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Scan Outlook for errors using the Inbox Repair Tool

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If you have tried to open your Microsoft Outlook client and have received an error relating to your .pst file then you have come to the right place. The Inbox Repair Tool is a utility included with Microsoft Outlook which can help correct issues relating to file corruption and is a great first line approach to correcting error messages relating to your personal folders.

Some common errors include:

“Something is wrong with one of your data files and Outlook needs to close. Outlook might be able to fix your file. Click OK to run the Inbox Repair Tool.”

“Cannot start Microsoft Office Outlook. Cannot open the Outlook window. The set of folders cannot be opened. Errors have been detected in the file.”

The Inbox Repair Tool is located within the installation folder for your Microsoft Outlook program. The location will, therefore, depend on which version of Outlook you are using.

Here is a guide on the location for each version:

Outlook 2019 and Outlook 365

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\Office16\32-bit Windows
C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16\64-bit Windows

Outlook 2016

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\Office16\32-bit Windows
C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16\64-bit Windows

 Outlook 2013

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15\32-bit Windows
C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15\64-bit Windows

Outlook 2010

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14\32-bit Windows
C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14\64-bit Windows

Outlook 2007

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\32-bit Windows
C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office12\64-bit Windows

Outlook 2003

C:\Program Files\Common Files\System\MSMAPI\<locale ID>\32-bit Windows
C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\System\MSMAPI\<locale ID>\64-bit Windows

To run the Inbox Repair Tool, follow these steps:

  1. Open Windows Explorer and navigate to the folder location based on your version of Microsoft Outlook as shown above
  2. Navigate and locate the file called scanpst.exe

Inbox Repair Tool

  1. Double click the Scanpst.exe file
  2. The Microsoft Outlook Inbox Repair Tool window will be displayed:

Inbox Repair Tool

  1. You will need to select the file you want to scan
  2. If you are not sure of the location of your PST file you can access this information through your email settings

a. Open the Control Panel

b. Double click the Mail icon

c. Click Show Profiles

d. Select your email profile from the list and click Properties

e. Click the Data Files button

f. You will now see a list of the Data Files in use within your email profile along with their Location. Make a note of this location and close the dialog boxes and return to the Inbox Repair Tool

  1. Click Browse
  2. Navigate to the location as per point 6f and select your PST file

Inbox Repair Tool

  1. Click Start
  2. There are 8 phases of the scan. Once completed you will see a summary of the results including if any errors were found.

Inbox Repair Tool


  1. You will be prompted to make a backup of the file before the repair process begins. Make sure this option is selected and then click Repair
  2. You will see a message when the repair process has completed

Inbox Repair Tool Complete

  1. Click OK
  2. Open Microsoft Outlook and check that your PST file opens correctly

If the Inbox Repair Tool does not rectify the issue you have experienced, it is recommended that you Google search the exact error message you are receiving. You may also wish to try the Microsoft Support website at


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