Unable to Open Archive PST file in Microsoft Outlook

One of the best methods to keep your Outlook mailbox size in check is to regularly archive old emails and attachments within a different PST and use a fresh new PST to save new data. That way when you need to access old mailbox items, all you need to do is load the archive PST into Outlook and you’re done. But what should you do if an archive PST file fails to open in Outlook due to errors? This blog post helps you to find and resolve the problem.

Archive PST files should ideally be saved on a system other than the one a user regularly works on. This helps ensure the safety of such files in case any disaster befalls the system. To access an archive PST, all a user needs to do is import the file into Outlook using the Import & Export Wizard. Usually, this process hardly takes a couple of minutes, but sometimes owing to technical issues or corruption of the archive PST, users are unable to open archive .PST file in Outlook.

So what should they do to access their mailbox data?

How to resolve “Archived PST not opening” problem?

If Outlook users are unable to open archive .PST file, more often than not, the cause behind it is that the archive PST has been corrupted. There could be several reasons for PST file corruption including:

  • Bad sectors on the hard drive where the PST file was located
  • Virus infection to the file
  • Improper Outlook termination
  • Power failure while accessing PST file

It is the existence of situations like this why Outlook experts emphasize the need of having a backup of all critical PST files. However, if you currently do not have a backup copy of the archive PST you wish to open, here is the few solutions you can try out to overcome the “archived PST not opening” issue:

  1. Check if you’re able to open the archived data file in a new Outlook profile

There might be issues with your current Outlook profile. To create a new Outlook profile, import the archive PST into this new profile and then try opening it.

  1. Try opening any other archived PST files that you may have

If any other archived PST opens, it means the problem exists only in the current PST file and not in Outlook.

  1. Repair Archived PST using ScanPST.exe

Microsoft’s inbuilt Inbox Repair Tool ScanPST.exe comes into play in situations exactly like this one. The utility is used to detect and fix minor corruptions within Outlook PST files and get Outlook up and running. Thus, if the above fixes fail to work, repair corrupt Archive PST using this tool as follows:

  1. Quit Outlook
  2. Navigate to Outlook installation directory and find ScanPST.exe
  3. Launch it by double-clicking on it
  4. Specify the PST file you wish to repair using the tool and click on the ‘Start’ button to initiate the scan
  5. If the tool finds errors within the PST, it will ask you for confirmation to repair them
  6. Take a backup of the archive PST as it is and then initiate the ‘Repair’ procedure. You may also instruct the tool to ‘Make backup of scanned file before repairing’ by selecting the appropriate option

Once the repair is done, restart Outlook and you should be able to open the archive PST now.

Note: ScanPST.exe cannot repair severely corrupted PST files.

  1. Repair Archived PST using PST Repair Software

Manual techniques, though readily available for free, often fail to complete the task at hand. If you’re unable to get rid of the problem using the solutions mentioned above, avoid wasting more time on futile hit-and-trials and use the sure-shot remedy, Stellar Repair for Outlook. This commercial product is laced with best-in-class features to scan and efficiently repair even the most severely corrupted PST file and facilitate the restoration of all mailbox contents saved within them. Moreover, it is equipped with an interactive GUI which makes working with it extremely simple. With capabilities like support for encrypted PST repair, option to save the repaired file in multiple file formats (supported in technician version), and wide compatibility with various Outlook versions, this software is the ultimate solution to PST file troubles.

free download

Final Words

Always keep a backup of all critical PST files. None-the-less, if you still face PST issues which cannot be solved manually, you know you can trust Stellar Repair for Outlook.

Comments(9)
  1. Rasjesu November 29, 2019
    • Eric Simson November 29, 2019
  2. Smith Williams July 15, 2019
  3. Rosita November 28, 2018
    • Eric Simson November 29, 2018
  4. Lucy Leonard March 21, 2018
    • Eric Simson March 23, 2018
  5. Shannon Clayton February 26, 2018

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