How to Retrieve Outlook Items by using the Inbox Repair Tool

By | January 31, 2014


Just imagine while trying to open an email message in your Microsoft Outlook you get an error message:

 ‘The file xyz.pst is not a personal folders file’

This kind of error appears when your PST file gets corrupt. This kind of error is not a usual thing in your Exchange environment. The Exchange administrators divulge the truth that it is not possible to avoid this error and corruption issue in the Exchange environment. There are some common issues that can easily make your Outlook items inaccessible such as email messages, attachments, images, notes, calendar, journals etc. Power failure, 2 GB size limitation, abrupt system shut down, virus or other malware attack can corrupt your PST file.

A question arises from the outlook users after their PST file corruption is how to access the corrupt email messages and other items. As an answer Microsoft has provided a simple and a inbuilt PST repair tool which is known as Scanpst.exe or Inbox Repair Tool. It come along with the MS Outlook and helps you to repair the corrupt PST file and help you to access eth inaccessible Outlook items.

 How to use Inbox Repair Tool (Scanpst.exe)

 How to use this repair tool all you need to open the Inbox Repair Tool and repair the corrupt PST file using this repair tool and recover it to new PST file. 

  • Locate the Scanpst.exe or Inbox Repair Tool and open it.
  • Now simply repair the corrupt PST file by using this repair tool
  • Just create a new Outlook PST
  • Retrieve the repaired item into the new Outlook PST

All the above steps are given below in detail with focus on MS Outlook 2010 or MS Outlook 2013

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How to locate and open Scanpst.exe or Inbox Repair Tool

The Scanpst.exe or Inbox Repair Tool is automatically installed during the MS Outlook installation.  But its location differs according to the version of MS Outlook and Windows version.

pst 2But you can find its location by using MS Windows Explorer.Just follow the table to locate it easily: 

Location of the Inbox Repair Tool (Scanpst.exc)


Windows 32-bit Version

Windows 64-bit Version

Outlook 2010

<diskdrive>:\program Files\Microsoft office\Office14 <diskdrive>:\program Files\Microsoft office(x86)\Office14

Outlook 2013

<diskdrive>:\program Files\Microsoft office 15\root\office15 <diskdrive>:\program Files(x86)\Microsoft office 15\root\office15

 Note: How you will unhide the folders and files.

If Inbox Repair Tool is hidden then you might be unable to find it. So if you fail to find it then unhide the folder and file before you try to locate the Scanpst.exe Repair Tool. Below you have on how to repair the corrupt file by using this repair tool: 

  1. First Exit the MS Outlook Application.
  2. Now locate the Inbox Repair Tool by using MS Windows Explorer and open it.
  3. Choose the PST file that want to scan simple type the file path and name or use the browse option to locate the file. Click on the start button.

pst3Note: Below you have the detail information on how to locate the PST file.

 How to locate the MS Outlook PST file?

The location of Outlook PST differs according to the Outlook version installed and windows version. You can easily find the location of the .pst file MS Outlook as given below. The following steps are given for Outlook 2010 and 2013.

Outlook 2010

  1. Open your MS Outlook 2010
  2. Now simply move to ribbon and click on File tab: click on the Info tab present on the menu.
  3. Click on Account Settings tab: now again click on Account Settings.
  4. Click on the Data Files.
  5. Note down the file path and name (like: C:\Exchange\Mailbox.pst signifies that the location is C:\Exchange).
  6. Click on Close: click OK.

Outlook 2013

  1. Open your MS Outlook 2013
  2. Click on the File tab
  3. Now simply Click on Account Settings: now again click on the Account Settings.
  4. Then Click an entry on Data Files tab: just click on Open Folder Location.


Location of the PST File


Windows 7/Vista

Windows Xp

Outlook 2010

C:\Users\<username>\My Documents\Outlook Files C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\My Documents\Outlook Files

Outlook 2013

drive:/Users\<username>\Documents\Outlook Files drive:/Users\<username>\My Documents\Outlook Files

Note: Below you the detail information on how to create a new PST.

How to create new Outlook PST in MS Outlook 2010 & 2013?

  1. Open your MS Outlook.
  2. Now simply move to ribbon and click on File tab: click on the Info tab present on the menu.
  3. Click on Account Settings tab: now again click on Account Settings.
  4. Click on the Data Files: click on Add option.
  5. Now enter the file name for your new PST when you create or Open the Outlook Data File a dialogue box will appear: click on OK.

Therefore, a new PST file will be created in your Outlook profile.

pst.4Note: Below you have the detail information on how to recover the repaired items.

How to Retrieve the Repaired items? 

  1. Open your Outlook profile which contains the repaired PST file.
  2. Simply turn on the folder list to see (press Ctrl+6). Generally the recovered Personal folder is empty.
  3. Now move to the lost or found folder and move its items. (The items are recovered by the Scanpst.exe Repair Tool to the new PST file.)
  1. Now, delete the Personal Folders after recovering the PST file.

But scanpst.exe or Inbox repair tool can only fix the small issues and it fails to resolve the major problem that occurs in your PST file. Though it tries to repair the corrupted file in its internal data structure but it can fail to perform the complete recovery process. When your PST file corrupt due to over sizing i.e. when the limit file crosses the file size of 2GB it gets corrupted and this situation Inbox Repair tool fail to repair the file.  But you can overcome of this issue by using a third party repair tool that can repair any type of corruption.

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PST Repair Tool scans your damaged file thoroughly and repairs the corrupt, damaged or inaccessible file. It is designed in such a way that it can easily repair and restore any kind of damage or broken issue in OST or PST file. It can easily repair the corrupt file and other vital stuffs such as emails, attachments, contact info, appointments, to do list, notes, calendar entries etc. It can also repair the encrypted or password protected PST files

Steps for using outlook repair tool are shown below:

Step 1: You need to download, install and run outlook PST repair tool. Then click on ‘select outlook file’ to choose the PST file where you want to work or you may find the specific PST file also.


Step 2: Press “start” to begin scanning, once you have selected the PST file.


Step 3: After completion of scanning, all recovered mailbox folders and other data appear on the left side of the window. You can select the files of your choice from those.


Step 4: After selecting items of your choice you can press “save recovered file” to recover the files on your PC.


Step 5: When your files are saved, a dialogue box appears that confirms that files are saved and also shows the “recovered file size” and “destination path”.


By going through all the above procedures, you can fix your outlook out of memory error successfully.