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How to repair Outlook PST Files without ScanPST Tool

Eric Simson  | Updated on April 16, 2021 | Outlook PST File   | 4 Comments   | 6 min read

Outlook PST file is a local copy of Outlook mailbox data, which stores messages and other Outlook items. It may get corrupt in various instances such as when they are saved on a network drive, due to abrupt closure of Outlook, overgrown file size, etc. Common Outlook errors. repairing.pst file with scanpst.exe can be time taking.

If a PST file gets corrupt, the default or first action is to recover the Outlook mailbox data through its backup. In the absence of PST backup, administrators can use scanpst.exe (Inbox Repair Tool) to repair the .PST file and extract the data. But, Inbox Repair Utility (scanpst.exe) may not effectively repair a corrupt Outlook PST file for reasons whatsoever.

In this blog post, we will share a few methods with steps that make repairing .pst file easy without the ScanPST tool.

Error: Microsoft Outlook inbox repair tool does not recognize the file.

How to Repair a corrupt .pst file?

Solution #1: Create New PST and Copy Contents from Old PST

The following steps will help in creating a new PST and copying the contents of old one.

  • Take a backup of the corrupted PST
  • This method is applicable only when the old PST opens via Outlook
  1. Link the old PST-file to Outlook via: File-> Open-> Outlook Data File
  2. If it opens, create a new PST-file via
    • For Outlook 2007 and previous: File-> New-> Outlook Data File
    • For Outlook 2010: Home tab-> New Items-> More Items-> Outlook Data File
  3. Copy the content from the corrupt PST-file to the newly create one. 
    Switch to the Folder List Navigation by using the Navigation strip at the left bottom of Outlook or press CTRL+6.
  4. Once the copying is complete, set the newly created PST-file as the default:
    • For Outlook 2003 
      Tools-> Email Account-> Next-> use the dropdown list below “Deliver new e-mail to the following location:” to select your newly created PST-file-> button “Finish”-> Restart Outlook
    • For Outlook 2007 
      File-> Data File Management…-> select new PST-file-> button “Set as Default”-> button “Close”-> Restart Outlook
    • For Outlook 2010 
      File-> section Info-> button Account Settings-> Account Setting -> tab Data Files-> select new pst-file-> button “Set as Default”-> button “Close”-> Restart Outlook
  5. Restart Outlook and disconnect the old pst-file from Outlook by right clicking its root folder and choosing ‘Close “folder name”’.

If the corrupt PST cannot be opened with Outlook, repair the PST file with an Outlook PST recovery tool.

Solution #2: Restore and import PST file into Outlook. Locate the infected mail and delete it.

Quarantined PST files are not repaired by ScanPST.exe. Using the following steps will help repairing.pst file:

Step 1: Repair PST

  1. Open security services and click antivirus followed by Quarantine
  2. Checkbox for Outlook PST and click Restore
  3. A message will appear informing that the file cannot be disinfected and will prompt if you want to abort the restoration process?
  4. Click No and wait till the restoration process is complete. Here the restoration time is directly proportional to the size of the PST file
  5. Click Back to go to the Homepage of the Antivirus program
  6. Disable the Enable Real-Time protection

Step 2: Import into Outlook

  1. Open Outlook email client
  2. Select the file and click Import and Export
  3. Click Import from another program or file followed by Next
  4. Scroll down and select PST file
  5. Select location. Click Browse and select the Outlook.pst file and click Next
  6. Click Import and the restored PST is imported into Outlook profile.

Step 3: Find the infected email

  1. Open Outlook
  2. Since the file was quarantined recently, hence it is obvious that the PST was infected recently.
  3. Scan each mail and delete the recent emails with attachments. Alternatively, save the attachments on a separate hard disk to scan them individually, later on.
  4. Check all folders including junk, deleted, and sent folders. Empty the deleted folder.
  5. Close Outlook and checkbox for Enable real-time virus protection. This step is performed to check if the PST file is still infected.
  6. If it is infected, the antivirus will quarantine it again. Repeat the procedure.
  7. If the file is not quarantined, the infected mail item is found and deleted.

Note: Make sure to scan and delete the infected attachments on the hard drive.

There are instances when the infected or corrupted attachments are not traced even after repeating the whole procedure. Then, try the Advanced Inbox repair solution.

To Repair Outlook Data files (.OST & .PST) you can also Refer this Manual Guide

Solution #3: Use PST Repair Utility to repair the corrupted mail items

repairing.pst file with Outlook PST file repair utility and save the PST data into new PST. Alternatively, append the data into existing PST or import directly into Outlook profile.

The following steps repair the corrupted PST file:

  1. Launch and open the software– Stellar Repair for Outlook
outlook PST Repair Tool
  • Select the corrupt PST file and click Repair to initiate PST-repair process. The software scans and repairs corrupt elements of the PST data and provides a preview of entire data.
  • Verify file components. Search for any email, calendar entry, or any contact for data verification from the tree-like structure. The left pane consists of the folders, the middle pane consists of all the items of the selected folder and the right pane consists of details of selected folder item. 
Preview of your Repaired PST file
  • After verifying, click save to save the repaired Outlook data as new PST to eliminate any chance of PST file corruption. There are multiple options available to save the repaired file. Select the checkbox for the preferred option. Next, specify the location for saved file and click OK.
Export Options for PST file
  • Save the repaired PST as new PST or append the data to an existing PST.
PST File is repaired now you can import to MS Outlook

The three simple steps – “Select Scan Save” help users to repair the PST file and save time and effort in accomplishing the best results. Unlike ScanPST, which eliminates the corrupt elements, the PST repair utility repairs the corrupted elements of the .PST file.


The basic reason why ScanPST ‘cannot repair’ the corrupt PST files is that it just deletes the corrupt elements of the PST file and creates an empty ‘Lost and Found’ folder containing the folders and items which can’t be placed in their original structure. In Such Cases, Stellar Repair for Outlook comes with no limitation and makes repairing.pst file Easy for the users.  

Microsoft Outlook: What happens after you Repair Outlook Data File (.PST)

repairing.pst file Post Running ScanPST provides an option to create a backup of the corrupted PST with .bak extension. You have an option to restore PST data from the newly created backup file, in case there is data loss after running this Inbox Repair utility.

Recover Items from the Backup (.bak) File.

Also, the method for restoring and importing the quarantined PST and deleting the corrupt mail items is a tedious job, especially in case of large PST files. Secondly, it does not provide assurance that the PST file will be corruption-free. Also, it helps resolve issues such as quarantined PST where ScanPST fails. 

Mails are important constituents for any user and it should not remain inaccessible for a long time. This is a major reason that creates a need for PST repair utility. It repairs corrupt PST file and recovers all mail items including the deleted ones. The software also resolves almost all PST-file corruption in PST files.

Also Read:

How to Find Scanpst.exe

Prevent .PST File from Corruption

How to fix Inbox Repair Tool Not responding?

Outlook won’t Open?

  1. Jacks Hawards February 3, 2020
    • Eric Simson February 4, 2020
  2. Lucci Mary October 16, 2019
    • Eric Simson October 16, 2019

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