Microsoft Outlook might be a secure and stable emailing platform, but still the data files (PST) are not immune to corruption and other issues. As Personal Storage Table (PST files) holds important emails and other items, it becomes necessary to repair them immediately. Though the Inbox Repair Tool (scanpst.exe) is available as an immediate solution to many PST issues, it certainly is not a foolproof solution.

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Scenarios where the Inbox repair tool may fail to repair corrupt PST

The Scanpst.exe is ideal for fixing minor corruption problems such as Header corruption. However, this inbuilt tool has many limitations.

  • Unable to repair very large PST files easily.
  • Unable to repair severely corrupt PST files.
  • Cannot fix critical error messages, such as: “Unknown error “80040801”.
  • Unable to retrieve deleted Outlook emails (both intentional or accidental).
  • Consumes a lot time to repair the affected PST file.
  • May fail to identify some corruption issues.

In some occasions, the Inbox Repair tool may send an error message like:

“Internal errors were found in this file. They must be repaired for this file to work correctly.”

Error massage

What to do if the Inbox Repair Tool fails to fix PST issues?

Scenario I: When PST File Can Be Opened in Outlook

If you can open the PST file, you should try to copy the data from damaged PST file to a newly-created PST file. You can open the PST file in Outlook from its File tab. If the file opens, create a new PST file and copy the data to it by following the steps below.

Steps to create new PST file:

In Outlook 2007 and prior versions

  • Launch MS Outlook >> Go to “File” tab >> click “New” >> click “Outlook Data File

In Microsoft Outlook 2010 Version

  1. Launch MS Outlook application.
  2. Under Home tab, select “New Items” click “More Items” again click “Outlook Data File”
  3. Now, select the ‘Copy Folder‘ option to copy the data from the corrupt PST file to newly-created PST File.
    Select Copy Folder

Note: Once the data is fully copied, you must set the recently created data file as the default data file for Outlook. This can be done as:

In Microsoft Outlook 2003 Version

  1. Launch Microsoft Outlook program
  2. Go to “Tools”, then select “Email Accounts” and click “Next” button.
  3. Choose the new Outlook data file, under the drop down list featuring “Deliver new e-mail to the following location:”. Click the “Finish” button to save the changes.
  4. Restart Microsoft Outlook program.

In Microsoft Outlook 2007 Version

  1. Launch Microsoft Outlook program
  2. Go to the “File” tab and choose “Data File Management…”.
  3. Choose new Outlook data file and select “Set as Default” and hit the “Close” button to apply the changes.
  4. Restart your MS Outlook program to implement the changes safely.

In Microsoft Outlook 2013 and 2016 Versions

  1. Launch Microsoft Outlook program
  2. Select the “File” tab and then click Info and then select “Account Settings”
  3. Select the recently-created Outlook data file, from “Data Files” tab and click “Set as Default” button and again click “Close” button to implement the changes.
    Select the recently-created Outlook data file
  4. Restart MS Outlook to open the program with updated changes.

Now remove the damaged PST file from Outlook (right-click the root folder and select Close “folder name”).

Scenario II: When PST file Cannot Be Opened in Outlook

If you are unable to open the PST file in Outlook, you can use your backups to get back your emails. For this, go to ‘File’ tab and click ‘Open’ option and then select ‘Open Outlook Data File’ to access your Outlook backup. However, if you do not have backups, you should try a reliable third-party PST recovery tool to retrieve your data from corrupt PST files. Tools like Kernel for Outlook PST Repair are very efficient in dealing with all PST related issues.