Repair PST File

3 Steps to Run Best Free PST Repair Software in MS Outlook

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    Summary: This guide helps you repair PST file by using best free PST repair software that is MSOutlook's own utility Inbox Repair tool (ScanPST.exe) from Microsoft. It also discusses an alternative to ScanPST.exe tool to repair PST file when it fails to fix an encrypted, corrupt or large Outlook PST file. Download the free demo version of Stellar Repair for Outlook software to repair your corrupt Outlook PST file and preview the recoverable file data.

    Read full summary

    ScanPST.exe is a free PST repair tool that helps you repair a corrupt or inaccessible PST file in Windows. Also known as Outlook Inbox Repair Tool, Microsoft’s ScanPST.exe tool is installed by default during the installation of MS Office with Outlook 2010 or later.

    How to Repair your PST file for Free?

    Outlook inbox repair tool is used as a first-aid to fix problems with the Outlook data files (.ost or .pst). And in this guide, we will show you how to find and run the free PST repair tool (ScanPST.exe) to repair Outlook PST file in three simple steps:

    • Locate and launch the PST file repair tool
    • Find and repair the corrupt PST file  
    • Save repaired PST file data to a new PST file

    Steps to Run Free PST Repair Tool (ScanPST.exe)

    Outlook repair tool can help you fix following errors in Outlook 2019, 2016, 2013, and 2010, which might appear while accessing the Outlook account or importing the corrupt PST file to Outlook

    • Cannot start Microsoft Outlook. Cannot open the Outlook Window
    Outlook Error: Cannot start Microsoft Outlook. Cannot open the Outlook Window
    • The file c:\….\xxx.pst is not an Outlook data file (.pst)
    Outlook Error: The file c:\....\xxx.pst is not an Outlook data file (.pst)
    • Something is wrong with one of your data files and Outlook needs to close
    Outlook Error: Something is wrong with one of your data files and Outlook needs to close

    These errors are usually a result of corrupt or damaged PST file.

    To run and use Inbox Repair tool (ScanPST.exe) for PST file Repair, follow these steps,

    Step 1:  Launch the Outlook Inbox Repair Tool

    To start the Inbox Repair Tool, you need to locate it first. The location of PST repair tool, i.e. ScanPST.exe, varies based on the Outlook and Windows version installed on the system. Following are the default locations, based on Outlook version, where you can find and launch the PST repair tool.

    • In Outlook 2019,
      • 32-bit Windows: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office19\
      • 64-bit Outlook: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office19\
    • In Outlook 2016,
      • 32-bit Windows: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office16\
      • 64-bit Outlook: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16\
    • In Outlook 2013,
      • 32-bit Windows: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15\
      • 64-bit Outlook: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15\
    • In Outlook 2010,
      • 32-bit Windows: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14\
      • 64-bit Outlook: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14\

    Once you have located the SCANPST.EXE file, right-click on it and choose ‘Run as administrator’.

    location of scanpst.exe

    Read Stellar Repair for Outlook Review on by Administrators. 

    Step 2: Repair the PST File

    After launching the Inbox Repair Tool, click ‘Browse’ to select the corrupt Personal Folder file, i.e. PST file.

    click browse to select the PST file

    The default location of PST file in Outlook 2010 is


    If you are using Outlook 2013 or later, the location is

    C:\users\YourUserName\Documents\Outlook Files\

    Alternatively, you may go to,

    • File>Info>Account Settings and click ‘Account Settings’
    Go to File>Info>Account Settings and click Account Settings

    Click ‘Data Files’, select the PST file you want to locate and then click ‘Open File Location…

    click ‘Open File Location

    After selecting the damaged PST file, click Start to scan the PST file for errors.

    Step 3: Repair Damaged PST File

    After the scan is finished, if the PST repair tool displays errors found,

    • Click the ‘Make a backup of scanned file before repairing’ and then click ‘Repair’ to begin the repair process
    Image Source:

    NOTE: In case tool displays ‘Outlook Not responding’, do not close it. The tool is trying to repair the PST file and thus, taking the time. Leave your system for a while and let this Inbox Repair tool to finish the PST file repair process.

    If you get a success message, try opening the Outlook and check if the errors are resolved and PST is accessible.

    PST Repair Completed

    However, if the repair was unsuccessful or tool fails to repair PST file corruption, to repair Outlook Data Files, you can refer to this Manual guide.

    free Download stellar repair for outlook

    Why To Use Stellar Repair for Outlook?

    ScanPST.exe tool has its limitations. It may fail to repair severely corrupt or damaged PST file. Also, this free PST repair tool doesn’t work if you try to repair an encrypted or Repair large Outlook PST file.

    Stellar Repair for Outlook is an advanced PST repair software that overcomes all the limitations of ScanPST.exe. This powerful software can repair severely corrupt and encrypted PST files of any file size with a few clicks.

    After the repair, you can save the repaired PST file to a new PST file or any other desired format such as HTML, RTF, EML, MSG, and PDF.

    The steps to repair PST file by using the software are as follows,

    1. Close MS Outlook and launch the software
    1. Click ‘Browse’ to choose the corrupt PST file for repair
    browse corrupt pst file
    1. Click ‘Repair’
    Start pst file repair process
    1. After repair, you can view and preview email items within the software. To save repaired PST file to a new PST file, click ‘Save Repaired File’ under ‘Home’ tab at the top.
    save repaired PST file
    1. From the options, choose ‘PST’ and click ‘Browse’ to select a save location
    Export the Repaired PST file in Multiple file formats
    1. Click ‘OK’ to save the repaired PST file. If you want, you can also save your mailbox items to other formats

    Now browse to the original PST file location and replace the corrupt PST file with this new repaired PST file. Don’t forget to rename the file with the same as the old one.

    Then start Outlook. If you have multiple profiles on Outlook, choose the profile to which PST belongs.


    By following the three-step process to run and use Best Free PST repair Tool or Outlook Inbox Repair tool (ScanPST.exe), explained in this post, you can restore corrupt PST file and get access to all your email items. By repairing the corrupt PST file, you may also resolve common Outlook errors as discussed in this post.  

    In case Microsoft’s inbuilt ScanPST.exe fails to fix the problems with the PST file, use a more advanced PST repair tool such as Stellar Repair for Outlook.

    Unlike ScanPST.exe, the software can repair severely corrupt, encrypted, and large PST files with a few clicks. You can free download and use Stellar Repair for Outlook on your system to repair and preview the damaged PST files. However, to save the repaired PST to a new PST file, you need to activate the software by using a valid license key.

    Also Read:

    Download Inbox Repair Tool

    Inbox Repair Tool Crashes

    Inbox Repair Too Not Responding

    Download Free Scanpst.exe

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    About The Author

    Eric Simson linkdin

    Eric Simson is an Email Platform Consultant and is associated with Stellar Data Recovery from last 6 years. He writes about the latest technology tips and provides custom solutions related to MS Outlook, MS Exchange Server, Office 365, and many other Email Clients & Servers.


    1. I want to compare the performance of other PST repair tools with ScanPST.exe.

      Let me know how can go ahead in right direction?

      1. Download the free demo of Stellar Repair for OutlookSoftware. The free demo offers you to evaluate the result in preview mode.

    2. Should I take backup of original PST file before running ScanPST.exe file?

      I do not want the loss of a single contact of my client.

    3. In my case, ScanPST.exe was not useful. It recovered only 10% emails in an unstructured way. Then, I did a depth research on the web and got a reference of Stellar Outlook PST Repair.

      Of course, It helped me to recover 100% Outlook mail items.

      1. Thanks for sharing your feedback with us. Very soon, we are going to release the next version (7.0) of “Stellar Outlook PST Repair” software. You can also upgrade the existing version to new version.

      1. Hi Ralph,

        ScanPST.exe comes along MS Outlook package. So, there is no need to worry about the compatibility issue.You just have the idea about its pre-defined location in different Outlook versions.

        In MS Outlook 2013, the location of ScanPST.exe is mentioned below:

        32-bit Windows OS: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15
        64-bit Windows OS: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15
        64-bit Outlook Application: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15

        Note: This free stuff can fix minor issues in Outlook PST file. In the case of severely damage/error, you can try the alternative solution like Stellar Outlook PST Repair.

    4. I have experienced that free tools are not providing 100% assurance for satisfactory output. I suggest any reliable software avoid email loss in MS Outlook.

    5. Hello Shaina,

      Don’t panic with this one annoying scenario. You can try free demo of Stellar PST Repair. It extracts data from severely damaged Outlook PST file.

    6. In my case, ScanPST.exe had created a big hurdle for me. Before running ScanPST.exe, I didn’t take backup of original PST file, and it was a big mistake.

    7. Yesterday, I was trying to copy my PST file on an external drive but couldn’t do.

      It reported the message “An unexpected error prevented access. Use ScanDisk to check the disk for errors, and then try using the Inbox Repair tool again.”

      What can I do?

      1. Hello Diana,

        Try demo version of Stellar PST Repair tool. If it shows expected result, then you can register the full version of the software.

    8. After checking the performance of ScanPST.exe, I have realised that it is only useful for minor cases of error in Outlook PST file. Sometimes, it makes the situation worst so you should take backup of original PST file.
      As I think, Stellar PST Repair is a safe tool.

    9. Yesterday, I tried to run ScanPST.exe several times. It took around 45 minutes to scan 3 GB corrupt Outlook PST file and reported message i.e. “ScanPST.exe fails due to extremely large file size. You can try again”

      So, I can take a chance with the free demo of Stellar PST Repair.

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