ways to repair your corrupt PST file

Unable to access your Microsoft Outlook PST file? Know how to repair your corrupt Outlook file either using Microsoft Outlook inbox repair tool (Scanpst.exe) or Remo Repair Outlook PST tool. Understand the need of a better PST repair tool by evaluating Scanpst’s capabilities.Remo Repair Outlook PST tool is capable of retriving emails, contacts, calendars, journals, tasks, notes etc from your corrupt PST file.

PST repair tool also called as Scanpst.exe is designed by Microsoft to repair your Outlook data files stored in a personal storage table (.PST) file. This file contains all the user data comprising emails, contacts, events and calendar details etc.


The format and organization of this data is defined by a table. When there is any kind of mismatch in the format your data tends to get corrupted. This same table is referred by PST repair tool (Inbox repair tool) to reconstruct the file structure.

However, severe corruptions require complex reconstructions that might not be handled by Scanpst.exe. The following information is presented to help you understand:

  • Causes of PST corruption
  • Work methodology of Scanpst.exe
  • Limitations of Scanpst.exe
  • Alternative to Outlook PST repair tool Scanpst.exe

Causes of PST file corruption:

  • Oversized .pst file: The bigger the size of your PST file the greater the chances of corruption.
  • File errors occur whenever a PST file is stored in the presence of a bad sector.
  • When a file is shared or accessed through a network drive, it will lead to PST file corruption.
  • When the Outlook file is in access, improper termination of MS Outlook or shutting down of your computer can cause damage to your file.
  • Virus Infection on your computer is one of the most common ways in which Outlook data file can be corrupted.

Work methodology of Scanpst.exe a free Microsoft tool to repair your PST file:

Scanpst works on the source PST file to repair & recover data. It checks each row of a table and verifies if messages or subfolders exist in the file by referring to table.

It carefully checks the directory of PST file looking for headers and other low-level objects like the B-tree structures that hold the reference counts and data. If any errors are found the tool repairs and recovers the damaged information.

Scanpst is automatically called when any errors are detected while trying to open you PST file. However, if you wish to run Scanpst on a desired PST file at your will, you can find Scanpst in the app data. The location of Scanpst is unique to every version of Outlook.

Limitations of Scanpst.exe

  • If PST repair tool cannot find the messages or subfolders it removes the entire row from the table and if the tools finds messages or subfolder then it will validate the data to repair.
  • High level file corruption cannot be repaired by this tool leading to Outlook Repair Tool Not Responding Error.
  • Deleted emails of PST file cannot be retrieved using Scanpst repair tool.
  • This tool cannot access and repair password protected PST files.
  • It is not built to repair oversized MS Outlook data files.
  • At times during the repair process, Scanpst may delete some part of data in the source file.

Remo Outlook Repair PST a recommended alternative to Scanpst:

  • Remo Repair PST does not work directly on source PST file, it creates an image of the source file and copies the data from the source file to image file to avoid further file corruption.
  • This software can repair high-level corrupted files unlike scanpst.exe.
  • It provides a preview similar to MS Outlook to view the data present from the corrupted PST file.
  • PST files up to 50GB and any corruptions on massive files can be repaired using this utility.

5 Steps to repair a MS Outlook PST file:

  • Step 1: Download and launch Remo Repair (PST) then go to File -> Repair PST File
  • Step 2: This PST Repair Tool opens a dialogue box with following options remo software home screen
    • A: Open Default PST File -> This option takes you to the default PST file location mentioned in Outlook
    • B: Select PST File Manually -> If you know the PST file location, by using this option you can open the desired PST file manually
    • C: Find All Your PST Files -> By choosing this option, the software scans drive and show all the PST files available in the system. Choose the corrupted PST file to repair
  • Step 3: Next window shows two scan options to repair the file based on the level of corruption

    • A: Normal Scan-> This option is chosen to repair low level corrupted PST file
    • B: Smart Scan-> This option is chosen to repair high level corrupted PST file
  • Step 4: Choose the destination path to save the new file and repair the file
  • Step 5: Once the PST Repair Tool completes the repair process, an information dialogue box pops up with details about the number of emails, contacts, tasks, calendar, journals, and notes recovered
    Now the corrupted PST file is repaired by PST repair tool. Open the file from the saved destination file path.
remo software end screen

Precautions to prevent PST file corruption

  • Split large size PST files into prescribed file size
  • Proper MS Outlook application shutdown
  • Manage your Outbox effectively to avoid PST file corruption
  • Install anti-virus utility to scan the system regularly for malware protection
  • Regular check-up for Bad Sectors in HDD
  • Manual backup of your PST file prevents data loss due to corruption.
  • Do not save or access your PST file through network drives.
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