Applies To: Outlook 2016Outlook 2013Outlook 2010Outlook 2007
If your Microsoft Outlook Data File (.pst and .ost) won’t open, or if you suspect the file is damaged, use the Inbox Repair tool (SCANPST.EXE) to diagnose and repair errors in the data file. The Inbox Repair tool checks the Outlook data files on your computer to see if they're in good shape.
If you're using a Microsoft Exchange account and your offline Outlook Data File (.ost) is missing items, you can safely delete the file. Outlook will recreate the file the next time the program opens.
NOTE: The Inbox Repair tool doesn't connect or analyze any data stored in an Exchange mailbox. The tool only looks for errors (corruption), and there are any, gives you the opportunity to allow the tool to fix those errors
Repair a .pst file
Exit Outlook and do one of the following:
Browse to C:\Program Files.
Browse to C:\Program Files (x86).
In the Search box, type SCANPST.EXE.
NOTES: If the search doesn't find SCANPST.EXE in one folder, try searching in the other folder mentioned in step 1. Navigate to the folder location based on your version of Outlook.
Outlook 2016: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16
Outlook 2013: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15
Outlook 2010: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14
Outlook 2007: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office12
In the Enter the name of the file you want to scan box, enter the name of the .pst file you want the tool to check, or choose Browse to select the file.
NOTE: By default, a new log file is created during the scan. You can choose Options and opt not to have a log created, or you can have the results appended to an existing log file.
Choose Start to begin the scan.
If the scan finds errors, choose Repair to start the process to fix them.
NOTE: The scan creates a backup file during the repair process. To change the default name or location of this backup file, in the Enter name of backup file box, enter a new name, or choose Browse to select the file you want to use.
When the repair is complete, start Outlook with the profile associated with the Outlook Data File you just repaired.
Other Outlook folders
In the Folder Pane, you might see a folder named Recovered Personal Folders that contains your default Outlook folders or a Lost and Found folder. Although the repair process might recreate some of the folders, they may be empty. The Lost and Found folder contains any folders and items recovered by the repair tool that Outlook can't place in their original structure.
Create new data file
You can create a new Outlook Data File and drag the items in the Lost and Found folder into the new data file. After you've moved all the items, you can remove the Recovered Personal Folders (.pst) file, including the Lost and Found folder.
Recover items from the backup (.bak) file
If you can open the original Outlook Data File, you might be able to recover additional items. The Inbox Repair tool creates a backup file with the same name as the original, but with a .bak extension, and saves it in the same folder. There may be items in the backup file that you might be able to recover that the Inbox Repair tool couldn't.
Browse to the folder where the .pst file is stored and you'll find the .bak file (for example, email@example.com) created by the Inbox Repair tool.
Make a copy of the .bak file and rename it with a bak.pst extension. For example, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Import the bak.pst file into Outlook, and use the Import and Export Wizard to import any additional recovered items into the newly created .pst file.
Some account types, such as Microsoft Exchange Server, use an offline Outlook Data File (.ost). This type of data file is a copy of information saved on your mail server. If you encounter problems with an offline Outlook Data File (.ost), the file can be deleted and recreated by downloading a copy of your items again. We don't recommend repairing an offline Outlook Data File, so if your offline data file isn't usable, you should recreate it.
Open Control Panel, and in the Search Control Panel box, type Mail, and then choose Mail.
In the Mail Setup dialog box, choose E-mail Accounts.
NOTE: The title bar of the Mail Setup dialog box may contain the name of the current profile. To select a different existing profile, choose Show Profiles, select the profile name, and then choose Properties.
Choose the Data Files tab, select the Exchange account, and then choose Open File Location on the mini toolbar.
NOTE: A File Explorer window opens to the location of the data file for the Exchange account. The Account Settings and Mail Setup dialog boxes will remain open, behind the File Explorer window.
Close the Account Settings and the Mail Setup dialog boxes, and then return to the File Explorer window.
IMPORTANT: Make sure you close these two dialog boxes before you delete the file. If they aren't closed, Windows may display an error message about a conflict.
In the File Explorer window, right-click the Exchange data file, and then choose Delete.
NOTE: The next time you start Outlook, a new .ost file is created for the account.
I can’t start Microsoft Outlook 2016, 2013, or 2010 or receive the error “Cannot start Microsoft Office Outlook. Cannot open the Outlook Window”
Applies To: Outlook 2016Outlook 2013Office for businessOutlook 2010
Are you having trouble starting Outlook 2016, Outlook 2013, or Outlook 2010, or receiving "Cannot start Microsoft Outlook. Cannot open the Outlook window" error messages? We can fix the problem for you, or you can use the troubleshooting steps we're providing below to help resolve these startup issues.
In the Choose Profiles dialog box, accept the default setting of Outlook and choose OK.
If prompted, enter your password and choose Accept.
How do you know you're working in safe mode? You'll see a label similar to the one below at the top of the screen.
The Outlook icon on your taskbar also alerts you the program isn't operating normally.
If Outlook does start in safe mode, then the problem is likely with one of your add-ins. You'll need to disable all of your add-ins before restarting Outlook.
In the upper-left corner of Outlook, choose File > Options > Add-ins.
At the bottom of the View and manage Office Add-ins, make sure the Manage box shows COM Add-ins, and then choose Go.
As a precaution, when the COM Add-ins listing of your current add-ins opens, do one of the following:
Manually record the title of every selected add-in listed under Available Add-ins.
Take a screenshot of the property sheet and save the image to a location of your choice.
After you've captured the titles of the selected add-ins, clear all selected check boxes, and then choose OK.
CAUTION: Click a check box to clear it. Don't select an add-in and choose Remove. If you have administrator rights, you could actually delete the add-in. For this troubleshooting exercise, you want to disable, not delete, an add-in.
Choose File > Exit.
Choose Start > Run, and in the Open box, type Outlook.
NOTE: If the program loads properly, it's likely that one of your add-ins is the source of the error and you need to identify which one. To determine which add-in is the problem, enable one add-in at a time.
In the upper-left corner of Outlook, choose File > Options > Add-ins.
Select the check box next to an add-in you want to re-enable, and then choose OK.
Repeat all steps until you've re-enabled all of the original add-ins and revealed the source of the error.
IMPORTANT: Remember, if Outlook opens in safe mode, you've revealed the add-in you just enabled as a source of the error.
Restart Outlook again and disable the add-in you enabled that produced the problem, and then start Outlook.
Make sure you go through the restart-disable-restart process for every add-in that was originally enabled in Outlook. An error could be caused by more than one add-in.
Your profile contains your Outlook settings. Occasionally, that profile can become corrupted. You can determine if it's corrupt by creating a new profile and changing which profile is used when Outlook starts.
To open the Control Panel, do one of the following:
For Windows Vista or Windows 7, choose Start > Control Panel.
For Windows 8 and Windows 10, choose Start, and then type Control Panel.
NOTE: For Windows 10, in Control Panel, make sure the View by box in the upper-right corner is set to Category.
In the Mail Setup - Outlook dialog box, choose Show Profiles > Add.
In the Profile Name box, type the name you want to use for your new profile.
On the Auto Account Setup page for the Add Account Wizard, under E-mail Account, fill in Your Name, E-mail Address, and Password, and then choose Next.
NOTE: The Add Account Wizard automatically searches for your mail server settings.
Choose Finish and you'll find the new profile name you added listed on the General tab in the Mail dialog box.
Under When starting Microsoft Outlook, use this profile, choose Prompt for a profile to be used, and then choose OK.
Use a different profile
In the drop-down list in the Choose Profile dialog box, choose the new profile name you created.
NOTE: If Outlook starts normally, then you've identified your Outlook profile as being corrupt and the source of your problem.
Outlook stores all your email messages, meetings and events, contacts, and tasks in data files. These files occasionally might become corrupted. You can run the Inbox Repair Tool (scanpst.exe) to scan your Outlook data files and repair errors.
Exit Outlook to use the Inbox Repair Tool.
NOTE: The content in the left pane is determined by the Outlook version you're using.
Visit the links below for instructions based on your version of Outlook.