How to repair a corupted Outlook .pst file

Outlook reports errors when trying to open its .pst file or opens but won’t open the "inbox." This is due to corruption inside of the .pst file. The .pst file is the data file where Outlook keeps everything including e-mails, calendar, contacts, etc. This corruption can because from many things including not closing Outlook properly and not keeping the "inbox" folder maintained (too many e-mails in the inbox folder).

There are a few possible solutions to fix this problem. The first step is to try running the Microsoft "scanpst.exe" utility that is installed as part of Outlook. This program will detect and repair errors in the .pst file. After it completes, run a "compact now" on the .pst file by going to Control Panel / Mail and finding the "compact now" button. Its locations varies based on the version of Outlook installed. This solution works on data files with only a little bit of corruption. If the problem occures again, it will be neccessary to create a new .pst file and manualy move the data from the old to the new .pst file. Follow these basic steps:

  1. Run scanpst.exe on the bad .pst file so that you can open it in Outlook
  2. Under Control Panel / Mail, add a new outlook.pst file and set it as the "default delivery" location.
  3. Open Outlook
  4. Expand the orgional .pst file with all of the data and do a move of all data from the orgional to the new .pst file. For special folders like the inbox, calendar, and contacts, you will need to create a folder in the new file with the exact name; i.e. "Inbox," do a select all and then move to the items from the orgional to the new .pst file.
Posted by: - Wed, Jun 6, 2012. This article has been viewed 5050 times.
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