Managing Corrupted PST Files
PST or Personal Storage Table files, also known as Personal Folders, are created by Outlook for Windows clients to store mail items, such as emails, contacts, attachments, tasks, notes, etc., on their system. Outlook creates a PST file for POP3 email accounts to store the mailbox data. In addition, for IMAP, Outlook.com, Exchange, and Office 365, an OST file is created.
Unlike OST, PST is a portable file format that you can import into any Outlook client on Windows or Mac. Thus, PST is also a preferred file format to backup mail items from Exchange, IMAP, Outlook.com, and Office 365 email accounts.
However, PST files are prone to corruption due to factors, such as,
- Virus or malware intrusion
- Hardware or software failure
- Storage media issues
- Abrupt shutdown or force close Outlook
- Power failure
- System or Outlook client crash
- Incompatible or faulty add-ins
Besides, with usage, the PST file size may grow larger as you receive more emails with attachments and exceed the recommended 20GB limit, leading to inconsistencies. This may also result in PST file corruption if not taken care of immediately.
In this article, we have shared some solutions to manage corrupt PST files, recover your mail items, and restore them to a new healthy PST file. In addition, we have also mentioned some tips to prevent PST file corruption and prevent data loss.
Managing the Corrupt PST Files
When a PST file corrupts or gets damaged, Outlook may fail to open or access the PST file and display errors, such as,
The file C:\Users\…..\[email protected] is not an Outlook data file (.pst).
You do not have the permission required to access the file C:\…\xxx.pst
And many more.
To deal with such issues and manage corrupt PST files, you can use SCANPST.EXE, Inbox Repair Tool, or an advanced outlook pst repair software. You may also restore from backup, if you have one, or recreate the PST file if your account is still active.
Below we have discussed these methods in detail to help you fix your corrupt PST file and restore all your mail items.
Restore from Backup or Recreate PST file
You may use your backup to restore the mail items lost due to PST file corruption. However, if you don’t have a backup, you may recreate a PST file by removing the default PST file. This works only if your mail profile is still active and your account isn’t deleted from the mailbox server.
- In your Outlook, right-click on your profile and choose ‘Open File Location.
- Close Outlook, back up the PST file to a different location, and delete it from the default location.
- Restart Outlook. This will create a new PST file and restore mail items that were synchronized.
In this method, there are high chances of missing mail items that were not synchronized due to inconsistencies in PST, leading to corruption. In this case, you have to repair the original default PST file to recover all your mail items.
Repair Corrupt PST using SCANPST.EXE
SCANPST is a Microsoft tool located in the Office installation directory. You can use the tool to repair minor PST file corruption and restore your mail items. The steps are as follows,
- Go to C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Officexx or C:\Program Files(x86)\Microsoft Office\Officexx and launch ScanPST.exe.
- Click on the ‘Browse’ button and choose the corrupt PST file.
- Click Start and wait for the scan to finish.
- After the scan, click Repair.
- The tool will start the repair process. It may freeze in between or stop responding. However, you should wait for it to respond and finish the Repair.
After the repair, you can import the repaired PST into your Outlook account and get back all your mail items.
IMPORTANT NOTE: You can use SCANPST.EXE or Inbox Repair Tool to fix a corrupt PST file size of up to 2GB and recover your mail items in a new PST file. Also, SCANPST may remove irrecoverable mail items during PST repair, leading to the loss of mail items.
Repair Corrupt PST Using Advanced Outlook Repair Software
However, if the PST file size is larger than 2GB or SCANPST.EXE fails to repair the PST file corruption, you can use an advanced Outlook repair tool, such as Stellar Repair for Outlook, to repair your severely corrupted PST file in a few clicks with complete integrity and without any risk of data loss.
It also features advanced options to split or compact large PST files into smaller PST to help avoid PST corruption due to oversizing. The tool does not alter your original PST file and runs read-only. It saves the recovered mail items, such as emails, contacts, attachments, etc., in a new Outlook importable PST format. Further, you may export the mail items from the repaired PST file directly to Office 365.
PST file corruption is a common issue that Outlook users often encounter. It’s usually caused by large size or oversizing that causes inconsistencies, impacts Outlook performance, and data loss. Further, sudden power loss, system crashes, virus, or malware intrusion, and incompatible or faulty add-ins are major causes of PST corruption.
- However, you can easily repair corrupt PST by using the SCANPST or an advanced Outlook repair software we discussed in this article. If your PST is smaller, you may use SCANPST. However, if the PST is larger than 2GB or severely damaged, it’s recommended that you use the Outlook repair software to avoid loss of mail items and get back all your emails and attachments. You may also use the tool to manage the PST file and prevent corruption efficiently.
Mustafa Al Mahmud is the Founder and CEO of Gizmo Concept and also a professional Blogger, SEO Professional as well as Entrepreneur. He loves to travel and enjoy his free moment with family members and friends.