TIP: Repairing Outlook .ost and .pst files


I’ve had issues recently with Outlook crashing when I shut it down. Initially I thought this was due to a rogue Outlook Addin (eg I’ve got Xobni, ClearContext, OutTwit and others installed). So I went through systematically getting rid of them. Put the problem persisted.

Finally I found the issue was to do with the actual .ost file being corrupted. The way I discovered this was by chance when trying to clear my Deleted items. Outlook gave me a message informing that the file was corrupt, and even better recommended using scanpst.exe to fix it.

I’d never heard of scanpst.exe but a quick Google check shows it has been around since the dark ages, and has been a regular in the Sys Admin’s toolbox for years.

If you are looking for it you can find it in your c:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office 12\ folder or equivalent.

Everything Outlook related needs to be closed down (eg Mobile Device Sync) and then you run it up. It’ll prompt for the ost file and away you go.

Since repairing my file I’ve had no further issues with Outlook.

Technorati Tags: scanpst.exe, Outlook, ost, pst, fix


  • There is also a scanost.exe in the same folder to synchronize OST to PST. And scanpst.exe can be used to repair OST files. But for big files and corrupt ones I use the Advanced Outlook Recovery and Advanced Exchange Recovery. They do the recovery more accurate and under your eyes : ) Here the link: http://www.datanumen.com/aor

  • Hi
    To add the list of third party utility; Although Paid but with unique features, which Converts OST file to its equivalent PST file created in MS Outlook 2010, 2007, 2003, 2002 (XP) and 2000. The software also provides compatibility with Windows 7, Vista, Server 2003, XP and 2000.

  • scanpst is very helpful in built tool with outlook, but in such cases when ost file exceeds its file size or gets corrupted due to any reason, the only way to access the ost file content is to convert the .ost file into .pst file. Third party utilities are available to convert the ost file in to pst file. Many of them supports newest versions of MS Outlook i.e. MS Outlook 2010 and Windows 7. Here’s the link of such a utility that efficiently converts the ost file into pst file

  • Convert OST ot PST

    Searching a third party OST to PST converter is a good way to approach the OST data loss problem. One such tool is SysTools OST Recovery software, which helps you to convert OST to PST file in a small fraction of time.
    link : http://www.ostpst.com

  • @ Convert OST to PST file

    I use the resource you provide, this is really a great tool to convert outlook ost file to pst file. The tool also converts my encrypted ost files to pst file. I got a related rich source of information at OST PST Converter

  • Many times the Outlook inbuily utilities fails to resolve the outlook ost file issues in all such cases one should try to convert ost to pst file manually by using third party ost to pst conversion tool. Stellar Phoenix Convert OST PST is such an advance ost to pst conversion tool that converts all the components of Outlook ost file to pst file and works as read only utility that means it does not alter the ost file components and also recovers the formatting of RTF & HTML messages.

  • When inbuilt scanost.exe utility fails to recover the corrupt or inaccessible ost file, try third party ost to pst converter tool to recover ost file. Such tools converts all ost file components to pst file and thus recovers all ost file components.

By Craig Bailey