If you are facing problems with Outlook app while accessing emails or you find email items missing from your Outlook, it is probably due to an infected or corrupt Outlook Data File (.PST). Follow this guide to Restore Corrupt PST File when the File Gets Infected by Viruses
Outlook stores an offline copy of mail items such as email, calendar, notes, contacts, etc. in a data file. If you use an IMAP or POP account with Outlook, the data is stored in a PST file format. If you use an Exchange, Outlook, or Office 365 account, the data is stored in an OST file format.
Your PST file is prone to corruption due to virus and malware infection, power failure, software conflicts, drive errors, and incompatible Outlook add-ins. Also, a large PST file may crash or get corrupt.
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Methods to Fix and Restore a Virus-Infected PST Outlook Data File
To repair a corrupt PST Outlook data file, follow the steps given below:
Before you begin
- Create a backup copy of your Outlook PST file before applying the below methods. The first method, if it fails to repair a corrupt PST, can cause damage to the original PST file.
- PST File Location: C:\Users\YourProfile\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook\
- TIP: If the ‘AppData’ folder is not visible, click ‘View’ in ‘File Explorer’ and then click the ‘Hidden Items’ checkbox.
- Also, run a system-wide deep scan using a reliable anti-virus
Method 1: Use Inbox Repair Tool or SCANPST.EXE
SCANPST.EXE or Inbox Repair Tool is an Outlook utility to fix the problem with OST and PST Outlook data files. The tool is installed along with Outlook installation.
NOTE: Inbox Repair Tool does not work with password-protected PST file and may fail to repair a PST file larger than 2GB. In such a case, skip to Method 2.
Follow these steps to restore a corrupt PST file by using SCANPST.EXE:
- Navigate to C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15\ and double-click on SCANPST.EXE.
2. Click ‘Browse’ to choose the corrupt Outlook PST file.
3. Now, click ‘Start’.4. After the scan, if the EXE utility finds any error, it displays the following screen. Check ‘Make a backup of scanned file before repairing’, and click ‘Browse’ to choose the desired location for saving the backup file.
5. Click Repair. After the repair, the following message is displayed.
NOTE: In case SCANPST.EXE freezes or crashes, you may try again. If it crashes or fails again, skip to the next method.
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Restore Missing Emails after Fixing Virus-Infected PST
In case you find some emails missing after PST repair by using SCANPST.EXE, you can follow these steps to try restoring the missing emails in your Outlook by using the .BAK file created by SCANPST.EXE tool,
- Navigate to bak file location and rename the file to abc.bak.pst.
2. Open Outlook and go to File>Open & Export>Import/Export.
3. Select ‘Import from another program or file’ and click ‘Next.’
4. Select Outlook Data File (.pst) and click ‘Next’.
5. Click Browse and choose the renamed bak.pst file. Select Replace duplicates with items imported.
6. Click ‘Next’ and choose the email folder.
7. Check ‘Include subfolders’ and click ‘’
After import, check the folder and see if it contains the missing items. If mails are still not found, follow the next method.
Method 2: Use PST Repair Software Tool
A professional PST file repair tool such as Stellar Repair for Outlook can help you repair virus-infected or encrypted PST file of any size and also recover missing or deleted emails.
Follow these steps to repair and restore a virus-infected or corrupt PST file using Stellar Repair for Outlook tool:
- Close MS Outlook app in your PC
- Then download, install and launch Stellar Repair for Outlook.
- Click on ‘Browse’ to select the corrupt or virus-infected PST file, and then click Repair.
4. After the repair, click ‘OK’ and then select the mail items you want to export. You may click on a mail item to see its preview including deleted emails highlighted in red.
5. Click ‘Save Repaired File’ in the ‘Home’ menu and choose PST format.
NOTE: You may also export individual or multiple mail items to EML, MSG, RTF, HTML, or PDF format.
- Choose a destination location on the system drive or external media and click ‘’
Replace the corrupt PST file with this new repaired PST file. Don’t forget to rename the new PST with the same name after replacing it. Alternatively, you can also choose to import this new PST file to your MS Outlook account through Import/Export wizard.
Check the how-to video of Stellar Repair for Outlook :
How to Repair Outlook PST file with Stellar Repair for Outlook software
A corrupt or virus-infected PST can lead to problems such as frequent Outlook freezes & crashes, missing email items, email sync errors, and more. If you are experiencing difficulty with Outlook, try repairing the Outlook Data File (.pst) with the Inbox Repair Tool (SCANPST.EXE).
If the scanpst.exe fails to repair the damaged Outlook file or doesn’t recover all missing email items, use a PST repair tool such as Stellar Repair for Outlook.
The software works with password-protected or encrypted PSTs of any size. You can also split and save a PST file after repair using Stellar Repair for Outlook to prevent future PST corruption caused by oversizing.