April 4, 2019

How to recover corrupted files in Microsoft Outlook format (OST and PST extensions)

This article explains how to fix the corruption of Outlook folders using Recovery Toolbox for Outlook.

The 3rd party software repairs data corruption issues in case the mailbox in use becomes not accessible for any reason. This application allows restoring all items, stored in Microsoft Outlook: emails, contacts, tasks, notes and calendars. Unlike Inbox Repair Tool, that requires some advanced technical skills, Recovery Toolbox for Outlook (https://outlook.recoverytoolbox.com/) does all operations in a couple of clicks, guiding users through all steps of email recovery. Let us take a closer look at this software and make sure it can really fix the corruption of Outlook folders. Note demo version of Recovery Toolbox for Outlook is available for download. This option does not allow repairing all items from corrupted mailbox, but users may evaluate their chances for successful recovery and purchase a license if the software meets their expectations.

In the very beginning, download the setup file of Recovery Toolbox for Outlook and install it on your computer, it takes a couple of minutes, according to the speed of Internet connection. The program can be installed on any version of Microsoft Windows, just accept the terms of the agreement and follow instructions, modify the default installation path, if needed. As soon as it is done, the program is ready to use, click the shortcut of Recovery Toolbox for Outlook and start recovering Outlook files as follows. At the first stage, it is required choosing a file of OST or PST format at it is shown in the screenshot below.

At this stage, Recovery Toolbox for Outlook users sees a file selection dialogue where they choose a file of OST or PST format for analysis. To choose a file, where the location of the mailbox is known, click the open file button and select the location of the mailbox on HDD, otherwise search the required mailbox by clicking a corresponding button.

This option allows scanning local disks for OST and PST files, it can make sense in case Outlook mailbox is removed or installed to another location, which is different from the default one. At the end of this stage, a correct path should be selected for analysis as it is shown below.

Click the Next button as soon as a correct path is captured, so Recovery Toolbox for Outlook suggests choosing a correct operation mode, either recovery or converter.

In the converter mode, the software parses undamaged OST files and convert them to PST files that can be opened offline, in Microsoft Outlook email client or any other software. On the contrary, the recovery mode means the analysis of damaged mailbox in PST format and the recovery of data into separate files or a single PST file. Sometimes, system administrators do not allow installing other applications to workstations within the domain, so there are online converter/recovery options to be used. The website of the online converter is here: https://osttopst.recoverytoolbox.com/online/. Note it can be opened from any computer, laptop or tablet, the operating system in use does not matter. Choose a file to upload, provide a valid email address and a CAPTCHA code to proceed, click the Next Step button to continue. The system does not install anything on a local computer, all file conversion activities are done remotely, in the very end it suggests downloading already converted file that can be opened in Microsoft Outlook.

Anyway, let us test the Recovery mode locally and click the Next button to proceed.

At this stage, Recovery Toolbox for Outlook attempts analyzing a previously selected file of PST format and starts the parsing of the selected file. There are no restrictions on the size of input files.  However, note the processing of very large files will take more time. The software uses a limited amount of system resources; therefore, users may do other tasks while Recovery Toolbox for Outlook attempts recovering their mailboxes. There is no need to do anything, it automatically moves to the following stage, as soon as the analysis is completed.
In this window, Recovery Toolbox for Outlook shows the structure of Outlook mailbox, as it is recovered. Select any folder in the left pane and look at the right pane, where the list of items is shown. By default, all items are checked, it means they will be exported into a clean file of PST format. However, some items can be unchecked to exclude them from the final recovered file of PST format. At this stage, Outlook users can evaluate the efficiency of application, is it really possible to restore the mailbox in question or some items are lost without any possibility to recover.

At the next stage, Recovery Toolbox for Outlook suggests the following option: users may save recovered data as a single PST file or allow the recovery of all items separately, into VCF, EML and other supported formats. In case you select the first option, the application creates a file of PST format that can be opened in Microsoft Outlook or any other compatible email client and you may keep working with your mailbox, like before.

At the last stage, users are prompted choosing a folder for data export. As soon as it is done, Recovery Toolbox for Outlook saves data and quits.

Besides offline options of mailbox recovery, the application developer suggests the online service of Outlook data recovery: https://outlook.recoverytoolbox.com/online/. This option does not imply the installation of software on client computers, the recovery of Outlook email is performed online, just need to upload a file of PST format as shown on the screenshot below.

Note the upload of the corrupted mailbox in PST format can be done from any device, not only Windows workstations. Besides uploading a file, users are asked to provide a valid email address and CAPTCHA code. Indeed, the upload may take some time, but the recovery itself does not consume the resources of the local machine, so it does not matter, from which device you are trying to upload a file, either from PC, Android tablet or Apple OS device. When the recovery is completed, users are prompted downloading a clean file of PST format so it can be connected to Microsoft Outlook. This service of online data restoration is cheaper than the offline tool, but keep in mind the presence of reliable Internet connection is a must have, especially for very large mailboxes.

How to repair PST file

Step-by-step instruction for repairing corrupted PST files of Microsoft Outlook:

  1. Download, install and run Recovery Toolbox for Outlook from https://outlook.recoverytoolbox.com/
  2. Select corrupted. PST file on the first page of Recovery Toolbox for Outlook
  3. Select Recovery Mode
  4. Select folder for save
  5. Select Save as PST file
  6. Press Recover

About the author 

Anu Balam

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