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.
If a PST file gets corrupt, the default or first action is
to recover the mailbox data through its backup. In the absence of PST backup,
administrators can use scanpst.exe (Inbox Repair Tool) to repair the file and
extract the data. But, Inbox Repair Utility (scanpst.exe) may not effectively repair
a corrupt Outlook data file or PST file for reasons whatsoever.
In this blog post, we will share a few methods with steps to repair Outlook PST files without ScanPST tool.
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
Link the old PST-file to Outlook via: File-> Open-> Outlook Data File
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
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.
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
Restart Outlook and disconnect the old pst-file from Outlook by right clicking its root folder and choosing ‘Close “folder name”’.
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 restore the infected PST:
Step 1: Restore PST
Open security services and click antivirus
followed by Quarantine
Checkbox for Outlook PST and click Restore
A message will appear informing that the file
cannot be disinfected and will prompt, if you want to abort the restoration
Click No and wait till the restoration process
is complete. Here the restoration time is directly proportional to size of PST
Click Back to go to Homepage of the Antivirus
Disable the Enable Real Time protection
Step 2: Import into
Open Outlook email client
Select the file and click Import and Export
Click Import from another program or file
followed by Next
Scroll down and select PST file
Select location. Click Browse and select the
Outlook.pst file and click Next
Click Import and the restored PST is imported
into Outlook profile.
Step 3: Find the
Since the file was quarantined recently, hence
it is obvious that the PST was infected recently.
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.
Check all folders including junk, deleted, and
sent folders. Empty the deleted folder.
Close Outlook and checkbox for Enable real-time
virus protection. This step is performed to check if the PST file is still
If it is infected, the antivirus will quarantine
it again. Repeat the procedure.
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
There are instances when the infected or corrupted attachments are not traced even after repeating the whole procedure. Then, try Advanced Inbox repair solution .
Solution #3: Use PST Repair Utility to repair the corrupted mail items
Repair PST 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:
Launch and open the software– Stellar Repair for Outlook
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.
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
Save the repaired PST as new PST or append the
data to an existing PST.
The three simple steps – “Select Scan Save” help users to repair
the PST file and save time and effort in accomplishing best results. Unlike
ScanPST, which eliminates the corrupt elements, the PST repair utility repairs
the corrupted elements of 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. Refer to the below image or click the link.
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.
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
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.
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.