Learn How to Use Inbox Repair Tool to Repair PST File

Whenever it comes down to corruption in the Outlook mailbox, the Inbox Repair tool is the very first thing you should always be looking for. So whenever you encounter an error message while opening the Outlook data file, maybe the PST file is corrupted and you need to repair it. In this article, I’ll walk you through the process to repair PST file by using the Inbox Repair tool. Let us see how Outlook PST Repair is done.

Common Outlook Errors

Whenever there’s an issue associated with the PST file or outlook PST file missing then, Microsoft Outlook throws error messages on the screen. Here is the list of the most common Outlook errors you may encounter due to corruption:

“The file xxxx.pst is not a personal folders file.”

“Errors have been detected in the file xxxx.pst. Quit Outlook and all mail-enabled applications, and then use the Inbox repair tool(Scanpst.exe) to diagnose and repair errors in the file. For more information about the Inbox repair tool, see Help.”

“Microsoft Outlook has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience.”

“Unable to display the folder. The file xxxx.pst could not be accessed.”

“The file xxxx.pst cannot be found.” 

“File xxxx.pst could not be accessed. Data error. Cyclic redundancy check.”

So if you’re facing any of these common Outlook errors, it’s better to run the Inbox Repair tool to scan the corrupt PST file. You can also run the Inbox Repair tool if you notice some specific symptoms like these:

  • Outlook client crashes while displaying a mailbox folder or writing data to it
  • mspst.dll errors are found in the event viewer
  • Outlook fails to complete the import/export process
  • Errors are encountered during send/receive operations,etc.

So whatever the issue or error is, you need to run the Inbox Repair tool to repair Outlook 2007,2008 etc . But before that, you need to find the scanpst location on your computer.

The Inbox Repair Tool (scanpst exe)

scanpst utilityMicrosoft provides a freeware built-in repair utility in Outlook, called the Inbox Repair tool. It gets installed on the local system during the Outlook installation. The Inbox Repair tool is commonly known as the scanpst exe utility. Its primary function is to check the PST file for integrity errors. It can diagnose the problem, and attempt to fix it. Generally, the Inbox Repair tool fixes the header corruption issues and rebuild the file structure.

Below are the key features of the Inbox Repair tool:

  • Closely examine the tables whether they’re correctly associated with the folders or not;
  • Intensive scanning of every row in the tables to check whether the messages or subfolders are available in the system or not;
  • Remove the entire row if the messages or subfolders are missing;
  • Smartly validate the messages as well as mailbox folder; etc.

SCANPST Location

Just remember, you must find out the scanpst location before you can run it on your computer. Sometimes novice Outlook users may find it difficult to locate the scanpst utility. Generally, the scanpst location depends on your Microsoft Outlook version. Below is the list of scanpst location according to the Outlook version you’re using:

inbox repair tool location

How to use Inbox Repair Tool to Repair PST File?

Once you successfully locate the scanpst exe utility, double-click the executable file and choose “Run as administrator”.

scanpst location

This will launch the Inbox Repair tool on your system.

inbox repair tool

Now click the Browse button to select the corrupt PST file.

Once you select the file, it’ll be listed on the edit box.

inbox repair tool

Now click the Start button to scan the PST file.

inbox repair tool

The scanning process is being conducted on your system. Don’t cancel it.

inbox repair tool

Within a couple of minutes, the Inbox Repair tool completes the scanning process and generates a scanning report. Here you can see the number of errors found during the scanning process.

Also, you can click the Details button for more information about the problem. Finally, you can click Repair to repair PST file.

inbox repair tool

Within a couple of minutes, the repairing process will be completed.

If the Inbox Repair Tool fails…

If the Inbox Repair tool has successfully repaired the Outlook data file, you can easily open it with no problem. But if you still encounter the error message, you should try running it again. And if the Inbox Repair tool fails repeatedly, maybe corruption is severe. Sometimes Outlook users receive this error message while running the Inbox Repair tool:

“The Microsoft Outlook Inbox Repair Tool does not recognize the PST file xxxx.pst. No information can be recovered.”

inbox repair tool does not recognize pst file

If the corruption is severe, the Inbox Repair tool may fail to recognize the PST file. In such a situation, you should always look forward to a professional solution. Or maybe before that, you should use the backup to restore the PST file from it when you find that scanpst exe missing. But if there’s no backup available, you must use a professional Outlook recovery solution.

Outlook users might be interested in how to Prevent Outlook Corruption

Professional PST Recovery Tool

The Inbox Repair tool can only fix minor corruption issues. In a case of severe corruption, the Inbox Repair tool fails to repair PST file. In such a situation, a professional PST Recovery tool can repair PST file and recover the mailbox content from it. It works as a lifesaver for Outlook users that can save the crucial mailbox data from being lost and is one of the best PST Repair tool. Unlike the scanpst exe utility, this professional solution can handle high-level of corruption without requiring any prior technical expertise. It can successfully restore emails, contacts, calendars, notes, tasks, journals, etc. as well as attachments, and save them into a new fresh PST file. Additionally, it can restore your data from the Deleted Items folder. Even you can recover the accidentally deleted email messages.

The PST Recovery tool is available with the demo version for free evaluation. The free PST repair tool allows you to scan and repair PST file. Also, you can check the preview of your recoverable mailbox data which prior to saving. And if you’re satisfied with the results, then only you should purchase the software.


In this article, we’ve discussed how to use repair PST file by using the Inbox Repair tool. But sometimes the Inbox Repair tool fails in a case of severe corruption. In such a situation, you should consider using a professional PST Recovery tool.

About The Author:

I'm a content writer in the field of Email Migration, Data Recovery, Email backup, and File Management. I started this writing career two years back. I think the vast range of information in this industry is the reason I am so fascinated to read about the newer techniques and technology.

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