How to Fix a Corrupt Outlook Data File and Restore Your Emails

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Microsoft Outlook is a widely used email client that plays a crucial role in our daily communication and organization. However, encountering a corrupt Outlook data file can be a frustrating and stressful experience. A corrupt PST (Personal Storage Table) file can result from various factors, such as sudden system crashes, malware attacks, or improper Outlook shutdowns. But fear not! In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the systematic process to fix a corrupt Outlook data file and recover your valuable emails, contacts, and calendar events.

Understanding the Symptoms of a Corrupt Outlook Data File

Before diving into the solution, it is essential to recognize the signs of a corrupt Outlook data file.

Common symptoms include:

⦁ Inability to open or access Outlook
⦁ Frequent error messages while launching Outlook
⦁ Missing or deleted emails, contacts, or calendar entries
⦁ Outlook freezing or crashing frequently
⦁ Sudden decrease in Outlook’s performance

Identifying these signs early can help prevent further damage and improve the chances of successful recovery.

Precautionary Measures to Protect Your Outlook Data

Prevention is better than cure, and taking a few precautionary measures can safeguard your Outlook data from corruption:

→ Regular Backups: Regularly back up your Outlook data using the built-in export or backup feature. This ensures you have a safe copy of your emails and other data in case of any unexpected issues.

→ Avoid Abrupt Shutdowns: Always close Outlook properly and avoid shutting down your system forcefully when Outlook is running. Closing Outlook inappropriately can lead to data file corruption.

→ Scan for Malware: Regularly run antivirus scans to detect and remove any malware that might target your Outlook data.

Using Inbox Repair Tool (ScanPST.exe) to Fix Corrupt Outlook Data File

Microsoft offers a built-in tool called “Inbox Repair Tool” (ScanPST.exe) that can help fix minor issues with your corrupt Outlook data file. Here’s how to use it:

Step 1: Close Outlook and locate the ScanPST.exe tool on your system. Its default location varies depending on your Outlook version and Windows OS.

Step 2: Double-click on ScanPST.exe to launch the tool.

Step 3: Click the “Browse” button and locate your corrupt PST file. The file may be named outlook.pst and is typically found in the following location:

⦁ Outlook 2019, 2016, 2013: C:\Users\Documents\Outlook Files
⦁ Outlook 2010: C:\Users\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook
⦁ Outlook 2007: C:\Users\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook

Step 4: Click on the “Start” button to begin the scanning process. The tool will analyze and repair the corrupt data file.

Step 5: Once the scanning process is complete, review the results for any errors. If the tool detects issues, click on “Repair” to fix them.

Step 6: After the repair process finishes, open Outlook and check if the corruption issues are resolved.

Note: The Inbox Repair Tool is effective for minor corruption issues, but it may not be sufficient for severe corruption. In such cases, consider using a professional PST repair tool for more robust recovery like Stellar Repair for Outlook.

Using Stellar PST Repair to Perform Advanced Recovery

If the Inbox Repair Tool fails to fix the corrupt Outlook data file or if you encounter more severe corruption issues, Stellar PST Repair offers a reliable and effective solution.

Here’s how to use it (Step by Step)

Step 1: Download and install Stellar PST Repair on your system.

Step 2: Launch Stellar PST Repair and select “Browse” to locate the corrupt PST file.

Launch Stellar PST Repair

Step 3: Click on “Repair” to initiate the scanning and recovery process.


Step 4: Once the scanning process completes, preview the recoverable items in a tree-view format.

Step 5: Select the desired emails, contacts, or calendar entries for recovery.

Select the desired email

Step 6: Click on “Save Repaired File” and choose the desired format (PST, MSG, EML, RTF, HTML, or PDF) to save the recovered data.

Save Repaired file

Step 7: Select a destination folder to save the repaired file and click on “OK.”

Step 8: The software will save the repaired PST file with the chosen data, and you can now open it in Outlook to access your recovered data.

Save Repaired PST File

Prevention and Best Practices for Future Outlook Data File Maintenance

⦁ Regular Backups: Continue with regular backups of your Outlook data to ensure data safety.
⦁ Keep Your System Updated: Regularly update your Outlook and Windows software to benefit from the latest security patches and improvements.
⦁ Use Reliable Antivirus Software: Deploy a reputable antivirus program to protect your system from malware and cyber threats.
⦁ Avoid Oversized PST Files: If your PST file is approaching the size limit, consider archiving old data or using a PST file splitting tool to reduce the file size.


Final Takeaway

A corrupt Outlook data file can be a distressing experience, but with the right knowledge and tools, recovery is within reach. The built-in Inbox Repair Tool can address minor corruption issues, while professional software like Stellar PST Repair ensures more comprehensive and successful recovery.