OST files are widely used for their benefits of storing information offline when not connected to exchange server. Although OST file has an advantage in Outlook, it is not free from corruption. If you cannot access your Outlook data due to corruption in OST file, here are a few tested workarounds to fix the OST file corruption. If you are looking for an instant solution, you can repair the OST file and fix the corruption in jiffy.
OST file is an Outlook data file that is created when you configure the Outlook with IMAP, Exchange, Office 365, and Outlook.com accounts. This is the Outlook data file can help you in saving the synchronized copy of Outlook data on your computer and allows you to work offline. You can perform any actions including deleting mails, reading or creating one in offline mode. When the connection is re-established, all the changes made offline will be synchronized with the server. Therefore, you can access your updated Outlook data from any anywhere.
Although OST files are reliable and secure, they can get corrupt due to several reasons. Let us get to know why OST files get corrupted.
How Outlook OST file Gets Corrupted?
Below mentioned are a few reasons that can cause corruption in OST files in Outlook-
1. Network drop while syncing with an online server or using unstable network sources can lead to OST file corruption.
2. Adding third-party add-ins can conflict with the application and cause corruption in Outlook data files.
3. If your Outlook profile is configured incorrectly, you cannot access the OST file and you may encounter the problem in configuring the Outlook data file which could be an indication of corrupt OST file.
4. Other reasons like power failures during OST files synchronizing with server or virus intrusion to Outlook data files can also lead to corruption in OST files.
5. Sometimes, any interruption caused while installing new Outlook updates makes Outlook not responding. In such cases, the damages are not limited to the application but to the OST files saved in the application will be damaged too.
How Do I Repair A Corrupt OST File?
You can repair corrupt Outlook OST file using 3 different approaches.
If the corruption is restricted to files on one folder, you can easily update the folder to fix the OST file corruption. The other two methods are using ScanPST.exe tool and repair OST file respectively.
Depending on your scenarios and level of corruption in OST files, you can try the methods mentioned below.
How to Fix A Corrupt OST File in Outlook?
The methods mentioned below hold good for all the versions of Outlook including the latest 2021, 2019,2016, 2013 and others.
Method 1: Update the OST Folder to Fix Corruption
You can update the folder in Outlook when the issue is with particular folder. All you have to do is, delete the offline items in the corrupt folder and update the folder by establishing the connection to the Exchange server.
- Open Outlook >> right-click the folder you want to update.
- Click Properties >> A dialog box will appear >> Click Clear Offline Items.
- Click OK >> Select Send/Receive tab and click on Update Folder
Method 2: Make use of Scanpst.exe to Fix corrupt OST files
If you are wondering is it possible to repair OST file using Scanpst.exe, yes, the tool can be reliable for both PST and OST files. If you are using an Outlook version lower than 2013, you can make use of scanost.exe tool. At first find the location of OST file.
Scanost.exe can be found on the location C: \Program files\Microsoft office\ Outlook version.
Scanpst.exe can be found on:
- Outlook 2019-32-Bit C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\Office19
- Outlook 2019-64-Bit C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office19
- Outlook 2019-32-Bit C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\Office21
- Outlook 2019-64-Bit C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office21
All you have to change the office version of your respective Outlook.
Steps to run scanpst.exe to repair OST file corruption
- Locate scanpst.exe on your system and follow the steps
- Once you locate the scanpst.exe, run the inbox repair tool
- Click on Browse and enter the location of the OST file you want to repair
- Click Start to scan the file. After scanning is completed, make sure you have selected the backup option.
- Click on Repair option to repair the file >> OK
With the help of Scanpst, you should be able to fix the OST file corruption. However, Inbox repair tool also have limitations. The Inbox repair tool (ScanPST) stops responding when trying to fix large files. If ScanPST fails to repair the OST file, it will ask you to recreate the file. In that case, you can just recreate the OST file in Outlook.
Method 3: Recreate OST file to repair corrupt OST file
The OST file can easily be recreated by downloading from the server and synchronizing with an online server. Before recreating the file, it is important to delete the corrupt existing one.
Steps to delete the OST file:
- Close Outlook application before starting the process
- Open Control Panel >> User accounts >> mail
- It opens a new dialogue box >> click on E-mail Accounts
- Clicking on email accounts will open account settings dialogue box
- Click on Data file tab >> select the corrupt OST file and open file location
- Once you accessing the file go ahead and delete it
Just after deleting your corrupt OST file, you can set up your account with the same credentials. Outlook will automatically synchronize with your online server and create a new OST file without any data being lost.
If none of the above-mentioned methods helped you in fixing corrupt OST file or for the situation where your data is not synchronized with server, the best way to recover and repair the OST file is to make use of an efficient OST/PST repair tool.
Repair Corrupt OST file using SFWare PST/OST Repair Tool
To repair OST file, download and install SFWare PST/OST repair tool and launch the application. The software is able to repair OST file and recovers that as PST file. Therefore, you no need to synchronize with the server again.
Step 1: The main screen displays three options, select the one as per need:
Open PST File: If you know the path to open PST file, select the option
Find PST File: If you are not aware of PST file, the tool easily finds that for you
Select Outlook Profile: Select the profile in which you need to repair the Outlook files.
Step 2: Select Normal Scan or Smart Scan from the next screen.
Normal Scan: This scan is suitable for repairing minor corruptions in PST file.
Smart Scan: If you want to repair severely corrupted PST file, click on Smart Scan.
Step 3: Click on Repair option to fix cannot start Microsoft Outlook error
After completion of the repair process, you can preview the repaired PST file in Outlook styled browser. Give the desired location to save repaired PST file.
The SFWare PST repair tool can easily fic corrupt or the encrypted Outlook data files files. The tool compatible with all the Outlook versions including the latest 2021, 2019, 2016.