Method for Repairing Outlook Personal Folders File (PST)

Lambert Butler | Updated On - 25 Mar 2021 |

Read time 3 min

Personal Folder file is the Outlook database files created in the old versions of the Outlook application (2002 and older). Such files are used even today and users need to repair them to access the crucial information within them as these are quite prone to corruption.

Disaster recoveries can be managed and prevented with backups. If continuous backups of important files and folders are performed, users can prevent data loss situations. In case of MS Outlook corruptions, users generally face the error.

“Unable to expand the folder. The set of folders could not be opened. Errors could have been detected in the file drive:\Documents and Settings\user\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\Outlook.pst. Quit all mail-enabled applications, and then use the Inbox Repair Tool.”

The error message contains instructions to repair the PST file with the Microsoft Inbox repair tool. The Inbox Repair tool is included with the MS Outlook client for repairing the corrupt and damaged PST files in place of backups. This free tool is provided by Microsoft widely used as the MS Office Suite and the MS Outlook standalone application.

To Repair PST Files:

Use the ScanPST.exe, also known as the Inbox Repair tool, to list and repair the damaged file. It will recover the mailbox items and provide a new PST to work with. The default location of the scanPST.exe application is – :\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office1 or :\Program Files\Common Files\System\MSMAPI\1033 for old Outlook versions and can be launched from this location. Users just need to browse and add the Personal Folder File, then perform the scan and repair operation as instructed in the inbuilt application.

This process via the Inbox Repair tool needs to be run multiple times for complete repair and sometimes it may fail to repair the Personal Folder File.

This repair process can be prevented if you have updated backups of your file.
To include a backup of your PST file in MS Outlook you need to perform the following steps:

  1. Start MS Outlook. On the File menu click the Data File Management option.
  2. Account Settings dialogue box with opened Data Files tab will appear.
  3. Select the damaged PST file and click Remove.
  4. Click Add, select the Office Outlook Personal Folders File (.pst) for Outlook 2007 or Outlook 97-2002 personal Folders File (.pst). Click OK and then select the PST file which you want to use as your primary file.
  5. Click OK. The mailbox items will be downloaded to the MS Outlook client.

One should not solely rely on the email recovery tools as backups always play crucial role to prevent such situations. Many Outlook PST repair and PST email recovery tools help to recover emails and other mailbox items like attachments, images, email properties, journals, calendars, events, alarms, Unicode characters which could be missed out with the inbox repair tool.

Repairing Personal Folders File with guaranteed recovery percentage is important in every environment; Kernel for Outlook does it all. It is an MS Outlook recovery tool that repairs PST files, recovers every mailbox item, previews every item with content, and then lets you save them to the file format of your choice: PST, MSG, DBX, and EML.

For more information about Kernel for Outlook PST recovery, please visit

Final Words

The inbuilt Inbox Repair tool is provided as a suggestion to repair old Outlook files (Personal Folder File) to get data back along with the available backups to restore content to a new PST file. A sure shot Outlook database file repair tool is recommended too as a confirmed solution.