Acknowledge How to Recover Data from Outlook PST

Rollins Duke   
Published: May 13th, 2024 • 3 Min Read

If you have worked with Outlook you might be well aware of the data files that are used to store Outlook database. If no, then read on to find more.

Outlook stores its data in two proprietary file formats – OST and PST. While OST files are used to store Outlook data when Outlook is synchronized with Exchange server, PST files are used to store Outlook data when not in sync with Exchange server. For present, in this blog we will focus our interest only on PST files. Since PST files are similar to any other computer file, there are chances that these files also get damaged. The damage could be due to any reason. But what is more important is to find a solution as to How to recover data from Outlook PST when corrupted. In this blog we will shed some light on this very query- How to recover data from Outlook PST?

Major Factor Behind PST Corruption

The major factor that leads to corruption of PST files is exceeding in their size limitation. Being the default PST file format in Outlook 2002 and previous versions, ANSI type PST file size was limited to a value of 2 GB. In other words the maximum size that an ANSI PST file was allowed to be was 2 GB. If the size of the file exceeds above 2 GB the PST file becomes prone to corruption. This can lead to partial or total corruption of PST files.

In Outlook 2003 and later versions, the default file format of PST files was changed to UNICODE file format. The maximum allowable size of these PST files was 20 GB. When these PST file reach around the limit of 16-18 GB, the PST file causes inefficiency issues in Outlook. This includes improper working, slow performance of Outlook, etc.

How to Recover Data from Outlook PST Manually

Seeking the corruption prone nature of PST files, Microsoft has introduced a built-in tool to repair and recover the data from a corrupt PST file. This inbuilt utility is scanpst.exe. The tool efficiently repairs the corrupt PST files and recovers the data from it. In order to recover the data from PST files and also to repair it, the tool reconstructs the header of the PST file. Also exporting the PST file data in a different PST file can be helpful to recover data from it.

But a caveat to the manual methods is that they do not guarantee that the PST file will surely get repaired. Or in other words the data from PST files cannot be recovered at many times from the manual methods. Now the query which will again strike our minds will be How to recover data from Outlook PST?

Most Efficient Alternative to Repair PST Files

An alternative to efficiently recover data from a corrupted PST file is a third party tool like PST Wizard. The tool recovers the entire data residing in a corrupted PST file. The data items like emails, contacts, calendars, etc. can be easily recovered from the PST file. The software saves the recovered data in a new and healthy PST file. Thus, it an efficient tool to opt for when you find yourself trapped in a situation of PST corruption.


Most of the time, users stuck in various situations where they need retrieve their data from Outlook PST data files. After understanding this, we have discussed way to recover data from Outlook PST in an efficient manner.