2 Ways to Repair Outlook Data Files (.pst and .ost)
Summary: If your Outlook application has issues in opening or if your items are missing, you can use the following troubleshooting methods to repair Outlook data files (.pst and .ost).
MS Outlook stores your data in two different data files i.e., .pst and .ost. The Personal Storage Table (PST) saves the user’s messages, contacts, and other details on the client’s computer. Whereas, the OST file (Offline Outlook Data File) is used by the Microsoft Exchange Server that enables the users to work even in the absence of server access.
Whenever you add an email account in Outlook, it stores a local copy of your data on your computer. In such situations, the chances of your file get damaged or corrupted, increases. Outlook data file corruption is a common issue. You often get error messages such as:
– Can’t open your data file
– Can’t open the set of folders
– The data file may be damaged
These data files can blow up anytime and can lead to some most common Outlook errors that every other user has faced at least once.
Some common reasons behind the corruption of files can be virus or malware intrusion, abrupt network interruption, abnormal Outlook termination, incompatible Outlook plugin, internal structure issue, etc.
In this blog, we will provide you the best methods to help you overcome these problems.
How to Repair Outlook Data Files (.pst and .ost)?
MS Outlook provides an inbuilt feature called Inbox Repair Tool i.e., scanpst.exe option to help you detect the problem and solve it.
How to Use Scanpst.exe?
1. Exit Outlook and open any of the following locations depending upon your application version:
2019: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16
2016: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16
2013: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15
2010: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14
2007: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office12
2. Next, open scanpst.exe and browse the pst file that you want to scan.
3. Now, click on Start to begin the scanning process.
4. After this, click on Repair button if you detect any error.
5. After it has successfully repaired the file, launch Outlook with the profile associated with the file you repaired.
Limitations of Scanpst.exe?
- If your files are heavily damaged, they are beyond the scope of manual repair system. This feature fails to fix severely damaged files.
- This feature does not repair files that are larger than 2 GB. Such larger files go undetected by Scanpst.exe.
- Difficult to use for naive users as it requires technical knowledge to operate.
- Probability of modifying and losing important bits of data.
More often than not, the Inbox Repair Tool does not prove to be of great use when you need to fix bigger problems.
Alternate Solution to Repair Outlook Data Files (.pst and .ost)
As it is pretty obvious that you cannot use the manual method beyond the basic level of damage, you are bound to use an external application. PST and OST are two different data files, the Outlook PST repair is an ideal software to repair severely corrupted pst. While, on the other hand, the OST recovery tool is the ultimate solution to fix OST files.
Hundreds of thousands of users all across the world trust this software. These utilities repair even the permanently damaged files. You can decrypt and fix OST files by removing S/MIME or OpenPGP encryptions. Unlike the manual method, there are no limitations on the file size. Also, the files that have password-protection enabled can be fixed.
In this article, we provided a manual as well as automated software to repair Outlook data files (.pst and .ost). Users can opt for any of the ways that suit their requirements. However, the manual method has many limitations and it does not work well with bigger files or heavy corruption. The tools that we have recommended here are the only solutions that you have if the inbuilt feature of Outlook fails. Also, the risk of losing your data is zero with these applications.