Recovery Strategies for Dealing with a Corrupted Outlook PST File

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When it comes to dealing with a corrupted Outlook PST file, there are a few different strategies you can use to try and recover the data. 

This article will discuss 10 strategies in detail and provide guidance on how they should be applied depending on your particular situation.

1. Scanpst: 

The first strategy to use when trying to recover a corrupted Outlook PST file is the Scanpst tool that comes with Outlook. This utility scans for errors in the outlook PST files and attempts to repair any that are found. It may not always work, but it is worth trying first before resorting to other more advanced methods as this method doesn’t risk making things worse. 

2. Backup recovery: 

If you have made a backup of your Outlook PST file in the past, then you can use this strategy to try and recover data that may have been lost due to corruption. The advantage of using a backup is that it is not affected by any changes made after the backup was created, so there is no risk of making things worse by trying to repair the file.

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3. Third-Party Recovery Tools: 

If neither Scanpst nor Backup recovery work for you, then you may want to consider using third-party recovery tools such as DataNumen. These tools are designed specifically for recovering data from Outlook PST files and are more powerful than Scanpst or Backup recovery methods. 

4. Data Extraction: 

If all else fails, then you can try to extract the data from the corrupted Outlook PST file. This involves manually opening the file and trying to find any usable information that is still intact. It is not a reliable method for recovering data, but if you are desperate enough it may be worth a shot. 

5. Rebuild PST File: 

Another strategy for dealing with a corrupted PST file is to rebuild it using third-party tools such as DataNumen. These tools will scan the corrupt file and create a new one with only the recoverable data in it. This may not be ideal, as some information may have been lost, but at least it gives you a starting point. 

6. Open in Outlook Safe Mode: 

If you cannot access your PST file normally, then you can try to open it in safe mode. This will bypass any potential errors that may be causing the file to not open correctly and allow you to access it without risking further damage. 

7. Split PST File: 

When dealing with large corrupted PST files, splitting them into smaller chunks can reduce the chances of corruption occurring. It also makes diagnosing problems easier as the source of the error is more easily identifiable when looking at a smaller portion of data. 

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8. Inbox Repair Tool: 

The Inbox Repair tool is another utility included with Outlook for repairing corrupted PST files. It is not as powerful as Scanpst or third-party tools, but it may be able to repair some minor issues. 

9. Data Protection Tool: 

Data protection tools such as Code Two Backup for Microsoft Outlook can help you avoid data loss due to corruption in the first place. These tools will automatically create a backup of your Outlook files and allow you to restore them if they become corrupted. 

10. PST Password Recovery Tool: 

If your PST file has been password protected, then you may need to use a PST password recovery tool in order to access its contents. This will require some technical know-how, so make sure you understand the risks before attempting this method. 


Recovering a corrupted Outlook PST file can be difficult, but with the right strategies it is possible. Scanpst, Backup recovery, and third-party tools are all good options, though some more advanced methods such as data extraction and rebuilding the PST may also be necessary in certain cases. The best way to avoid data loss due to corruption is to always backup your important files regularly. Additionally, using a password protection tool or a data protection tool can help reduce the risk of corruption in the first place. 


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