How to Repair a Corrupt PST File?

Microsoft Outlook is a popular email client as it offers several impressive features such as sharing calendars, creating events, scheduling tasks and more. However, this useful email application sometimes encounters errors and problems, resulting from a damaged or corrupted PST file. As you may know, a PST or Personal Storage Table file is created when you configure MS Outlook via POP3 account. It stores all the mailbox items such emails, attachments, etc., on your computer. If the PST file gets corrupt, it may lead to various Outlook errors and hamper the working of the application.

So, you might be wondering how the PST file gets corrupt. The PST file gets corrupt due to a variety of reasons. Typically, the corruption problem in Outlook data file is caused by:

  • Abrupt shutdown of the email application or the system
  • Power failure or system crash
  • PST file exceeds its size limit
  • Bad sectors on the drive where the file is stored
  • Virus or malware attack

Whatever be the reason for corruption, there are ways to repair a corrupt Outlook data file. In this post, we’ll discuss the methods that can help you in repairing PST files Outlook 2013, and other versions.

TIP: You can use an Outlook PST Repair Software to quickly and easily repair corrupt/inaccessible PST file of any size. The software supports all MS Outlook versions, including Outlook 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, 2003, 2002, and 2000.

Methods for Repairing Corrupt PST file

You can repair .pst files by using the inbuilt Outlook utility or an automated PST repair tool, explained below in detail.

Method 1: Repair Corrupt PST File by using ScanPST

You can use Outlook’s built-in utility, known as Inbox Repair tool or ScanPST.exe, to repair PST files and fix errors in Outlook 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, and 2019. ScanPST.exe is a free repair tool that is installed by default during the Microsoft Office installation.

To run and use ScanPST.exe for PST repair Outlook 2013 and other versions, you need to first locate it. The location of ScanPST.exe varies, depending on the Outlook and Windows OS version you’re using. You can find the ScanPST.exe at the following default locations on your system, based on the Outlook version:

  • In Outlook 2007
      • 32-bit Windows: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\
      • 64-bit Windows: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office12\
  • In Outlook 2010
      • 32-bit Windows: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14\
      • 64-bit Outlook: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14\
  • In Outlook 2013
      • 32-bit Windows: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15\
      • 64-bit Outlook: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15\
  • In Outlook 2016
      • 32-bit Windows: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office16\
      • 64-bit Outlook: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16\
  • In Outlook 2019
    • 32-bit Windows: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office19\
    • 64-bit Outlook: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office19\

Steps to repair PST file by using ScanPST.exe:

Once you found the ScanPST.exe file, follow the given steps:

Step 1: Launch the ScanPST.exe by right-clicking on it and select ‘Run as administrator’.

Run as administrator

Step 2: Then, click ‘Browse’ to select the PST file. 


In Outlook 2010, the default location of PST file is:


In Outlook 2013 or above version, the location of PST file is: 

C:\users\UserName\Documents\Outlook Files\


Step 3: When you’ve selected the PST file, click Start to scan the file. 


Step 4: When the scan is finished, it displays the errors found. Select the ‘Make a backup of scanned file before repairing’ checkbox, and then click on ‘Repair’ to start the repair process.


NOTE: The tool may take some time, depending on the extent of damage and file size. Wait for a while and let the tool to finish the PST file repair process.


Step 5: When you get a message for repair complete, click ‘OK’.



Now, open the Outlook to check if the issue is resolved and the PST is accessible.


Limitations of Inbox Repair Tool

The Inbox Repair tool or ScanPST.exe has some limitations, such as:

  • It can fix only minor corruption issues, but may fail to fix severely corrupt PST file.
  • In some cases, ScanPST.exe may fail to recover specific mailbox items.
  • The repair tool is not able to repair an encrypted or large Outlook PST file.
  • The ScanPST.exe utility needs to be run multiple times to repair the file, which requires lot of efforts and time.
  • It does not have any provision to save the repaired file in any other format, other than PST.

Method 2: Repair PST File by Using PST Repair Software

To overcome the limitations of ScanPST.exe and for a hassle-free PST repair, use an advanced PST repair software such as Stellar Repair for Outlook. This powerful software can even repair severely corrupt and encrypted PST files of any file size. The software has an advanced scan engine that can parse through severely corrupt PST file and recover all the data in its original form. 

The software’s interface is easy to navigate and helps you perform the PST repair process in a straightforward manner. It quickly repairs a corrupt PST file in just three simple steps: Select, Repair, and Preview and Save. The software allows you to save the repaired PST file in a new PST file and various other file formats such as HTML, EML, MSG, RTF, and PDF. 

To Conclude

If you’re looking for ways on ‘how to repair Outlook’ or ‘how to repair PST file in Outlook 2013 & other versions,’ follow the methods, explained in this post. You can use the Outlook’s built-in utility – ScanPST.exe to repair .pst file. In case ScanPST.exe fails to repair the corrupt PST file, use an advanced PST repair software such as Stellar Repair for Outlook. Unlike ScanPST.exe, this DIY software can repair severely corrupt and large PST files in just a few clicks. 


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