How to Repair Outlook Data File (.pst) with ScanPST?

How to Repair Outlook Data File (.pst) with ScanPST

Microsoft Outlook is popular among businesses as well as individuals for its efficient features and ease of use. It enables users to manage not just their emails but also calendars, contacts, and other crucial tasks efficiently. However, like any other software, Outlook is not immune to issues and errors. One common problem that Outlook users encounter is corruption in Outlook data (.pst) file.

An Outlook data (PST) file may get corrupted due to virus infection, abrupt system shutdown, sudden closing of Outlook application, hard disk issues, software malfunction, large file size, and various other reasons.

Microsoft offers a built-in Inbox Repair tool, also called ScanPST.exe, to repair corrupted Outlook data files. This tool analyzes the file for any errors or issues and fix them. In this article, we will explore how to use ScanPST effectively to repair Outlook PST files.

Step-by-Step Process to Repair PST File using the ScanPST Tool

Step-by-Step Process to Repair PST File using the ScanPST Tool

Before we dive into the repair process, it's essential to know where to find the ScanPST tool on your computer. The location of the scanpst.exe can differ depending on the version of Outlook you have. By default, the tool is located at the following locations:

  • For Outlook 2016, 2019 and 2021
  • C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16
  • For Outlook 2013
  • C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15
  • For Outlook 2010
  • C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14
  • For Outlook 2007
  • C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office12

After locating the ScanPST on your system, follow the below steps to repair the corrupt PST file.

Step 1: Close Outlook

Before running the ScanPST tool, it is crucial to completely close Outlook. Ensure that no Outlook processes are running in the background.

Step 2: Run ScanPST.exe (Inbox Repair Tool)

Browse to the location where ScanPST is installed on your system. To launch the tool, double-click on the ScanPST.exe file.

Step 3: Choose the Outlook Data (.pst) File

Once the ScanPST tool is open, click on the “Browse” button and navigate to the location of your Outlook Data File (.pst). By default, the .pst file is in the following directory:

C:\Users<your username>\Documents\Outlook Files

Step 4: Start the Scan Process

After selecting the .pst file, click on the “Start” button to initiate the scanning process. The tool will analyze the selected file for errors.

Step 5: Repair the Outlook Data File

The tool will display the errors (if any), once scanning is done. In case of any errors or issues, you will receive a prompt to repair the file. To initiate repair, click the “Repair” button.

Step 6: Backup the PST File

Before proceeding with the repair process, ScanPST gives you the option to back up the original .pst file. To prevent data loss, it's recommended to make a backup. Select the backup option and choose a location to store the backup file.

Step 7: Repair Complete

The repair process may take some time, depending on the size of the Outlook data file. You can track the progress of the repair on the screen. Once the repair process is finished, ScanPST will display a summary. Review the report to ensure that all errors have been successfully fixed.

Step 8: Open Outlook and Test

After repairing the Outlook Data File, open Microsoft Outlook and check if the issues have been resolved. Verify that all emails, contacts, calendars, and other items are intact and accessible.

An Alternative to ScanPST.exe

An Alternative to ScanPST

When seeking an alternative solution to ScanPST.exe or the Inbox Repair tool, Stellar Repair for Outlook is a trusted choice to repair the PST file. This user-friendly tool can effectively scan and restore highly damaged or corrupted PST files and recover all mailbox contents, including emails, attachments, contacts, calendars, tasks, notes, and journals.

The recovered data is then saved to a new usable PST file, which can be seamlessly imported into MS Outlook.


ScanPST, provided by Microsoft, is a valuable utility for repairing corrupted or damaged Outlook data files (.pst). Above, we have provided the stepwise procedure to diagnose and fix issues with your Outlook data file using ScanPST.

With ScanPST, you can restore the functionality of your Outlook and continue smoothly managing your emails and other data. In case ScanPST fails to repair the PST file, then Stellar Repair for Outlook is a reliable alternative for repairing corrupt PST files.

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