Describes how to locate the Inbox Repair Tool (Scanpst.exe), which is designed to repair Personal Folders (.pst) files.

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Repair your personal folder file (.pst) in Outlook

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In this article

Original KB number: 272227

To repair your Outlook Personal Folders file (.pst) using the Inbox Repair Tool, do the following.

Step 1: Exit Outlook and start the Inbox Repair Tool

Automatically start the inbox repair tool

Start the Inbox Repair Tool (Scanpst.exe). Then click Open or Run in the File Download dialog box and follow the steps in the Easy Fix Wizard

After launching the Inbox Repair Tool, proceed to Step 2. (Can’t start the Inbox Repair Tool?)

Manually start the inbox repair tool

If you want to start the Inbox Repair Tool manually, use Microsoft Windows Explorer to locate one of the folders, and then double-click the Scanpst.exe file.

Note

The file or folders may be hidden. See your operating system documentation for instructions on how to view files and folders.

location
Remarks

<disk drive>\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16
For click-to-run installations of Outlook 2016 on a 32-bit version of Windows

<disk drive>\Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\Office16
For click-to-run installations of Outlook 2016 on a 64-bit version of Windows

<disk drive>\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office16
For MSI-based installations of Outlook 2016 on a 32-bit version of Windows

<disk drive>\Programs\Microsoft Office\Office16
For MSI-based installations of Outlook 2016 on a 64-bit version of Windows

<disk drive>\Program Files\Microsoft Office 15\root\office15
For click-to-run installations of Outlook 2013 on a 64-bit version of Windows

<disk drive>\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office 15\root\office15
For click-to-run installations of Outlook 2013 on a 32-bit version of Windows

<disk drive>\Programs\Microsoft Office\Office15
For MSI-based installations of Outlook 2013 on a 64-bit version of Windows

<disk drive>\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15
For MSI-based installations of Outlook 2013 on a 32-bit version of Windows

<disk drive>:\Programs\Microsoft Office\Office14
For Outlook 2010 on a 64-bit version of Windows

<disk drive>:\Program Files\Microsoft Office (x86)\Office14
For Outlook 2010 on a 32-bit version of Windows

<disk drive>:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12
For Outlook 2007 on a 64-bit version of Windows

<disk drive>:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office12
For Outlook 2007 on a 32-bit version of Windows

<disk drive>:\Programs\Common Files\System\Mapi\1033| Other typical location

<disk drive>\Programs\Common Files\System\MSMAPI\1033
Other typical location

<disk drive>:\Programs\Common Files\System\Mapi\1033\NT
Other typical location (for Windows NT and Windows 2000)

<disk drive>:\Programs\Common Files\System\Mapi\1033\95
Other typical location (for Windows 95 and Windows 98)

(Can’t find the Inbox Repair Tool?)

Step 2: Repair the PST file

In the Inbox Repair Tool, enter the path and filename of your personal folders file (.pst) or click Browse to locate the file using the Windows file system, and then click Start.

Note

If you don’t know where the PST file is located, follow the steps in Find, move, or backup the PST file.

Note

  • The Inbox Repair Tool may need to be run multiple times to fully repair your personal folders (.pst) file.
  • The Inbox Repair Tool cannot fix every problem it detects. In some cases items cannot be recovered if they have been permanently deleted or damaged beyond repair.

Step 3: Recover repaired items to a new PST file

After running the Inbox Repair Tool, you can start Outlook and restore repaired items. Optionally, you can try to restore additional repaired items from personal folder backup.

To do this, first create a new Personal Folders file (.pst) in your profile. Then you can move the recovered items to the new Personal Folders file (.pst).

  1. Start Outlook. If you are using multiple profiles in Outlook, make sure you select the profile that contains the personal folders (.pst) file that you were trying to repair.

  2. Press Ctrl+6 to activate the Folder List view.

  3. Your folder list should show the following restored folders:

    Recovered Personal Folders
    
    Calendar
    Contacts
    Deleted Items
    inbox
    journal
    Note
    outbox
    SentItems
    tasks
    

    Note

    These recovered folders are usually empty because it is a newly created PST file. You should also see a folder called “Lost/Found”. This folder contains folders and items that the Inbox Repair Tool has recovered. Items that are not in the Lost and Found folder may not be repairable.

  4. Create a new Personal Folders file (.pst) in your profile. The steps may vary depending on the version of Outlook you are using.

    Outlook 2010 and later

    1. Click the File tab on the ribbon, and then click the Info tab on the menu.
    2. Click the Account Settings button, then select Account Settings again.
    3. Click on the Data Files tab.
    4. Click Add to open the Create or Open Outlook Data File dialog box.
    5. Enter a file name for the new Outlook data file (.pst), and then click OK.
    6. There should now be a new Outlook data file (.pst) in your profile.

    Outlook 2007

    1. On the File menu, click Data File Management.
    2. Click Add to open the New Outlook Data File dialog box.
    3. In the Storage Types dialog box, select Office Outlook Personal Folders File (.pst), and then click OK .
    4. In the Create or Open Outlook Data File dialog box, select a directory and file name for the new Personal Folders file (.pst), and then click OK.
    5. Click OK.
    6. There should now be a new Personal Folders file (.pst) in your profile.

    Outlook 2003

    1. On the File menu, point to New, and then click Outlook Data File.
    2. Click OK to open the Create or Open Outlook Data File dialog box.
    3. Enter a filename for the new personal folders file (.pst), and then click OK to close the Create Microsoft Personal Folders dialog box open.
    4. Enter a file name for the new Personal Folders file (.pst), and then click OK.
    5. There should now be a new Personal Folders file (.pst) in your profile.

    Outlook 2002

    1. On the File menu, point to New, and then click Personal Folders File (.pst).
    2. Select Create to open the Create Microsoft Personal Folders dialog box.
    3. Enter a file name for the new Personal Folders file (.pst), and then click OK.
    4. There should now be a new Personal Folders file (.pst) in your profile.
  5. Drag the recovered items from the Lost/Found folder into the new Personal Folders file (.pst).

  6. Once you’ve moved all the items, you can remove the Recovered Personal Folders (.pst) file from your profile. This includes the Lost/Found folder.

  7. If you are satisfied with the information recovered, you are done. However, if you want to try restoring more information, skip to the Restore Repaired Items from Backup File (Optional) section.

What is the inbox repair tool

The Inbox Repair Tool (“Scanpst.exe”) is designed to help fix problems with Personal Folders (.pst) files.

The Inbox Repair Tool is automatically installed with all Microsoft Outlook installation options (depending on your operating system).

Can’t find the inbox repair tool?

If the Inbox Repair Tool does not start automatically or manually, you can try Repair your Office program.

Recover repaired items from the backup file (optional)

Note

If you were unable to open your original Personal Folders (.pst) file before running the Inbox Repair Tool, the following procedures may not work. If it doesn’t work, then you won’t be able to recover any additional information. If you were able to open the file, you may be able to recover more items from the damaged Personal Folders file (.pst) using the following procedure.

When you run the Inbox Repair Tool, the option to back up the original personal folder file (.pst) is automatically selected. This option creates a file named filename.bak on disk. This file is a copy of the original filename.pst file with a different extension. If after following the steps in the previous section you think you are still missing something, you can try to restore more information from this backup file using the following steps:

Locate the .bak file. It is located in the folder of your original Personal Folders (.pst) file.

  1. Locate the .bak file. It is located in the folder of your original Personal Folders (.pst) file.

  2. Make a copy of the .bak file and rename it with a .pst extension. For example, name the file “New Name.pst” (without the quotation marks).

  3. Import the New Name.pst file created in the previous step into Outlook using the Import/Export Wizard. To do this, proceed as follows:

    1. On the File menu, click Import/Export.

      Note

      In Outlook 2010, click the File tab on the ribbon, click Open, and then click Import.

    2. Select Import from another program or file, and then click Next.
    3. Click Personal Folders File (.pst), and then click Next.
    4. Under File to import, select Browse, and then double-click your New Name.pst file.
    5. Under Options, click Do not import duplicates, and then click Next.
    6. Under Select a folder to import from, select the personal folders file (.pst) and click Include subfolders.
    7. Click Import items into the same folder in, and then select your new personal folder (.pst).
    8. Click Finish.

Note

Remember that the backup file is the original corrupted file. You may find that you cannot recover any items other than the items recovered from the Lost/Found folder. Unfortunately, if you are unable to import the NewName.pst file into Outlook, all information that is not in the Lost and Found folder will be lost.

ScanPST detects and in most cases corrects errors in the internal data structures of PST files. A PST file is a database file. Therefore, structures such as BTrees and reference counts are checked and repaired as needed. These lower-level objects are unaware of the upper-level structures built on top of them, such as messages, calendar items, etc.

If ScanPST finds that a specific structure or table block is unreadable or corrupt, ScanPST removes it. If that block was part of a specific Outlook item, that item will be removed when it is checked.

You might not expect this behavior, but removing the element is the appropriate course of action given the circumstances. This particular situation occurs very rarely and it is always recorded in the ScanPST application log file.

More obvious high-level changes that you’ll notice concern folders and messages.

Folders

ScanPST examines each folder in the PST file and performs the following operations:

  1. ScanPST ensures that the correct tables are mapped to the folder.
  2. ScanPST examines each row in each table and ensures that the message or subfolder exists on the system.
  3. If ScanPST cannot find the message or subfolder, ScanPST removes the row from the table.
  4. If ScanPST finds the message or subfolder, ScanPST examines the message or folder.
  5. If the verification fails, the message or folder is considered corrupt and is removed from the table and deleted from the database.
  6. If the scan completes successfully, ScanPST performs another analysis to ensure that the message values ​​now recovered match the values ​​in the table. Corrupted folders will be recreated from scratch if needed. These folders do not contain any user data.

Messages

Most users will experience message-related operations, as a corrupted item is likely to result in a part being deleted from the PST file. ScanPST performs the following operations on messages:

  1. ScanPST performs basic checks of attachment tables and recipient tables. This process is similar to how a folder handles the messages it contains.

  2. Once verification of the recipient table confirms that the recipients are correctly formatted, ScanPST makes the necessary changes to allow these valid recipient table contents to be synchronized with the recipient properties in the message. ScanPST also ensures that the message’s parent folder points to a valid folder. The following message properties are checked to ensure they conform to valid data formats:

    • PR_MESSAGE_CLASS

      ScanPST checks whether this property is present. If the property does not exist, it is set to IPM.Note.

    • PR_MESSAGE_FLAGS

      Each flag is checked individually.

    • PR_SUBMIT_FLAGS

      This check is similar to the process for message flags.

    • PR_CLIENT_SUBMIT_TIME

      If the shipment identifiers indicate that the message is marked as sent, this property must be present. If the shipment indicators show that the message is marked as sent, the time is set to Now.

    • PR_SEARCH_KEY

      This property must be present. If the property does not exist, a random GUID is created for it.

    • PR_CREATION_TIME

      This property must be present. If the property is not present, the time is set to Now.

    • PR_LAST_MODIFICATION_TIME

      This property must be present. If the property is not present, the time is set to Now.

    • PR_MESSAGE_SIZE

      Sizes are recalculated and compared to saved values. If the sizes differ slightly, the calculated value is written.

No validation is performed explicitly for properties related to the body or to the subject, apart from the implicit low-level validation discussed earlier in this article. The properties related to viewing the recipient are modified to match the restored recipient table. Once this process is complete, other algorithms are run to collect any orphaned messages and place them in an appropriate folder.

For more information on binary structures (Btrees), see A comprehensive study of data structures.


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