How to Repair Corrupt Outlook OST File?

Read out this article to get the feasible native ways to perform the repair on the corrupt Offline Storage Table file or file with missing items.

What is the OST File?

OST, Offline Storage File is related to both Outlook and Exchange. OST file is the locally saved copy of Exchange Server mailbox data. Outlook users can work even offline through OST file and make changes as per their wish to emails which gets automatically updated while being connected with the Exchange Server. So, it is beneficial to access and modify Exchange data offline in Outlook when there is no internet connection.

Sources for OST Corruption

An OST file does not get affected through Exchange database corruptions or other Exchange Server errors. However, the corruption source could be during the synchronization process of OST file with Exchange Server. Another issue with OST file could be the loss of some items during the synchronization process. Sometimes the OST file fails to connect or synchronize with the Exchange Server and become an orphaned OST file.

This calls for some feasible manual solutions which would fix the corruption in the OST file. You can find these solutions free for use but these are only recommended for a trial. No reliability and data security is guaranteed for the native solutions. But, as mentioned, users can make trials to check if these solutions work for them or not.

Manual Solutions to fix OST Corruption Issues

Perform the following native fixes in order to eliminate the corruption or repair the OST file.

A. In-built Repair Applications

Microsoft has provided two in-built repair applications, scanOST.exe and scanPST.exe.

scanOST.exe – It is an in-built application also known as Integrity Check tool to perform repair on the corrupt OST file. It supports Outlook 2007 and below versions only. The path location for this scanOST.exe is different for different Outlook versions and given as follows.

Outlook 2007: C:\Program Files\ Microsoft Office\ Office 12
Outlook 2003: C:\Program Files\Common Files\System\MSMAPI\scanost.exe
Let us know the process to repair OST file using scanOST.exe application stepwise.

  1. Locate the scanOST.exe application, right-click on it and select Run as administrator option.
  2. Provide the profile name for the corrupt OST file.
  3. Choose either Scan all folders option to scan all the folders of the mailbox or select individual folder as per your choice. Next, select the checkbox saying Repair errors and click on Begin Scan option to start the scanning and repair process.
    The scanning and repair process will start showing progress.
  4. After sometime, the repair process will get successfully completed. A message will be displayed for the successful repair. Click OK.
  5. Check if the OST file is working now or not.

scanPST.exe – It is the in-built utility, known as Inbox Repair Tool, designed by Microsoft to repair Outlook PST files of size up to 2GB with minor corruptions only. However, user can perform OST file repair of latest versions of Outlook also using this utility. This tool includes an option to take backup of their file before performing the repair. Though, many users complain that this exe does not work for the OST file well.

In that case, it is suggested to repair the Outlook program through Control Panel. by selecting the Microsoft Office program under Programs and Features section in Control Panel on your system and then clicking Uninstall option at the top bar. Finally select Repair option to start the repair process of this program. Check if it worked for you.

B. Generating New OST File

This method is recommended when the repair is not successful due to the in-built applications. It is not required to take backup of OST file before creating a new one as it is already a copy of the Exchange Server. But one thing must be ensured that the Exchange is well synchronized with Outlook without any interruptions like network issues throughout the process of regeneration. The process for creating the new OST file is given as under:

  1. Close the running Outlook application first.
  2. Go to Control Panel of the system and click on Mail option.
  3. In the Mail Setup-Outlook dialogue box, click on Email accounts option.
  4. The Account Settings page will get open. Switch to Data Files tab and select the OST file from the accounts list. Then click on Open File location option.
  5. The OST file location is reached. Here, right-click on the OST file with .ost format and click on the Delete option. To delete it permanently, remove it from the Recycle Bin as well.
  6. Check whether Exchange Server is well connected. Now, open the Outlook application and the OST file will get automatically generated due to synchronization with Exchange Server.

Note: This OST regeneration method will work not work efficiently if the user has large mailbox size in Exchange Server or the internet connection is poor.

Hence, these were the native solutions which users can try for free. But, certain limitations like complexity, unreliability, risk of data loss or corruption, need of internet and server connection, etc. with these methods are inseparable. Moving to the alternative way, third-party tools is the best choice when none of the native solutions are working or its limitations are bothering you. Stellar OST to PST Converter tool is the most recommended software for the OST file recovery.

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It repairs OST file items with the most advanced algorithms used in programming of the tool. Advanced filters and simple GUI are its specialties. So, buy this tool once and just forget about any future OST corruption issues. If you want to get complete features knowledge and tool’s assessment, feel free to visit the online website.

Final Words

There are many manual ways using which you can try to repair your corrupt OST file but all of it requires patience, efforts and sometimes luck. So, better be well prepared to deal with such nasty OST related errors or corruption by having a top-class, efficient OST recovery tool as mentioned in the blog.