check the health and SMART status of your drive where the PST file is stored. If you see health status Bad or significant increase in the number of bad sectors (Reallocated Sectors Count), there’s a severe problem with your drive and it needs replacement. And that could be a reason why PST is corrupt or Inbox Repair Tool is not responding.

check SMART and health status

To fix this, copy the PST to an external healthy storage media and use another system to repair the PST by using SCANPST.EXE.

If everything is good, check the read/write permissions. For this,

  • Right-click on PST file and choose Properties
  • Enable Read/Write permission, if not enabled already

Step 5: Repair or Re-install MS Outlook

Finally, you can try repairing or reinstalling the MS Outlook. Follow these steps,

In Outlook 2019/2016/2013/2010,

  1. Open the Control Panel and click on Programs> Programs and Features
  2. Locate the Microsoft Office 2019/2016/2013/2010 installation in the list and click on it to highlight
  3. Then click on Change
Repair and remove the MS Office and Outlook
  • Select Repair, click Continue and then follow the prompts to repair the Outlook installation

Then locate the SCANPST.EXE file and launch it. Try to repair the PST file. If it still hangs and stops responding, re-install MS Office and then retry.


The steps mentioned in this post can help you find the reason why Microsoft Outlook inbox Repair Tool stops responding while repairing the PST and troubleshoot the issue to fix it. However, even after following these steps, if you are not able to fix the Inbox Repair Tool freeze problem, install the best PST Repair Tool Stellar Repair for Outlook on your PC.

With this software, you can repair an encrypted or corrupt PST file in just a few clicks. Powered by advanced PST repair algorithms, this tool can help you fix severe PST file corruption without any file size limit. Plus, you can save the repaired PST file in a new PST or several other file formats.

And by using the Technician version of this software, you can even export the mailbox items from repaired PST files to Office 365.

Read this case study on the best PST repair software and learn what MVPs have to say about this PST repair software from Stellar®.

Also Read:

10 common Outlook errors

How to fix Outlook not working?

What to do when ScanPST fails?

How to fix Microsoft Outlook not Implemented Error?