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Microsoft Outlook is one of the most widely used personal information management applications, which is used by users across the globe to keep their data organized, including emails, schedules, contacts, tasks, notes, events, etc.

Outlook extensively uses two kinds of files- PST (Personal Storage Table) and OST (Offline Outlook File). An OST file is an offline medium to store Exchange mailbox information in MS Outlook. It maintains the exact copy of the mailbox and keeps a downloaded version of it. This becomes helpful for users to continue their work during low or no internet connectivity.

But what happens when these OST files get damaged? A lot of users opt for Scanpst.exe scan as an attempt to repair these files. However, it may or may not work every time. In this article, we will talk about the reasons to not repair OST files with Scanpst.exe.

What are the reasons behind the OST file getting damaged?

It becomes necessary to have the right knowledge about the causes to avoid any kind of damage to OST files in the future. These are the reasons which cause corruption in the OST files-

  • A virus or bug may be the prime reason behind an OST file getting corrupted.
  • Whenever Outlook is not closed properly, the file gets affected.
  • Every file has a size limit. Whenever data crosses the size limit, there is a possibility for files to become inaccessible.
  • Certain add-ins or extensions are not compatible with Outlook.
  • Continuous interruptions due to power outages or low internet connectivity can also lead to the damage of OST files.
What is Scanpst.exe?

When Outlook files become inaccessible, corrupt, or damaged, Inbox Repair Tool or Scanpst.exe helps get to the root cause of the issue and then repairs it.

Why shouldn’t you repair the OST file with Scanpst.exe?

While facing issues with any Outlook data file, one of the most sought-after solutions is the Scanpst.exe. It might be able to show and resolve some minor issues, but that is not always the case. As the name suggests, a Scanpst.exe tool has been designed specifically to fix issues pertaining to PST files. To resolve errors in an OST is not the exact intent behind the tool. Since the files contain cache data, it is recommended to start again with a clean slate.

What are the alternate solutions?

There still are certain methods to fix the damages in the OST files. This can be done with these possible solutions-

  • Reconstruct the OST file
    Major corruptions in OST files cannot be repaired using Scanpst.exe. The ideal method is to re-build the OST file. Users can rename the file as ‘.old,’ and Outlook will reconstruct it from the server whenever it is closed.Reconstruct the OST file
  • Convert OST to PST files
    A feasible solution is to convert corrupted OST files to PST, which will allow users to retrieve all information. Since you are dealing with personal and confidential information, it is advisable to choose professional software to complete this critical task.Here, Kernel for OST to PST Converter does the needful with its advanced features-

    1. The conversion of OST to PST is a smooth and seamless process that works well with all versions of Outlook.
    2. The tool manages to repair corrupt OST files.
    3. A detailed preview is presented for all the mailbox items.
    4. Users can find a specific item in the OST file.
    5. OST files can be exported to a cloud-based Office mailbox as well as various web-based email platforms.
    6. The OST emails can be converted into various formats, including PST, MBOX, MSG, HTML, PDF, EML, and many more
    7. The converted PST files can also be split into smaller ones according to the file size.ost to pst converter


Scanpst.exe is intended for errors arising in PST files, though you can try to repair the OST files with Scanpst.exe. This scan may resolve minor errors in OST files but is not at all feasible while dealing with major issues. To repair these files, OST files must be re-built from scratch, which can be done by renaming the file as .old. This approach works when you are working with a stable internet connection. Another approach is to convert OST to PST files. This must be done professionally with a tool like the Kernel for OST to PST.

Kernel for OST to PST