Open Pst File In Outlook

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Original KB number: 287070

Summary

This article describes how to use personal storage folders, also known as .pst files, to back up data that you created in Microsoft Outlook 2010, Microsoft Office Outlook 2007, Microsoft Office Outlook 2003, and Microsoft Office Outlook 2002. You can back up messages, contacts, appointments, tasks, notes, and journal entries in .pst files.

Outlook is part of your daily routine.

  • You use it to send email messages, to set up calendar events, and to create tasks and other items. But do you wonder how and where all those items are stored? For Microsoft 365, Exchange, and Outlook.com accounts, all of your information is stored on the server, but an offline copy is also stored on your local computer in an Offline Outlook Data File (.ost).
  • For POP and IMAP accounts, you might store your Outlook items in an Outlook Data File (.pst). If you want to open or close an Outlook Data File (.pst), you can do that in a few simple steps.
  • Note: If your organization has policies in place that archive email messages automatically, your older email messages, calendar events, and tasks might be stored in an archive Outlook Data File (.pst).

Microsoft Outlook automatically stores messages, contacts, appointments, tasks, notes, and journal entries in one of the following two locations:

  • Even if your account uses an offline Outlook Data File (.ost) for all of its day-to-day information, you may still have an archive.pst file that contains older information.
  • Newer versionsOffice 2010Office 2007. Select File > Open & Export > Open Outlook Data File. Note: Depending on how Outlook is set up, it's likely the folder where the .pst file is stored will open automatically.

You can use a backup of your .pst file to restore or move your Outlook data if you experience a hardware failure, lose data unexpectedly, have to transfer data from one computer to another computer, or have to transfer data from one hard disk drive to another hard disk drive.

Managing your .pst file

Select an action from the following list:

How to locate a .pst file

If you do not know where an old or existing .pst file resides on your computer or you want to add a .pst file to your Outlook profile, use the following steps:

  1. If it doesn't, browse to the file's location. If you're not sure where your Outlook data file is located, see Locating the Outlook data files. Select the Outlook Data File (.pst), and then select Open. Once you open the Outlook Data File (.pst), the file will appear in your folder pane. Usually you'll find it at the bottom of the list of folders. The following image is an example. The name of your Outlook Data File (.pst) will likely not be outlook data file.
  2. On the File tab, click Account Settings > Account Settings. On the Data Files tab, click Add. Click the Outlook Data File (.pst) file that you want to open, and then click OK.
  3. Outlook Data File (.pst) created by using Outlook 2010 are saved on your computer in the Documents\Outlook Files folder. If you're using Windows XP, these files are created in the My Documents\Outlook Files folder. Files created in previous versions of Outlook are saved in a different location in a hidden folder.
  4. The file name that you specify for an Outlook Data File (.pst) appears in the Navigation pane. Before Outlook 2010, the default display name for Outlook Data File (.pst) was Personal Folders. This can be confusing if you work with multiple Outlook Data Files (.pst) that were created in previous versions of Outlook.
  5. In the Name box, enter a descriptive name for the Outlook Data File (.pst). Note: Changing the display name doesn't rename the file.
  6. Only the name as it appears in the Navigation pane is changed. When you no longer need frequent access to an Outlook Data File (.pst), you can close the file.

Outlook now displays that .pst file in the Outlook folder list.

How to make a backup copy of a .pst file

If you do not use Outlook with Microsoft Exchange Server, Outlook stores all its data in a .pst file. You can use the backup copy to restore your Outlook data if the original .pst file is damaged or lost. This section explains how to create a copy of your whole .pst file, with all the default items in the file.Follow these steps to back up the whole .pst file:

  1. A closed file no longer appears in the Navigation pane, but isn't deleted from your computer.

  2. Right-click the name of the Outlook Data File (.pst) that you want to remove from the Navigation pane, and then click Close name.

    Caution: If the Close command isn't available, you're probably trying to remove the default Outlook Data File (.pst) file that is used to save your new messages.

    If you were to remove that data file, new messages would have nowhere to go.

  3. Important: Office 2010 is no longer supported.

  4. Upgrade to Microsoft 365 to work anywhere from any device and continue to receive support.Upgrade now.

  5. If you created a .pst file that doesn't appear in the Navigation pane, add the .pst file to Outlook so that you can work with the items in it.

  6. On the File menu, point to Open, and then click Outlook Data File.

  7. Click the .pst file that you want to open, and then click OK. Note: The name of the folder that is associated with the data file appears in the Folder List.

    To view the Folder List, on the Go menu, click Folder List.

    • By default, the folder will be called Personal Folders. The following is a list of where Outlook data files are saved on your computer.
    • Some of the folders might be hidden folders. To view them, do one of the following:. Click the Start button, and then click Control Panel. Click Folder Options. Click the View tab, and then click the Show hidden files and folders option.
    • File locations in Windows Vista. Outlook data files (.pst) drive:\User\user name\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook. Offline Folders file (.ost) drive:\User\user name\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook. File locations in Windows XP. Outlook data files (.pst) drive:\Documents and Settings\user\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook.
  8. Offline Folders file (.ost) drive:\Documents and Settings\user\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook.

    Keep these points in mind:.

    You can save, copy, or move a data file (other than the file that is used as your default delivery location) to another location on your hard disk or to a share on the network.

  9. Remember that you must have read/write permissions to open a Personal Folders file (.pst) from a network share.

  10. If you need to access any data file that is stored on a network share or on another computer, close any program that might be using that file. A data file can be accessed by only one user or program at a time. The .pst data file does not support read-only media such as CDs and DVDs.

How to back up .pst file data that is located on a Microsoft Exchange Server

If you use Outlook with a Microsoft Exchange Server, you must know where the data is stored in order to back it up. The default delivery and storage location for Outlook data is the Exchange Server mailbox. The Exchange Server administrator typically handles backups of the mailboxes on the server. However, some Exchange Server administrators store Outlook data in a .pst file on your computer.

Follow these steps to find where Outlook is currently storing your data:

In Outlook 2010:

  1. If you use a Microsoft Exchange account, typically your e-mail messages, calendar, contacts, and other items are delivered to and stored in your mailbox on the server.
  2. When you install Outlook on a new computer and configure an Exchange account, all your items on the server will be available to you again.
  3. The remaining information in this article does not apply to you, unless you have archived local data files or specified that your Exchange email messages be delivered to a local data file.

If you use a POP3 email account, which is one of the more common types of personal e-mail account, your email messages are downloaded from your POP3 e-mail server at your Internet service provider (ISP) to your computer and delivered to and stored locally in a Personal Folders file (.pst) named Outlook.pst (the default data file name).

  • Outlook.pst is stored in the drive:\Documents and Settings\user\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook folder. Notes: The default location of the .pst file is a hidden folder. To use Windows Explorer to navigate to this folder, you must first turn on the display of hidden folders.
  • In Windows Explorer, on the Tools menu, click Folder Options. On the View tab, under Advanced Settings, under Files and Folders, under Hidden files and folders, click Show hidden files and folders. If you want to see all file name extensions, clear the Hide extensions for known file types check box under Files and Folders.

In Outlook 2007:

  1. Hidden folders appear dimmed to indicate that they are not typical folders.
  2. You can move any Outlook .pst file to any location on your computer.

For example, some people like to keep their Outlook data files on drive D or under My Documents, so that creating backup files is easier.

  • Before you move your .pst file, you might want to change its display name from Personal Folders to something more meaningful to you. Changing the name helps you to distinguish between different Outlook data files when you work with more than one .pst file.
  • In the Navigation pane, right-click Personal Folders, and then click Properties for "Personal Folders". Personal Folders is always a top-level folder in the Navigation pane, in Mail. In the Name text box, type a name that is meaningful to you, such as Greta's Outlook Data.

In an earlier version of Outlook:

  1. Now you can begin moving Outlook Data Files to another location on your computer.

    In Outlook, make a note of the file location and name.

    In the Navigation pane, right-click Personal Folders or the name that appears for your .pst file, and then click Properties for folder name. In the File name text box, make a note of the complete path and file name of the .pst file.

  2. Exit Outlook and then move the file. Use Windows Explorer to copy each .pst file from its default location in the drive:\Documents and Settings\user\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook folder to any folder on your computer that you want.

  3. Notes: The default location is a hidden folder. To use Windows Explorer to navigate to this folder, you must first turn on the display of hidden folders. In Windows Explorer, on the Tools menu, click Folder Options. On the View tab, under Advanced Settings, under Files and Folders, under Hidden files and folders, click Show hidden files and folders.

If you want to see all file name extensions, clear the Hide extensions for known file types check box under Files and Folders.

Hidden folders appear dimmed to indicate they aren't typical folders. In Control Panel, click User Accounts, and then click Mail. Note: If you are using the Classic view in Control Panel, double-click Mail. Click Show Profiles, and then choose the profile that contains the .pst file.

How to export .pst file data

If you want to back up only a part of your Outlook data, you can create a new backup .pst file of only the data that you want to save. This is also known as exporting .pst file data. For example, you might want to use this section if you have important information in only some folders and you have other, less important items in much larger folders. You can export only the important folders or contacts and omit folders such as Sent Mail.

In Outlook 2010:

Use the following steps to export a specific folder:

  1. Click Properties, and then click Data Files.
  2. Select the data file from the list, and then click Settings.
  3. When a message appears, notifying you that the data file cannot be found at the old location, click OK.
  4. Browse to the new folder location, select the data file, and then click Open.
  5. Click OK, and then click Close twice. Click OK and restart Outlook.
  6. If you work offline with Outlook or use Exchange with Cached Exchange Mode, you can change the location of the local Offline Folder file (.ost) to a different folder or hard disk drive.
  7. Click Start, and then click Control Panel. Double-click Mail, and then click E-mail Accounts.
  8. Click Show Profiles, and then select the profile that contains the .pst file. Click Properties, and then click Data Files.
  9. Select the Exchange account, and then click Settings.

In an earlier version of Outlook:

  1. On the Advanced tab, clear the Use Cached Exchange Mode check box.
  2. Note: When you see this message: You must restart Outlook for these changes to take effect, click OK. Click Settings, and on the Advanced tab, click Offline Folder File Settings.
  3. Click Disable Offline Use, and then click Yes in the dialog box that appears.
  4. Click Offline Folder File Settings. Click Browse, go to the location where you want to save your .ost file, enter a name in the File name box, and then click Open.
  5. Click OK, and then select the Use Cached Exchange Mode check box.
  6. When you see this message: You must restart Outlook for these changes to take effect, click OK.
  7. The next time that you start Outlook, the new .ost file will be synchronized with your mailbox on the server running Exchange.
  8. Currently there is no way to password-protect Outlook on startup or to lock Outlook if you need to quickly walk away from your computer, other than by using your Microsoft Windows logon password or by using third-party software written specifically to password-protect Outlook.

However, you can set a password on your Personal Folders file (.pst).

If you use an Internet e-mail account in Outlook, such as a POP3 or HTTP account, your e-mail messages are delivered to a .pst data file on your computer's hard disk.

How to import .pst file data into Outlook

You can use the backup copy of your .pst file to restore your Outlook data if the original .pst file is damaged or lost. Everything that is saved in the .pst file is returned to Outlook.

In Outlook 2010:

Use the following steps to restore, or import, your data into Outlook:

  1. You can use a password on your .pst file to help prevent accidental intrusion by other people with whom you share your computer.

  2. On the Go menu, click Folder List.

  3. Do one of the following:. If you have a POP3 e-mail account, right-click Personal Folders, and then click Properties For "Personal Folders" on the shortcut menu.

  4. Note: If you provided a custom display name for your data file, substitute that name for Personal Folders.

  5. If you have an IMAP or HTTP e-mail account, such as Microsoft Windows Live Mail, right-click the name of the account, and then click Properties For account name on the shortcut menu.

    On the General tab, click Advanced.

    Click Change Password. In the Change Password dialog box, type your new password—up to 15 characters—and verify it by retyping it . Use strong passwords that combine uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.

  6. Weak passwords don't mix these elements.

  7. Example of a strong password: Y6dh!et5, and an example of a weak password: House27. Passwords should be 8 or more characters in length.

    A pass phrase that uses 14 or more characters is better.

    For more information, see Create stronger passwords and protect them. It is critical that you remember your password. If you forget your password, Microsoft can't retrieve it.

  8. Store the passwords that you write down in a secure place away from the information that they help protect.

In earlier versions of Outlook:

Follow these steps to restore, or import, your data into Outlook:

  1. Make sure that the Save this password in your password list check box is cleared. This prevents the password from being cached, so you will need to type the password each time you run Outlook. Don't forget the password. Important: Neither Microsoft, your Internet service provider (ISP), nor your mail administrator has access to your password, nor can they assist you to recover the contents of the .pst file if you forget the password.

    Click OK three times. When you click the email account folder, you will be prompted for your password. After you gain access, you won't have to enter the password again for that session.

    If you exit and then restart Outlook, you will be prompted for the password when you click the e-mail account folder. Important: The .pst password feature is not intended to provide security against hackers.

    It is just a way to prevent inadvertent intrusion by other people whom you trust and share your computer with, such as at home with your family.

  2. A more secure way of protecting your data on a computer that you share with other people is to create a password-protected Windows user account for each individual who uses the computer.

  3. The default display name of the Personal Folders file (.pst) is Personal Folders. This can be confusing if you work with multiple .pst files, all of which have the same name.

  4. A best practice is to customize the display name. In the Navigation pane, right-click Personal Folders, and then click Properties for "Personal Folders".

  5. In the Name box, type a name that is meaningful to you, such as Greta's Outlook Data.

  6. In the Navigation pane, you see a top folder with the name that you entered.

  7. Now you can quickly distinguish your data file from any others. Tip: Customizing the file names is also useful if you keep multiple .pst file archives.

  8. For example, if you create a monthly .pst file to store all of your sent items for that month, you can rename the display name from Personal Folders to something more friendly, such as Sent Mail Archive – December 2007.

How to transfer Outlook data from one computer to another computer

You cannot share or synchronize .pst files between one computer and another computer. However, you can still transfer Outlook data from one computer to another computer.

Use the instructions in the "How to make a backup copy of a .pst file" section to copy the .pst file to a CD or DVD-ROM or other portable media, or copy the file to another computer over a LAN/WAN link.

Even if you have a tendency to hoard e-mail, you might want to clear some of the clutter in the Navigation pane.

You might not always need instant access to an archive .pst file. You can remove an Outlook data file from the Navigation pane without deleting the file from your computer.

You might also want to create a new, secondary .pst file that is intended for transferring data only. Save the data that you want to transfer in this new .pst file and omit any data that you do not want to transfer. If you have to make a secondary .pst file to store data for transfer between two computers, or for backup purposes, use the following steps.

In Outlook 2010:

  1. Right-click the Personal Folders file that you want to remove from the Navigation pane, and then click Close Personal Folders.
  2. If the Close Personal Folders option is not available, you are probably trying to remove the .pst file that Outlook uses for saving your new messages.
  3. If you remove that data file, new messages will have nowhere to go.
  4. Tip: Afraid of deleting a file and losing your data?
  5. Closing a .pst file doesn't delete the file or any items that it contains.
  6. The file just no longer appears in the Navigation pane.

In earlier versions of Outlook:

  1. You can always add any .pst file back to the display by doing the following:.
  2. On the File menu, point to Open, and then click Outlook Data File. Click the .pst file that you want to open, and then click OK.
  3. For more information about Outlook data files, see the following topics:.
  4. To transfer messages and other items from a Windows-based computer to a Mac, Outlook for Mac can import Outlook Data Files (.pst) that were created in Outlook for Windows.

Follow these steps to copy an existing .pst file:

  1. On the Outlook for Mac File menu, select Import…. Choose Outlook for Windows archive file (.pst), and then choose Continue. Locate the data file on your computer, and then choose Import. When the import process is complete, choose Finish.
  2. The imported items appear in the navigation pane under On My Computer.
  3. Newer versionsOffice 2011. To transfer messages and other items from a Windows-based computer to a Mac, Outlook for Mac can import Outlook Data Files (.pst) that were created in Outlook for Windows.

How to back up Personal Address Books

Your Personal Address Book might contain email addresses and contact information that is not included in an Outlook Address Book or contact list. The Outlook Address Book can be kept either in an Exchange Server mailbox or in a .pst file. However, the Personal Address Book creates a separate file that is stored on your hard disk drive. To make sure that this address book is backed up, you must include any files that have the .pab extension in your backup process.

Use the following steps to locate your Personal Address Book file:

  1. On the Outlook for Mac File menu, select Import…. Choose Outlook for Windows archive file (.pst), and then choose Continue.

    • Locate the data file on your computer, and then choose Import.
    • When the import process is complete, choose Finish.
    • The imported items appear in the navigation pane under On My Computer.
    • To help you transfer messages and other items from a Windows-based computer to a Macintosh computer, Outlook for Mac can import Outlook Data Files (.pst) that are created in Outlook for Windows.
  2. Transfer the .pst file to your Macintosh computer.

    On the Outlook for Mac File menu, click Import. Click Outlook Data File, and then click the right arrow. Select Outlook for Windows Data File, and then click the right arrow.

You can use this backup to restore your Personal Address Book to your computer or to transfer it to another computer. Follow these steps to restore the Personal Address Book:

  1. Locate the data file on your computer, and then click Import. When the import process is complete, click Done.

  2. The imported items appear in the navigation pane under On My Computer. Note: Outlook for Mac can only import Unicode-based .pst files, which are the standard format for Personal Folders files for Outlook (for Windows) 2003 and later versions.

    ANSI-formatted .pst files, also known as Outlook 97-2002 Personal Folders Files, were the standard personal folder format for saving data in Outlook for Windows in versions 97-2002.

    This file format can't be imported into Outlook for Mac.

  3. If you have the older version of ANSI-formatted .pst file, there is no automated procedure to convert that file to the newer file format.

  4. However, you can create a new Outlook Data File (.pst) in Microsoft Outlook for Windows 2003 or later, and then import items from the older file into the new file.

  5. You can then import the new .pst file into Outlook for Mac.

  6. For more information about how to create .pst files and importing items, see Help for your version of Outlook for Windows.

  7. You can import an Outlook for Windows Data File (.pst) or an Outlook for Mac Data File (.olm).

  8. These data files can contain large amounts of data of multiple item types.

  9. Outlook Data Files are frequently used as an archive or to transfer data between computers.

  10. On the Outlook for Mac File menu, click Import. Click Outlook Data File, and then click the right arrow.

  11. Select a data file type, and then click the right arrow.

Locate the data file on your computer, and then click Import.

When the import process is complete, click Done. The imported items appear in the navigation pane under On My Computer. Note: Outlook for Mac can only import Unicode-based .pst files which are the standard format for Personal Folders files for Outlook (for Windows) 2003 and later versions.

How to use the Personal Folder Backup utility to automate the backup of .pst files

Microsoft has released a utility to automate the backup of your personal folders (.pst) file. For more information about the Personal Folder Backup utility, see Back up your email.

How to back up Outlook settings files

If you have customized settings, such as toolbar settings and Favorites, that you want to replicate on another computer or restore to your computer, you might want to include the following files in your backup:

  • ANSI-formatted .pst files, also known as Outlook 97-2002 Personal Folders Files, were the standard personal folder format for saving data in Outlook for Windows in versions 97-2002.

  • This file format can't be imported into Outlook for Mac. If you have the older version of ANSI-formatted .pst file, there is no automated procedure to convert that file to the newer file format.

  • However, you can create a new Outlook Data File (.pst) in Microsoft Outlook for Windows 2003 or later, and then import items from the older file into the new file.

  • You can then import the new .pst file into Outlook for Mac.

  • For more information about how to create .pst files and importing items, see Help for your version of Outlook for Windows. You can import items such as e-mail messages, contacts, and events from Entourage 2004, Entourage 2008, or Entourage 2008, Web Services Edition.

    • You can also import from an Entourage archive, which has an .rge extension.
    • On the Outlook for Mac File menu, click Import. Click Entourage information from an archive or earlier version, click the right arrow, and then follow the instructions.
    • If you used a Microsoft Exchange account with Entourage, all items in the Exchange account are downloaded from the Exchange server after the import process is complete.

    Any rules or schedules related to the Exchange account will need to be reconfigured in Outlook. If you import items from Entourage 2004 or Entourage 2008, category information for items in an Exchange account aren't imported to Outlook.

    • However, with Entourage 2008, Web Services Edition, category information will be downloaded from the Exchange server. Outlook doesn't include Project Center.
    • If you used the Project Center in Entourage and then import your Entourage information into Outlook, Project Center associations are converted to categories. For example, if you added items to a project that was titled "Research Paper" in Entourage, these items are assigned a category that is called "Research Paper" in Outlook.
    • Custom views, search settings, and event travel time information from Entourage aren't imported into Outlook. Outlook events don't include any travel time information.

Select the item that you want to move.

On the Home tab, choose Move, and then Choose Folder. In the search box, enter the name of the folder that you want, and select Move.

How to determine the name and location of your personal folders file

Microsoft Outlook 2010

  1. Tip: To copy an item from an archive folder to another folder in Outlook, simply drag the item to the folder where you want to place the copy.

  2. If you want to retrieve a single email from a backup file, importing that whole file of emails into Outlook is time-consuming overkill.

  3. Here’s how to open a PST file in Microsoft Outlook and browse the contents, no importing needed.

  4. Backing up your emails to a PST file is a good way of creating a long-term email archive and saving space in your email account.

  5. But one potential drawback is that it’s not obvious how to access an individual email in a PST file without importing the whole file.

    Thankfully, Outlook lets you open a PST file without importing it, so you can browse the contents as if it is just a folder.

    You can read the messages, copy or move them into your account, delete, reply to, forward, create a task or meeting, and anything else you can do with traditional emails.

  6. First, open the Microsoft Office application, click “File” and then select Open & Export > Open Outlook Data File.

Microsoft Office Outlook 2002 through Microsoft Office Outlook 2007

  1. Browse to the PST file you want to open and click “OK.”.

  2. The PST will appear at the bottom of the navigation pane as “Outlook Data File.”.

  3. Browse the folders in the PST like any other folder in Outlook.

    You can leave the file open as long as you want, even if you close and reopen Outlook.

    This makes backup files very handy for reducing the amount of email in your inbox because the messages in the PST file only exist in that file, not your online account.

  4. If you have multiple PST files open, or if you want to remind yourself what the file is, you can change its name from the default “Outlook Data File” to something more meaningful.

How to copy your personal folders file

  1. Right-click “Outlook Data File” and choose “Data File Properties” from the menu.
  2. Click the “Advanced” button. Change the “Name” field to a more meaningful name.
  3. This will not rename the PST file, just the name that is displayed in Outlook.

For more information about how to copy a file or a folder

  1. You can also password protect your PST file by clicking “Change Password.”.
  2. This will open the “Change Password” dialogue window where you can add a password.
  3. That way, no one can open the file without your password. We’ll give the standard caveat here: If you lose the password, you’ll lose access to the contents of the PST, so make sure you keep your password somewhere safe, like a password manager.

How to point Outlook to your new personal folders file

Microsoft Outlook 2010

  1. Click “OK” in the “Change Password” dialogue….

  2. …and then “OK” on the next two panels. The “Outlook Data File” will now be called whatever you renamed it to.

  3. If you don’t need to see the PST file anymore, removing it is just as easy as adding it.

  4. Right-click the file name and then select “Close [Folder Name].”.

  5. Microsoft Outlook will remember if you changed the name, so if you close the PST and reopen it again in the future, it will be displayed as the name you changed it to rather than “Outlook Data File.”.

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  9. You can use the Inbox Repair tool (SCANPST.EXE) to diagnose and repair errors in your Outlook data file.

  10. The Inbox Repair tool checks the Outlook data files on your computer to see if they're in good shape. You might want to use the Inbox Repair tool in the following situations:.

  11. You receive a message that Outlook can't open your data file.

  12. You receive a message that Outlook can't open the set of folders.

  13. You think your Outlook data file may be damaged.

Your profile now points to your .pst file in the new location. Outlook opens your new .pst file and you can now delete the .pst file from its old location.

Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 and Microsoft Office Outlook 2007

  1. If you're using an Exchange email account, you can delete the offline Outlook Data File (.ost) and Outlook will recreate the offline Outlook Data File (.ost) the next time you open Outlook.

  2. The Inbox Repair tool doesn't connect or analyze any data stored in an Exchange mailbox.

  3. The tool only looks for errors (corruption), and if there are any, gives you the opportunity to allow the tool to fix those errors.

  4. If you can't start the Inbox Repair tool, you should try to repair your Outlook program.

  5. We recommend backing up your existing Outlook data file before you start the Inbox Repair tool.

  6. For more information, see How to back up an Outlook data file.

  7. Exit Outlook and browse to one of the following file locations:.

  8. Outlook 2019: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16. Outlook 2016: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16.

    Outlook 2013: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15. Outlook 2010: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14. Outlook 2007: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office12.

  9. Open SCANPST.EXE.

  10. Select Browse to select the Outlook Data File (.pst) you want to scan. If you need help locating your Outlook Data File, see Locating the Outlook Data Files. Note: By default, a new log file is created during the scan.

  11. You can choose Options and opt not to have a log created, or you can have the results appended to an existing log file.

  12. Choose Start to begin the scan.

  13. If the scan finds errors, choose Repair to start the process to fix them.

If the .pst is your default delivery location, you will receive the following message:

Note: The scan creates a backup file during the repair process. To change the default name or location of this backup file, in the Enter name of backup file box, enter a new name, or choose Browse to select the file you want to use. You may need to run the tool several times in order to repair your Outlook Data File. In some cases, items may not be recovered if they were permanently deleted or corrupted beyond repair.

Select Yes to have Outlook update the Outlook Bar shortcuts so that they point to your new .pst file location, or select No to leave the shortcuts for your original local .pst file.

Your profile now points to your .pst file in the new location. Outlook opens your new .pst file, and you can now delete the .pst file from its old location.

Microsoft Office Outlook 2002

  1. When the repair is complete, start Outlook with the profile associated with the Outlook Data File you just repaired.

  2. What happens after you repair an Outlook Data File?

  3. In the Folder Pane, you might see a folder named Recovered Personal Folders that contains your default Outlook folders or a Lost and Found folder.

  4. Although the repair process might recreate some of the folders, they may be empty.

  5. The Lost and Found folder contains any folders and items recovered by the repair tool that Outlook can't place in their original structure.

  6. Create new data file. You can create a new Outlook Data File and drag the items in the Lost and Found folder into the new data file.

  7. After you've moved all the items, you can remove the Recovered Personal Folders (.pst) file, including the Lost and Found folder.

  8. To create a new Outlook Data File, see Create an Outlook Data File. Recover items from the backup (.bak) file.

  9. If you can open the original Outlook Data File, you might be able to recover additional items.

    The Inbox Repair tool creates a backup file with the same name as the original, but with a .bak extension, and saves it in the same folder. There may be items in the backup file that you might be able to recover that the Inbox Repair tool couldn't.

  10. Browse to the folder where the .pst file is stored and you'll find the .bak file (for example, [email protected]) created by the Inbox Repair tool.

  11. Make a copy of the .bak file and rename it with a bak.pst extension.

  12. For example, [email protected] Import the bak.pst file into Outlook, and use the Import and Export Wizard to import any additional recovered items into the newly created .pst file.

  13. Note: Learn how to import a .pst file by reading Import email, contacts, and calendar from an Outlook .pst file.

  14. You can check the location of your Outlook Data Files in Outlook.

  15. Select File > Account Settings > Account Settings.

If the .pst is your default delivery location, you will receive the following message:

Select the Data Files tab.

Select Yes to have Outlook update the Outlook Bar shortcuts so that they point to your new .pst file location, or select No to leave the shortcuts for your original local .pst file.

Your profile now points to your .pst file in the new location. Outlook opens your new .pst file, and you can now delete the .pst file from its old location.

More information

If these methods did not help you, you might want to ask someone you know for help. Or, if you use Outlook with Exchange Server, you might want to contact the Exchange Server administrator for help. You can also use the Microsoft Customer Support Services website to find other solutions. Some services that the Microsoft Customer Support Services website provides include the following:

If you continue to have questions after you use these Microsoft websites or if you cannot find a solution on the Microsoft Support Services Web site, contact Microsoft Support.

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