How to Repair PST File with scanpst.exe?

Outlook, an email client provided by Microsoft, is one of the most popular email client applications used by millions of users all around the world. If you think Outlook is just an email client, then you’re absolutely wrong. Other than an email client application, it works as a personal information manager. You can not only use the emailing service ofthe client but also manage your contacts, calendar entries and other information, such as: tasks, notes, journals, etc. In addition to, Outlook client also provides a web browser. If you use Outlook client on a Windows system, you must have heard about PST aka personal storage table file. It’s an Outlook data file used to store all the mailbox content including the email messages. Do you know the fact that Outlook data files are prone to corruption? Yes, you’ve heard me right here. PST files which store your invaluable mailbox content are not immune to corruption just like any other computer file. Have you ever faced corruption in your PST files? Do you know the reason behind corruption? If not, I’ll help you here.

Reasons for PST Corruption

The main reason behind PST corruption is the size limitation of PST file. If you’re using an older version of Outlook, i.e. 2002 and earlier, the PST file is saved in ANSI format. ANSI PST file has a size limitation of 2 GB, which means it can’t store more than 2 GB of mailbox data. If we talk about the newer version of Outlook, i.e. 2003 and later, Unicode format is used to save the PST file. Unicode PST file has a size limitation of 20 GB to 50 GB, which means you can store as much data as you want because 50 GB size is more than enough. Now let’s find out how corruption takes place in PST file due to size limitation issue. Think you’re using an old Outlook version, i.e. 2002. Your Outlook data file is saved in ANSI format. If the mailbox size reaches 2 GB, it will start causing serious problems and issues. Your Outlook client will start hanging, crashing frequently, and you will also notice poor Outlook performance. This is not done yet! You can face more severe issues like PST corruption if the PST file size exceeds its maximum limitation of 2 GB. So, it’s your responsibility to keep an eye on your PST file size. Keep the files handy and compact to prevent corruption and other issues.

Note: Having a large number of duplicate items in Outlook PST file can also cause size increment. You must remove the duplicate items from your PST files to make them handy and compact in size. You might be interested in How to Remove Outlook Duplicates from PST?

Other reasons for PST corruption are: virus attacks on incoming or outgoing email messages, sudden system shut down when Outlook is running on the system, abruptly cancellation of Outlook client, software malfunction or collision with other installed applications, and many more. File corruption is always inevitable, it can happen at any time without any prior notice or warning. Due to file corruption, Outlook users face inaccessibility of their mailbox data. Once a PST file gets corrupted, you can’t access it anyhow. Also, you may lose all your crucial emails and other mailbox content forever. Do you have any fix for corrupt PST file? Luckily, Microsoft provides Inbox repair tool, aka scanpst.exe, to repair PST file. It’s a built-in utility which comes with Outlook email client. To run scanpst.exe on your system, first you need to locate the file.

How to locate scanpst.exe?

The Inbox Repair tool aka scanpst.exe can be found in different locations as per the Outlook version. Check below:

  • For MS Outlook 2013: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15
  • For MS Outlook 2010: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14
  • For MS Outlook 2007: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12
  • For MS Outlook 2003: C:\Program Files\Common Files\System\MSMAPI<locale ID>
  • For MS Outlook 2002/XP: C:\Program Files\Common Files\System\MAPI<locale ID>scanpst.exe
  • For MS Outlook 97/98: C:\Program Files\Common Files\Windows Messaging\scanpst.exe

Go to the location as per your Outlook version, and double click the Scanpst.exe file.


Once the Microsoft Inbox Repair Tool is launched, follow the steps given below:

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Step 1: Click Browse to select the corrupt PST file from your system. The selected PST file will be shown in the edit box. Before you can start the scanning process, make sure you’ve selected the right PST file.

Step 2: Now click Start to start the scanning process for selected PST file.

Step 3: Please wait until the scanning process gets completed. It may take several minutes to few hours. Don’t cancel the process.

Step 4: Once the scanning process is successfully completed, you can check the report. Now, you can repair the PST file by clicking Repair. Before that, you can also take backup of your PST file. Just check Make backup of scanned file before scanning box.

Step 5: The repairing process may also take enough time. Please wait until the repairing process gets completed. Make sure no interference or interruption is occurred in the meanwhile. Once repairing process is successfully completed, click OK.

Professional Solution – PST Repair Software

Though scanpst.exe is effective and highly recommended by professionals and experts, but it may fail to repair PST file if corruption is severe. Many times Outlook users complain that PST file is still corrupt after using scanpst.exe. This means the corruption is severe and can’t be fixed by scanpst.exe. In such situation, professional recovery solution would be useful. PST Repair or Recovery tools are designed to repair PST file and to recover mailbox data from it. Download PST Repair tool provided by SysInfoTools Software to achieve result by recovering your maximum possible mailbox data which include email messages, contacts, calendar entries, tasks, notes, journals, as well as attachments from corrupt PST files. No matter if you’re a novice user, the software has been intelligently designed with an interactive and self-instructive interface. It’s an easy-to-use application, so that any technical or non-technical user can use this tool without requiring any prior technical expertise.

Repair PST Demo

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