Simplified method to Repair Outlook Data File | A Complete Guide

Microsoft Outlook the most used email service across the globe has its own pros and cons. As the Outlook data file is vulnerable to corruption, chances of losing your Outlook data is very high. This article sheds light on different types of Outlook data files and provides a dedicated solution to perform Outlook data recovery by repairing Outlook data file easily.

Errors that Indicate Corrupted Outlook Data File 

  • Outlook PST file cannot be opened
  • The set of folders cannot be opened
  • The Outlook data file (.pst) format cannot be used 
  • Microsoft Outlook exited without properly closing your Outlook data file

These are some of the common among various Outlook errors that specify that your Outlook data file is damaged or corrupted.

As a matter of fact There are two kinds of Outlook data file, .pst and .ost format. The following infographic will explain the differences among them.

Infographic on how to repair Outlook data file and perform Outlook data recovery

free-download-for-win free-download-for-win

Repairing Outlook data file:

Now that you know the types of Outlook data files and their differences, let us quickly move on to repairing the corrupt Outlook data file. Before proceeding to repair the Outlook data file, create a backup of the PST and OST files to safeguard from further damage.

Initially you can use Scanpst.exe or Outlook inbox repair tool to fix the Outlook data file. 

Here is the default location of Scanpst.exe: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16 or you can click here to know the ScanPST location.

However, under any circumstances if your are unable to repair the Outlook data file using Scanpst.exe it is recommended to use a third party PST repair tool. 

When choosing an appropriate PST repair tool, it is important to consider safety, integrity and efficiency of the software. Trust Remo Repair PST with repairing Outlook data file as it is designed to create a copy of corrupted or damaged Outlook data file and then conducts repairs to ensure the safety and integrity of Outlook data. Download the free trial now, to repair Outlook data file in three efficient steps.


How to repair Outlook data file:PST?

(This method is applicable to repairing PST file only. To know about Outlook data recovery please move on to the next section.)

Download and Install Remo Repair PST in your computer and follow the below mentioned steps to repair Outlook data file:

1) Launch the software and choose one from the following options:

  • Open Default PST File: This option will let the tool select the default PST file.
  • Select PST File Manually: With this option you can manually select the PST file by browsing.
  • Find all your PST Files: This option will list you all available PST files. You can choose the Outlook data file to be repaired.
    remo repair PST home screen

    Select any of the above option and move on to the next screen.

2) In the next screen you will have two options:

  • Normal Scan: This option is when the level of corruption in PST file is low.
  • Smart Scan: You can make use of this option when there is a severe corruption with PST file. Always use Smart Scan if Normal Scan fails to repair Outlook data file.

3) Select the level of scanning based on your requirement and provide the destination folder to save the file.

  • Click on repair to start the repairing Outlook data file. After completion, the software facilitates the preview of recovered Outlook data in the Outlook styled browser.
    If you are satisfied with the Outlook data recovery and repair process you go ahead and save the files.

After repairing the Outlook data file, a healthy PST file will be saved in the selected destination folder. To access the contents of repaired Outlook data file you need to import it into your Outlook application. The instructions on how to import an Outlook data file are mentioned in the next section.

How to Import an Outlook Data File

Launch the Outlook application > File > Open and export > Import/ Export > Import from another program or a File > Next > Outlook data file (.pst) > Browse (access the destination folder you mentioned while repairing Outlook data file and select the healthy PST file) > Replace duplicates with items imported > import items into the current folder > finish.

Follow the mentioned path or process carefully to finish importing PST file into Outlook application.

How to repair Offline Outlook data file or OST?

An OST file will help the user to work offline and later synchronize with the online server. This means you can recreate a healthy OST file by logging out and logging into your profile. In order to recreate the OST file log out from your profile and delete the existing OST file. Later login into your profile on Outlook application. If everything goes well a new and healthy OST file should be recreated.

However, for the sake of safety of Outlook data file  set a backup of the OST file. 

If you feel it is not secure to recreate an OST file Remo Repair PST can also repair OST data file  so that you don’t need to go through the process of recreating the Outlook data file 

How do I perform Outlook data recovery?

Recovering Outlook data from PST:

Recovering Outlook data from a damaged or corrupt PST file can be done by repairing it using ScanPST.exe or a PST repair tool. The solution is already mentioned in the earlier part of the article in the form of Remo Repair PST.

However, there might even be some accidentally deleted emails or lost emails that can only be recovered using Remo Repair PST. Remo Repair PST also have recovery algorithms that are capable of recovering deleted Outlook emails, contacts, calendar.

Recovering Outlook data from OST:

The most preferred way to perform Outlook data recovery on the OST file is to convert OST to PST. You will need a trusted tool for this job without any error.
Remo Convert OST to PST is the most recommended tool to convert OST to PST. The tool easily converts your damaged or corrupt OST file into PST file from which you can easily recover Outlook data. It ensures the recovery of items like emails, contacts, calendars, etc from the Offline Outlook data file. The software is designed to ensure quick conversion of OST to PST to in 3 clicks only.

Benefits of Remo Repair PST:

  • Ensures quick Outlook data recovery like emails, contacts, notes, calendar items, etc.
  • Designed to repair password protected and compressed files
  • Tailor-made to recover deleted Outlook items
  • Facilitates a preview of recovered Outlook data with all the personal folders
  • Supports Microsoft Office, Outlook 2003, Outlook 2007, Outlook 2010, Outlook 2013 & Outlook 2016

Quick tips to avoid Outlook data file corruption:

They say prevention is better than cure. Similarly, it is better to avoid taking steps to avoid corruption than trying to repair later. The following tips will come handy to keep your Outlook data file away from corruption:

  • Protect your computer with a trusted antivirus software
  • Always have a backup of Outlook data file to fight unanticipated data loss scenarios.
  • Handle large emails and attachments with proper care.
    Note: If you have come across any error related to opening attachments in Outlook, click to know how to fix unable to open attachments in outlook.
  • Reduce the size of the mailbox and the size of Outlook data files
  • Keep an eye on your Outlook inbox and try removing unwanted spam items from Outlook


It is always rewarding to know more about the Microsoft email service that you use every day. This article is compiled necessary information on what an Outlook data file and its types OST and PST. The article also provides a dedicated solution for each type of Outlook data file, i.e OST and PST. Do let us know your thoughts on repairing Outlook data file in the comments section. Don’t forget to share the article if you found our article helpful.

Simplified method to Repair Outlook Data File | A Complete Guide was last modified: December 30th, 2019 by Molly Owen
9 comments on “Simplified method to Repair Outlook Data File | A Complete Guide
  1. brook perez says:

    My Outlook application is hanging up while loading my profile. Is there a way to fix it

    • Molly Owen says:

      Hello Brook,
      Thanks for reaching us.
      Outlook application can lag or freeze when it is not frequently updated.
      This is a minor issue and can be easily fixed by uninstalling and reinstalling the Outlook application. Lastly login with appropriate profile credentials. However, before uninstalling the Outlook application it is recommended to take a backup of the PST file.

      A PST file is Outlook data file. Outlook locally stores all the Outlook components such as emails, contacts, schedules in a PST file. FYI, the default .pst file location is “C:\Users\Documents\Outlook Files”

  2. Isobel Green says:

    My outlook is displaying error message “cannot start microsoft outlook. Cannot open outlook windows. Cannot open set of folders” when I tried to open. Help me resolve the issue.

    • Molly Owen says:

      Hello Isobel Green,
      The error indicates that your Microsoft Outlook data file is damaged or corrupt. You can resolve the issue either by using Outlook inbox repair tool Scanpst.exe or using the Remo’s Repair Outlook PST. However, Scanpst.exe is only limited to repair minor issues. While working on the original file, there might be chances of losing important emails during repair.
      Remo Repair PST can seamlessly fix all the Outlook Data file issues. Since, it works only in read only mode there is no fear of data loss. If the error is still unresolved you can always write to us on

  3. Cassie says:

    Hello Molly. I tried to import my PST file from another computer. So I replaced my existing PST file with an old file but when I opened my Outlook it is not loading data from imported PST file. Is my PST file damaged or did I make any mistake while importing?

    • Molly Owen says:

      Hello Cassie, I hope you are having a great day. I have seen your comment. Can you please mention the location of the pst file and how you replaced it.

      • Cassie says:

        Location of the pst file is in documents and the folder name is Outlook files. So after logging into my outlook account deleted the existing pst file and replaced it with my old file. I closed my Outlook when I replaced the pst file and when I reopened Outlook I expected it to load all my emails from the old pst file. But, it didn’t happen.

        • Molly Owen says:

          Hello cassie,

          It’s good to hear from you again.
          The good news is your PST file is not damaged. The issue is raised because you have not completed the importing process. Just follow the below mentioned steps to complete importing PST file.

          Outlook > File > Open & Export > Import/ Export > Import from another program or a file > Next > Outlook data file (.pst) > Next > Browse (select the file imported PST file) > Mark Replace duplicates with items imported > Next > Mark Import Items into the current folder > Finish.

          Thanks for reaching out

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