Do Not Use Scanpst.exe to Fix OST Files

Updated On - November 9, 2023 by Armaan | Reading Time: 7 minutes

In the emailing world, Outlook has its place, and many users use it all over the globe. PST (Personal Storage Table) and OST (Outlook Storage Table) files are data storage files in MS Outlook (Offline Outlook File). OST files copy mailbox data and get stored in the computer synchronized with Microsoft Outlook. In this blog, we explain why users do not use Scanpst.exe to fix OST files. However, Scanpst.exe is an inbuilt utility from Microsoft.

OST files allow users to work even without network connectivity, and changes occur when a connection is established. This means that users can continue working even when they have only a few or no Internet connections.

But, users face issues if OST files get corrupted. In those scenarios, the Scanpst.exe scan is used by many people to try to fix these files. The only way you can be sure is to test it. There are various reasons Scanpst.exe is not recommended to fix OST files, and this write-up will cover why and an alternative to it.

Reasons why OST files get corrupted or damaged?

Prevention is better than cure; hence, to ensure that OST files are secure in the future, it’s essential to know the reasons for the corruption of OST files:

  • Malware and virus attacks are the common causes behind any kind of file corruption. If an OST file gets damaged, it could be due to an infection or virus attack.
  • The file could be damaged if Outlook isn’t completely closed or properly shut down. Be cautious.
  • There’s a limit to the size of a file. If the data contained in a file surpasses its maximum allowed and is not accessible, it could be blocked.
  • Certain Outlook extensions and add-ins are not compatible with the software.
  • The interruptions caused by power downtime or poor connectivity could result in OST files being corrupted.
  • Hardware issue is also a prevalent cause. If your files are saved in bad sectors of the system, then it may lead to corruption/damage in OST files that leads to data inaccessibility.

What is Scanpst.exe, and how to use it?

Scanpst.exe is an inbuilt utility from Microsoft that resolves minor corruption and errors. Inbox Repair Tool (also known as Scanpst.exe) could help to identify and fix the root of the problem before it becomes a permanent issue when Outlook files are damaged, corrupted, or deleted and not accessible.

Where we can find Scanpst.exe?

The location of this in-built utility varies depending on the Outlook version. In some of the latest versions, the location is:

In Outlook 2013
32-bit Outlook: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15\
64-bit Outlook: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15\

In Outlook 2016 and 2019 Versions
32-bit Outlook: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office16\
64-bit Outlook: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16\

How to use Scanpst.exe?

  • Find the Scanpst.exe location and open it. Scanpst.exe location
  • Run it with a double-click.
  • Now, using the Browse button, select the corrupted PST files. Steps to use Scanpst.exe utility
  • You can see the selected file in the box. Click Start.
  • The tool will scan the file and show a report of the file. Step 5
  • As you find the error, go with the Repair button to repair it. But, before moving ahead, you must check the box “Make a backup of scanned file before repairing”. Sooner, you will get a Repair Complete message. Step 6

Do not use the Scanpst.exe tool to fix the OST file, but why?

After explaining so much why we are saying “Do not use scanpst.exe to fix OST files’, is an obvious question. Scanpst.exe is among the most frequently used programs to repair issues in Outlook file data. In certain situations, it could be able to pinpoint and fix minor issues; however, this isn’t always the scenario.

Scanpst.exe, as its name implies, was developed solely to solve issues with MS Outlook’s PST files. It’s not the primary goal of the tool to resolve OST problems. However, it adds OST files as well resolves some minor issues but it is meant to deal with corruption and damage issues in PST files. But users get confused; hence, they keep trying but do not find the results.

What about Scanost.exe?

If you have been using Outlook for a long time, you must have heard the name scanost.exe to recover and repair OST files. A lot of Outlook users have also used this built-in utility. But now users need help finding the location of this utility, hence remaining in a dilemma. Users must read the points given below to clear all doubts:

  • Scanost.exe is available only in the Outlook 2007 and earlier versions. It is not present in Outlook 2010 and later versions.
  • Doesn’t work on the significant errors and severely corrupted OST files.
  • You may face issues with folder hierarchy; hierarchy may alter.
  • You can locate this utility by referring to the following path: C: \Program files\Microsoft office\ office version

Do we have alternatives to this situation?

Restoring OST files that are damaged can be done in a few ways. By using the following methods, it is possible to do this:

Rename and recreate OST files

If you use Scanpst.exe, It will not be able to fix severe OST corruptions of the file. Re-creating these OST files is the most effective alternative. The extension ‘.old’ can be used to modify the name, and Outlook will recreate it on the server each time the application is stopped. If needed, it is necessary to restore your OST file.

Follow the below-given steps to re-build and rename the OST file:

  • First, close Outlook; ensure it is not even running in the background.
  • Reach to the existing OST file location. If you know the location, it is good; otherwise, reach the file following: File > Info> Account Settings > Account Settings… > Data Files > Open File Location.
  • Now rename the OST file to old. 1
  • Finally, restart the Outlook. Now A new .ost file will create and synchronize with the Exchange Server.

Fix corrupt OST files using the professional Regain OST Recovery tool:

To get all the data from the damaged OST file, the user could transform it into a PST file. It is recommended to use a professional program as you’ll have to deal with confidential and sensitive data. The abilities provided by the Regain OST Recovery tool enable it to perform the essential tasks:

Free Download100% Secure Buy NowPrice: $39

  • It converts OST into PST files in a simple and safe manner.
  • It can repair severely corrupt OST files as well.
  • The OST file lets users look up and find an item.
  • An online Office mailbox or another email system can export emails from the OST file.
  • The tool allows you to convert OST to PST and another email file format such as EML, MSG, MBOX, EMLX, HTML, etc.
  • It can import OST to Office 365, Gmail, Exchange Server, Yahoo Mail, Amazon Workmail, etc.
  • It can split large resultant PST files before saving.
  • Free version is available to test software working and capability

How to Repair OST Files Effortlessly Using Regain OST Recovery Tool?

  • Install and launch the Regain OST Recovery.
  • Click on Add OST Files to add them. Add OST file for Repairing
  • Browse and open the files. Step 2
  • The tool will scan the file and show a preview of the recovered items from the file. Step 3
  • The next step is selecting the desired file format to save the OST file and destination path. Step 4
  • Click on Convert Now, and it takes few minutes to complete your conversion.Step 5


Many people try to repair OST files using scanpst.exe; however, it’s not advised. It is helpful in fixing minor PST file issues. However, this scan is not efficient in dealing with more severe problems. Sometimes it can be fix by rename or create new ost file. Whenever you required your old data back, In that case you need a professional tool. Regain OST Recovery Tool provides this facility to users in an advanced and user-centric way. Go through free version to repair OST file in just few clicks.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q1. Why do professionals not use Scanpst.exe to fix OST files?
Ans. However, Scanpst.exe can add OST files, but it is not the primary function of it; it works better on .pst. It doesn’t resolve the severe corruption or damage issue in the OST file. Users don’t get satisfactory results when repairing OST files; hence professionals don’t use the Scanpst.exe inbuilt utility.

Q2. Can just rename the OST file. old recreate a new OST file?
Ans. Yes. Outlook automatically recreates OST files when restarted after synchronizing with the Exchange Server. It will save the copy of mailbox items on your local PC/ device.

Q3. I have decided to recover and save the OST file into PST file format; is this Regain OST Recovery suitable for my needs?
Ans. This third-party professional OST recovery tool explained in this blog recovers severely corrupted/damaged OST files and offers multiple file formats to save them. PST file format is also one of them. So, this third-party tool developed by regain Software is most suitable for your needs.

Q4. Can I open the PST file and access my current OST file data in Outlook after converting OST to PST?
Ans. Yes, you can add and open PST files on any Outlook account. In this way, you can easily access your current OST file data.

Author: Armaan

Hello I have been working in Regain Software for the last 6 months. I have been in the field of writing for many years and worked with many Data recovery companies. Here I am writing technical blogs, Software User Guides and manual methods for email conversion and cloud migration. Now, working on all products of our company. Thanks you

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