You're using MS Outlook 2019, 2016 or 2013 to manage your email, messages and other email accounts, but suddenly you start getting errors when you open Outlook. Errors like "Cannot open Outlook PST file" or "Outlook PST file is not a personal folder file" are often the main obstacles for users to access their Outlook data. In this case, people tend to use the Microsoft repair tool or third-party solutions to fix Outlook errors.

When looking for a solution for Outlook PST repair, you will find many options to repair PST files. But do you think all these solutions work every time? What should I do if the cause of the PST file corruption is related to the system configuration?

There may be more reasons behind the corruption of Outlook 2019, 2016 or 2013 PST files. And you should look for a PST repair solution based on the cause of the damage. For example, the most common reasons for PST file corruption are:

  • Due to a failure of the data storage device

If the hard drive on your system has some bad sectors and the PST file is stored in one of these areas, chances are you won't be able to open and read PST files using Outlook.

  • Network equipment failure

As you know, the PST resides on a network server and you try to access it via a client computer or a network connection. Therefore, if a network device does not work properly or has problems, remote access to the PST file may damage it.

  • Virus or malware infection

Our systems are always vulnerable to virus and malware attacks, which can affect the functionality of PST files and make them inaccessible. Therefore, it is recommended to install reliable antivirus software on the system.

  • Outlook suddenly closed

We usually close Outlook when we are in a hurry. But we forgot to do it will make PST files subject to corruption errors. Therefore, you should always close Outlook gracefully.

These are some of the reasons for defining how PST files are damaged. However, sometimes Outlook programs can cause problems, for example, if the PST file is too large, MS Outlook will become unstable, it will not be able to process it and will corrupt the file.

Let's move on to the main discussion: repair the damaged Outlook 2019, 2016 or 2013 PST files. In this article, we will examine an effective way to fix corrupt/damaged or inaccessible PST files.

How to repair Outlook 2019, 2016 and 2013 PST files

In general, there are two reliable ways to repair a damaged PST file. The first method, the manual method, involves the use of the integrated utility "ScanPST" provided by Microsoft. A second method is using third-party software.

The Ist method: Repair Outlook 2019, 2016 and 2013 with ScanPST

Also known as Inbox Repair Tool, ScanPST allows you to repair corrupt PST files. This utility can be accessed from the computer's drive.

  •  For Outlook 2019/2016/2013:
    • C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office19

    • C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16

    • C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office13

  • Now, follow the steps below to use the ScanPST software.

    • Double-click to start the ScanPST tool.

    • Click Browse to add the PST file you want to repair, then click Start to scan the file.

    • Once the scan is complete, click on the "Repair" button to start the repair process. 

Note: To create a backup of this PST file, select the "Back up scan files before repair" checkbox.

The ScanPST tool takes some time to correct the PST file. Once the file is resolved, you can import it into Outlook.

However, if problems still occur after importing into Outlook, it means that the PST file has not been correctly repaired. Therefore, we have provided you with an alternative solution for Scanpst.exe.

The IInd Method - Using SysTools Outlook Data File Recovery

It is an advanced Outlook data file recovery tool that allows you to quickly repair corrupt / damaged PST files using intelligent algorithms. With this software, you can recover lost/deleted mailbox items and export them to different formats. Now let's get into the work process of the tool:

1. Download and install the software on your system.

2. Click on the Add File button.

3. Browse and select the PST file to repair.

Note: You can also use the Search feature to look for specific PST files on your computer.

4. Select the Advance Scan option for a deep analysis of the PST files. Click Next.

5. The software will scan the PST files for errors. Once done, it displays all the mailbox items i.e., emails, attachments, contacts, calendars, tasks, notes, etc.

6. Select the particular items that you want to repair and recover from Outlook 2019 PST file. Click on the Export Selected option.

7. You can also click on the Export button at the top left menu for bulk repair of complete folders within the PST file.

8. Now, select the PST option and click on the Adv Settings button.

9. Apply Advance Settings as displayed in the screenshot. Click on the Save button.

10. Now, choose your destination path to save the repaired Outlook 2019 PST file and click on the Export button.

11. The software will start the repair process and display a confirmation message upon its completion.

Here's how you can fix corrupt/damaged PST files for any version of Outlook.


If you do not know the reason behind a damaged or damaged PST file, correcting the file can be very complicated. However, with the ScanPST tool, most PST files can be easily repaired. If you are not able to use the ScanPST utility, you can always choose SysTools PST Recovery specially designed to fix PST corruption. It supports all versions of MS Outlook: Outlook 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, 2003, 2002 and 2000.