Repair Outlook PST Files Effectively with Proven Fixes

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How to Repair Outlook PST Files


Microsoft Outlook uses a Personal Folders File or a PST file for storing the data of an email account. It includes everything like contacts, messages, and file attachments among others. Users can convert a PST file to save their emails in another format. But problems with this file format are regularly encountered by Outlook users. To resolve these problems, you can use Outlook’s built-in tool, the Inbox Repair Tool. You can repair Outlook PST files by running them through this tool. Apart from using the tool, you can also take other actions to retrieve the lost items. In this article, you’ll find different fixes through which you can repair your Outlook PST files. 

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Why do Outlook PST files Get Corrupt?

There are many reasons for your Outlook data file getting corrupt. Here are the major causes you should know about. Understanding them will help you to troubleshoot the problem better.

  1. Data storage device failure – If your PST file is kept in any of the bad sectors of the hard disk on your computer, it will corrupt PST files. You will face problems opening and reading the PST files with MS Outlook.
  2. Incorrect networking device – A PST file is present on your network server. If you access it using a networking device that has issues, this remote access will make the file corrupt.
  3. A malware infection – Every system is vulnerable to malware and virus attacks. These attacks significantly impact the functions of PST files. They also make them inaccessible. So, it’s essential to have an antivirus program on your system.
  4. Outlook shutting unusually – Many people shut their Outlook application abnormally when they need to do some urgent task. However, this action makes it corrupt or vulnerable to various corruption problems. So, even if you’re in a hurry, you must take the time to close the application in the usual manner.

Apart from these reasons, other issues with MS Outlook can also make the PST files corrupt. For example, if your PST file is very large, Outlook cannot handle it. As a result, the PST file becomes corrupt.

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How to Repair Outlook PST Files?

Now that you know the reasons for PST files getting corrupt, you can try to fix them. Undoubtedly, the first step to do is using the Inbox Repair Tool or ScanPST. 


Use ScanPST to Repair Files

Using this tool to repair files isn’t difficult at all. Before you use it, back up your current Outlook data file. 

  • Close the Outlook application and go to either of the following locations:
    1. Outlook 2019 users should go to C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16
    2. Outlook 2016 users should go to C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16
  • Launch ScanPST.exe. 
  • To choose the Outlook data file you wish to scan, select ‘Browse.’
  • To start the scan, tap ‘Start.’ 
  • If the scan detects errors, select ‘Repair‘ to begin fixing them. 
  • After the repair completes, start Outlook using the profile linked with the Outlook data file you repair. 


Retrieve Lost and Found Files 

At times, the Inbox Repair Tool of Microsoft Outlook may repair a critically damaged PST file. If the tool isn’t able to put the repaired items in their earlier locations, it places them into a Lost and Found folder. You can retrieve the repaired items by making a new PST data file in MS Outlook. Then you can shift the files from the Lost and Found folders into it. 

  • Launch the ‘Home’ tab in MS Outlook. 
  • Now, launch the menu beside the ‘New Email.’
  • Choose ‘More items’ followed by ‘Outlook data file.’
  • After picking this option, choose ‘OK.’
  • Provide a location on your system and input a name for the new PST file. 
  • Now, choose ‘OK.’
  • Choose the ‘More’ icon present in the lower-left corner of the window. 
  • Now, select ‘Folders’ to enable the Folder List view. 
  • Move the contents within the Lost and Found folders into the new data file. 

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Retrieve the Missing Items Through the Backup Copy of the Original

Did you find any missing items in the repair data file? If you cannot locate them within the Lost and Found folder, or Recovered Personal Folders, retrieve them via the backup copy of the original. Here is how to repair Outlook PST files through this method.

  • Firstly, copy the backup of the corrupt PST file to your desktop.
  • Now modify the .BAK extension that is at the end of the name of the file. Change it to .PST.
  • Now launch the ‘File’ menu and choose ‘Open & Export’ followed by ‘Import/Export.’
  • The next step is to choose the option ‘Import from another program or file.’ After that, choose ‘Next.’
  • Now opt for ‘Outlook Data File (.pst)’ and then pick ‘Next.’
  • Hit ‘Browse’ and pick the backup copy of the corrupt PST file. It is the file that you recently renamed. 
  • Now choose the option, ‘Do not import duplicates.’ After that, select ‘Next.’
  • Tick the box beside ‘Include subfolders.’
  • Now choose the ‘Import folders into the same folder’ option and select the data file you desire to import the items into.
  • Lastly, hit ‘Finish.’
  • After MS Outlook completes importing items, manually verify if the items that were missing are present. If you do not find them, run the Inbox Repair Tool.


Disable Antivirus and Other Firewall Settings

Many times, users turn on antivirus or any other firewall settings when using Outlook. This can interfere with the repair process. To help repair PST files in Outlook, you can think about disabling any antivirus programs and then restart MS Outlook. You can begin Outlook in safe mode to turn off all antivirus and plugins. 


Final Thoughts

By now, you would have surely gained a good amount of understanding of how to repair Outlook PST files. Follow the troubleshooting instructions in this post and also understand the causes of this problem, so you don’t face it frequently. If you’re unable to fix the issue by yourself, feel free to connect with expert Outlook support services. The technicians are there to assist you 24/7 to enable you to work with your email seamlessly.


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