How to Find Missing Outlook PST File?

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This article aims to serve as a guide for users who are dealing with a missing PST file. This guide will touch upon understanding causes, preventative methods, and proven trouble shooting solutions that users can try out themselves.

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Booted up your PC ready to get to work only to find that you are missing your Outlook PST File. What happened? Did your file just disappear? Where do I find my PST file? How do I go about this?

Disclaimer: The following article does not address the Outlook PST File Not Found Error. This guide caters to users who have a missing PST file and are unable to locate it.

Where is my PST file Located?

Your PST file is usually saved in the default location (unless changed or saved elsewhere).
You can use the given file locations to find your PST file.

Windows 10, 11- drive- Users\<username>\Documents\Outlook Files
Other Windows versions- drive:\Documents and Settings\\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

If you were unable to find it then there are a few troubleshooting methods that you can try out. But before that, it is important to understand the reasons

Why is My PST File Missing?

While several users may experience such issues, they may have a different cause in each case see if you could be experiencing any one of the causes stated below-

Accidental deletion or relocation- This may be possible if you have accidentally cleaned your entire PC or have deleted a few files earlier. You may also have recently switched to a different system. If so, there are chances that you may have accidentally deleted your PST file (or deleted the folder that contained your PST file) or did not successfully transfer all your data to the new system.

Exceeding Storage Capacity- When you exceed the 15 GB storage capacity in Outlook, your PST file becomes vulnerable to data corruption, causing many operational issues in turn.

Corruption or damage to the PST file- If any of the below statements occur or have occurred recently, there is a chance that your PST file is corrupt.

  1. An Outlook process was abruptly interrupted due to a power cut, suddenly shutting down the system or the laptop running out of battery.
  2. Recently made a download that was infected with a virus or malware.
  3. Unable to open Outlook and are facing issues with other applications as well.

Software updates – Some Software updates may do more harm than good. If you have recently updated Outlook, Windows, or even Microsoft Office. If the update installation was disturbed midway you will have to reinstall the update or if the problem lies with the update itself, wait for a patch update.

How to Locate Missing Outlook PST file?

1. Use Outlook to locate the Missing PST File

  1. Open Outlook and click on the File.
  2. Under the info tab, select Account Settings and then click on Account Settings.
    access-account-settings
  3. The account settings window will pop up.
  4. Click on Data Files. You will now have access to a list of all the data files that Outlook recognizes. You can locate and access your PST file from here.
    locate-outlook-pst-file-missing

If you were not able to see your PST file, then let’s try using the SFWare PST repair tool to locate your missing data file.

2. Use the SFWare Outlook PST Repair Tool to locate the Missing PST File

Using a professional PST repair tool such as SFWare Outlook PST Repair is always a good option. With a seamless user interface and effective algorithm, you can easily repair your corrupt PST file to its original state.

download-SFWare-Repair-PST

1. Locate the Missing PST File

Step 1: Download, Install, and Launch SFWare PST Repair Tool

Step 2: In the first screen, select the “Find my PST file option
The SFWare software scans the entire drive and lists all the PST files available along with the file location. You can refer to the file location to find your Missing PST file.

sfware-find-my-pst-file

Scenario 1

If you were unable to locate your PST file here, there is a good chance that you accidentally deleted it. To recover your deleted file, you can use SFWare data recovery software to recover it.

Scenario 2

If your file has shown up in the list but you aren’t able to view it, the PST file is probably corrupted. But you can easily use SFWare to fix it.

2. Repair Corrupted/Missing PST file

Follow steps 1 and 2 (given above).

Step 3: Select the corrupted PST file and click on the Next.

Step 4: Select a Quick scan, set a destination location, and click on Repair to begin the repair process.
start-pst-repair

Step 5: Verify the results and Save the repaired PST file

verify-pst-results

Note: make sure to rename the Repaired PST file to avoid getting it mixed up with the corrupted version.

Conclusion

I hope that you were able to locate your PST file using this article. Please reach out if you have any queries or suggestions. To prevent such scenarios in the future, please be extremely careful while deleting files, avoid exceeding your PST file storage capacity, safely eject the storage drive if you are transferring your PST file to another computer, and always maintain a backup of your PST file.

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