Last updated: Jan. 18, 2017
If your Outlook starts to run extremely slow, or you constantly gets weird error messages when using it, chances are the Outlook PST (Personal Storage Table) file has broken or corrupted. How to fix a problematic .pst file and recover all lost Outlook items? The easiest yet most effective way is to use an Outlook pst repair software.
There are quite a few programs on the market that claim to be able to repair corrupt PST files. But are they really safe to use? More important, does it work as it describes? We've tested all them out, and in this article we'll show you the absolute best pst repair tools that can help recover your inaccessible Outlook data, emails, calendars, tasks, contacts, etc.
QUICK PICKS: 3 GREAT CHOICES
**Below, you'll find our reviews, but you can also click the links above to get the software and start repairing your PST files and recover the Outlook emails.
Why and When to Use a PST Repair Tool?
Outlook, as we all know, is part of the Microsoft Office Suite (together with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, etc.). No matter what brand of PCs you hold, you probably use Outlook client to manage a lot of emails. While it's a very convenient and efficient productivity tool, things can go wrong with Outlook, just like many other Windows applications.
Maybe you've experienced some of these situations. Outlook got terminated unexpectedly due to computer power failure, the program crashed due to a bug, even worse some viruses or malware attacked your computer and affected all applications you installed. All these could corrupt or damage your Outlook .pst file.
Typical symptoms of such file corruption include (but not limited to): error messages like "the file couldn't be found", ".pst could be accessed - 0x80040116", "the file or directory is corrupted or unreadable". The Outlook application can't be opened, or runs very slow and crash more often, and other issues.
If any of the situations sound familiar to you, it's time to fix the file and restore your personal information. Also, you'd better act ASAP in order not to get a worse situation.
Outlook PST Repair Software: What to Look For?
Disclaimer: so far there are no industry standards to evaluate the performance of a third-party pst recovery software. The factors we choose as seen below are mostly based on 1) our own experience in using each program and 2) the information provided by each developer/owner and 3) the expertise of the Outlook expert users with whom we consult. As such, the criteria and recommendations we come up with are our own opinions.
- Security: every piece of third-party software installed on a Windows PC should not contain viruses or malicious processes. We test this by downloading and uploading the .exe file to Comodo File Analysis Center. Once it's diagnosed to be clean and risk-free, we install the app for further evaluation.
- Repair Quality: the best pst repair software should include features or functions to handle various Outlook PST file damage or corruption scenarios, and recover as many types of files as possible. Further, since every such program involves a scanning procedure, it's ideal that the process is time-efficient. Most of us don't want to wait two hours simply watching the scanning bar move like a snail.
- Compatibility: it's also important that such software supports all Outlook versions available such as 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013 & 2016. Also, the program can run under major Windows operating systems like Windows XP, 7, 8, 10.
- Help & Support: fixing a broken/corrupt pst file may require you to possess a certain level of technical skills. A great pst repair tool should have an easy-to-use software interface (UI/UX), provide sufficient instructions or tutorials to avoid any confusions, and be able to reach out to if users have any questions.
The Best PST Repair Software in 2017: Our Recommendations
Please note: the programs recommended below have been tested by our team, and they are virus-free and malware-free. Feel free to get it and install on your computer.
Microsoft's Outlook Inbox Repair Tool
Also known as ScanPST or Scanpst.exe, The Inbox Repair Tool is built in on your computer when you install the Microsoft Outlook application. While it's not really the tool you'll use to fix a corrupt/damaged PST file, but it usually works well for smaller issues. Therefore, it's the first tool we recommend you to use if you encounter any Outlook issues. It's free and easy to use. Learn more from this MS support article.
If ScanPST doesn't fix the problem you are facing (most likely it won't), try the options below.
Stellar Phoenix Outlook PST Repair
It's the most robust and comprehensive solution out there based on our test. Stellar Repair outperforms other alternatives because of its high repair rate. Not only it scans, repairs a corrupt PST file and restores all types of content (emails, attachments, calendars, contacts, tasks, notes, journals, etc.), but you can also use it to quickly re-import all emails back into Microsoft Outlook from the new PST file it generates. We highly recommend this software. It supports all MS Outlook versions and it's compatible with major Windows OS.
Remo Repair Outlook PST
Remo is another excellent option when ScanPST.exe doesn't work out for you. The software incorporates non-destructive mechanism during the entire scanning and fixing process; it won't alter your source PST file, so it's extremely safe to use. Also, the program can handle a PST file that's more than 2GB in size which many other tools don't support. Remo can run under any Windows-based PCs and it supports Outlook 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013 & 2016.
While these PST repair tools are great in fixing and recovering your lost Outlook content, it's not 100% guaranteed that you'll be able to restore all you want. Plus, a decent amount of time and energy need to be input. Therefore, we encourage you to back up all digital data that is important to you — Outlook files included. Remember, backup is king in the digital age, and it will save you lots of headaches in the future.
Influenced by the startup culture in the Silicon Valley, Jessica loves building things from zero to one and is keen on following news related to the Big Five tech giants and many SaaS startups.