corrupt pst File

Complete Guide On how To Find And Recover Of Corrupted Pst

Microsoft Outlook is one of the dominant desktop email client markets with zillions of users worldwide. Outlook is known for its robust messaging service and calendar solution, making it one of the highly recommended platforms. However, it has some loopholes that lead to significant issues like the corruption of data files. The problem of damaged files emerges when you try to transfer files or migrate from one system to another. Let’s start by understanding the term corrupted PST and then move to the reason behind it, with some fixes.

Corrupted pst – what is it?

When there are issues with the personal folder file format of Microsoft Outlook – the term in use is pst. Microsoft has been struggling with this problem for ages now. However, there hasn’t been a proper solution due to several technical and technological reasons, but there are many ways to fix the corrupt files. Microsoft introduced a built-in repair kit to help you solve this puzzle of corrupted files.

When you initiate the file transfer from one system to other for migrating the Outlook – an error pops on the screen. Most of the time, when you run the damage pst file through the inbox repair tool, there is no error message with zero data loss. But sometimes, if you are unlucky, a smooth transition may not happen even with the repair patch tool, and you will have to take extra action to recover data.

Reasons for data loss on your system and Outlook crash

  • Oversized PST file: The older versions of Outlook (2003 and 2007) recommended the ANSI PST file limit to 2GB. However, with the change in the performance of Outlook, the UNICODE PST file recommendation grew to 20GB. As a result, when the migration occurs between these two, the system crashes and loses data.
  • System crash: This happens when a significant hardware failure or problem in the operating system conflicts within the software. You may struggle to reboot the system and permanently lose the main item. This is a critical issue, as you must do multiple fixes before even reaching the recovery of PST files for Outlook. 
  • Abrupt shutdown: Like a system crash, the entire computer freezes when a power failure or force shuts down. The Outlook is no different and leads to irreparable damage. You may or may not recover any data even after the PST repair tool runs.
  • Sudden shutdown of Outlook: Microsoft Outlook may stop responding to the system due to hardware issues, resulting in significant data loss. You may have to forcibly shut down Outlook using Task Manager and reboot the system, resulting in massive data loss.
  • Virus or malware intrusion: When you are using the internet and downloading files from it, then foreign intrusion is common. Using flash devices to migrate data is another primary reason for virus attacks that leads to data corruption. 
  • Incompatible add-in: When Outlook encounters a series of problems due to email transition, there is an issue with the faulty add-in. Your system may act funny due to the damaged PST files. 

How to fix corrupted files?

The Microsoft Outlook Inbox Repair kit is present in the installation folder, but you may have to dig deep to find it during troubleshooting. Launch the inbox repair tool once you find the File by selecting the corrupt pst File

Note to remember: Inbox repair tool offers an option of creating a backup of the corrupt files; ensure that you select this, as you will require the file copy at the time of recovery of missing data in the future. 

Steps to proceed with recovery

There could be several reasons for the file damage and data recovery requirement; therefore, the solution depends on the reason. However, the foremost check (irrespective of the cause of damage) you need is to look for a foreign intrusion on the system. Virus attacks are the primary reason for file corruption in most cases. Once you ascertain the cause is a virus, run the Microsoft program using the Scanpst.exe. 

Remember that the entire process takes a lot of effort, time, and patience. Here are the steps to follow for recovery through Scanpst.exe –

# Exit from Microsoft Outlook 

# Open file explorer to navigate through the files – remember that this depends on the version of Windows you are using.

Windows 64-bit: Local Disk (C:)>Program Files>Microsoft Office>root>Office16

Note to remember: The above example is suitable for Outlook 2016, 2019, and Outlook 365. However, if you are using an older version of Outlook, then select Office15 (Outlook 2013), Office14 (Outlook 2010), and Office12 (Outlook 2007) folder. 

# Locate the File – SCANPST on the system and run it as administrator.

# Use the Browse icon to select the target Outlook PST file that requires recovery.

However, if you are clueless about the location of the PST file, then; press Windows + S to open the search option. Then start searching for the File that includes .pst as an extension. Here you can find the location of the File for recovery. 

Another way of recovering the target file is to open Outlook and click on File>Account Settings> Data Files to view the pst file location. Close the application.

Five # Start the process- The inbox repair tool checks for the relevant issues with the pst files. The process takes a while

# Check in the radio button next to the ‘Make a backup of scanned file before repair’ and press Select.

# Select OK to complete the repairing of pst files.

Once you are all done with the entire process, open Microsoft Outlook to look for the recovered File. There should not be any issues with the PST files, as the patch helps sort the transition. You can also find a copy of the damage PST with the ‘.BAK’ extension. 


It is inevitable to escape data corruption when using multiple platforms, the internet, file transfers, and migrating bulk data. Just follow the simple tips and tricks to ensure the smooth functioning of the system. 

Regularly reviewing the backup, using the anti-malware, and upgrading the version of Outlook are a few simple steps to secure the data.

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