TechnologyRebuild The Outlook PST File – Methods You Should Know

Rebuild The Outlook PST File – Methods You Should Know

The consequences of the corrupt PST (Personal Storage Table) file are severe, as the issue leads to multiple Outlook errors like missing emails, inaccessible mailbox contents, data loss, etc.

The risk of losing crucial data will surely give the user a tough time. To troubleshoot this error, we can rebuild the Outlook PST file.

In this post, we will discuss some methods, including an expert-recommended way to rebuild a corrupt PST data file. 

The health of the PST (Personal Storage Table) files is mandatory for hassle-free Outlook operations.

This data file is crucial as it stores mailbox items like emails, contacts, calendar entries, tasks, and other data. As PST files are exposed to corruption, we must take ample steps to protect their integrity.

A corrupt PST file not only hinders the operational functionality of Outlook but also denies access to vital information stored in these files.

What is more annoying than the risk of losing data, having contacts become unreachable, or emails going missing?

Fortunately, we are blessed to have certain methods that help us overcome such difficult scenarios. Rebuilding the Outlook PST file is one such method.

And this blog post aims to equip users with information regarding rebuilding the corrupt PST file using the Inbox Repair Tool.

We will also discuss an alternate solution to rebuild a corrupt PST data file employing PST file Recovery Software.

Factors Responsible For Outlook PST File Corruption

Understanding the root cause of corruption can help us protect our valuable data in a better way, as we emphasize not creating conditions for PST file corruption.

File Corruption

In this section, we will discuss common reasons that result in PST file corruption. Some of them are listed below:

  • Large File Size: If the PST file size exceeds the limit imposed by Outlook, it can lead to corruption issues. Like in Outlook 2002, there was a size limit of 2GB. Even though the size has increased in newer Outlook versions, the probability of corruption in a large PST file remains higher.
  • Sudden System or Power Failures: Sudden system crashes or power outages while Outlook is in use can lead to PST file corruption. 
  • Networking Error: Any disturbances with the network connectivity can lead to corruption in the PST file stored on those network drives or servers.
  • Virus Attack: Any malware or virus attack on the PST file can cause data corruption issues by altering the file content.
  • Forceful Outlook Shutdown: PST file corruption issues are also caused by improper shutdown of Outlook or the system.
  • Software Conflicts: The integrity of the PST files can be affected by conflicts between Outlook’s default functionality and other software like third-party add-ins or incompatible antivirus.
  • Faulty Add-Inns: We install third-party plugins, also known as add-inn, to enhance Outlook’s functionality. But sometimes, these add-inns are not compatible with the default functionality of Outlook, resulting in PST file corruption issues. 
  • Corrupt Email Attachments: Sometimes improper email attachments cause PST file corruption issues when the user tries to open or save them. 
  • Missing Backup Processes: Backup of PST files is essential for safeguarding data. If such a process is missing, then corruption issues in the PST files are inevitable.

How To Rebuild the Outlook PST File – Methods You Should Know

In this section, we will discuss in length regarding rebuilding Outlook PST files. Some of the methods available to troubleshoot this issue are listed below: 

Fix 1: Rebuild Using The Inbox Repair Tool or Scanpst.exe

Microsoft Outlook is powered with a built-in Inbox Repair tool, popularly known as Scanpst.exe to fix multiple issues related to its functionality.

This free utility scans the PST files for possible issues & errors, and fixes them. Follow the below steps to scan the PST file using Scanpst.exe or the Inbox Repair Tool:

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Step 1: Close and Exit the Outlook App

Step 2: Explore the Microsoft Office folder in the Program Files folder

Step 3: Search for and launch the ScanPST.exe file in the Microsoft Office folder

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Step 4: Click the browse button and enter the name of the PST file you want to repair and rebuild

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Step 5: After shortlisting the corrupt PST file, click on the ‘Start’ button to initiate the scan process

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Step 6: The inbox repair tool will scan the file and displays all possible errors

Step 7: After this, you will receive a prompt for creating a backup file, enter the file backup name and proceed

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Step 8: Press ‘Repair’ button to start PST data file repairing process 

Step 9: When the process is done, the PST file will be rebuilt

Step 10: Relaunch the Outlook app and try to open the PST file that was just fixed

Fix 2: Removing or Renaming The PST File

Another easy way to rebuild a new PST file is by deleting it. Once you delete a file, Outlook automatically makes a new file on the next launch.

However, this method is not recommended by experts as it may result in the permanent deletion of data.

Therefore, renaming the corrupt file is a better option because you can also keep the old file as a backup. Follow the below process for renaming the PST file:

Step 1: Exit Outlook

Step 2: Explore the hard drive and open the document folder.

Step 3: Click Outlook files and choose the email folder whose PST file you want to rebuild.

Step 4: Scroll the file list and search the file with a “.pst” extension.

Step 5: Right-click on the file and choose the ‘Rename’ option.

Step 6: Edit the file name and add some extensions, like.pst.

Step 7: Save the new file name.

Once you are done with the successful renaming of the PST data file, you can start the Outlook app to discover a new.PST file at the default location on your hard drive.

Fix 3: Scan Using PST Recovery Software

Even though Scanpst or the Inbox Repair Tool is a free built-in utility provided by Microsoft, it may fail to solve complex corruption issues in the PST file..

There is also an expert-recommended method of employing third-party PST recovery software to rebuild the corrupt PST file.

We can employ software like Stellar Repair for Outlook to extract the mailbox data by repairing the corrupt PST.

This software is strongly recommended by IT experts for its ability to repair severely-corrupted PST files easily without compromising on their integrity.

recovery software

Salient Features of Stellar Repair for Outlook

This PST recovery software is available in three versions: Professional, Technician, and Toolkit. Empowered with a user-friendly interface, it is apt for users with all levels of technical expertise.

IT administrators recommend this software because of the following advanced features:

  • It repairs corrupt PST files with 100% integrity and precision.
  • It recovers all mailbox items such as, emails, contacts, calendars, sent items, deleted items etc
  • It restores the deleted emails.
  • It offers advanced filtering options to include or exclude emails.
  • It provides the opportunity to save mailbox data in different file formats like PST, EML, MSG, RTF, HTML, and PDF (professional) and MBOX (Technician).
  • It exports the recovered PST to Office 365, Live Exchange Server (Technician).
  • It can split and compact the restored PST file (Technician).
  • It provides features to export contacts in CSV, merge multiple PST files, and improve scanning and saving speed (Toolkit).

Wrap Up

The PST (Personal Storage Table) files are crucial for the hassle-free operations of Outlook.

But sometimes, factors like sudden shutdowns, software issues, hardware failures, and others cause corruption issues in the PST files. This situation will lead to inaccessible mailbox contents as well as the risk of data loss.

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Rebuilding the Outlook PST (Personal Storage Table) file is one of the solutions to repair a corrupt PST file using the Inbox Repair Tool or Scanpst.exe.

We have also discussed an expert-recommended, alternate solution to rebuild a damaged PST file using PST Recovery Software like Stellar Repair for Outlook.

There are innumerable advantages to using Stellar Repair for Outlook. It not only recovers all mailbox items and restores the deleted emails, but also provides the option to save the mailbox data in multiple file formats like PST, EML, MSG, RTF, HTML, and PDF.

The technician version of this software also provides options to split, compact, and export the restored PST file to O365 and Live Exchange servers.


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