Repairing a Corrupt Outlook .PST File

Outlook .pst files are subject to corruption. Here's how to repair them.

A Question For You

This article has two paths. If you own Outlook 2003 or later, then continue reading this article. It tells you how to fix your .pst/.ost file using software that you already own.

If you do not own Outlook, click here to read an alternate article about repairing .ost/.pst files without Scanpst.exe. This article discusses 3rd party Pst/Ost recovery software. There are many different email recovery software vendors, and not all of them are equal in their quality and ethics.. We tested seven different packages to arrive at the recommendations described in this article.

Repairing a .Pst File with Microsoft's ScanPst.exe Utility

We created this web page to help customers of our email viewing software who encounter corrupt .pst or .ost files. The e-Mail viewing software developed by Encrytomatic LLC is used globally to open thousands of Outlook .pst files each day. A small percentage of those files are corrupt and require special software to repair the corruption. When our software encounters a corrupt .pst or .ost file, it notifies the user and displays a link to this page. It is our intention to provide you with the information you will need to recover your files.

The good news is that in almost all cases, these .pst and .ost files can be repaired and the e-Mails within them recovered.

Although there are many companies claiming to offer software that will fix .pst files, in our experience they are usually expensive. Not all of these packages work very well. We have even encountered companies purporting to offer free .pst email viewing software which falsely tells users that their pst file is corrupt, even when it it is not, apparently in a ruse to get them to buy the .pst reparir software.

In our opinion, the most effective and software for repairing .pst or .ost e-Mails is Microsoft's ScanPst utility, which is bundled with Microsoft Office Outlook. Unfortunately, ScanPst can be difficult for non-technical people to use. The software is not distributed separately from Outlook. But if you already own a copy of Outlook 2003 or later, you can use this free Microsoft tool to repair your Pst file.

How do I find ScanPst.exe?

These instructions from Microsoft will take you the process of using their tool to restore your Pst file.