How-to repair your Outlook data file to resolve recurring Outlook crashing, hanging or stuck in outbox issues.

If you are having recurring issues with Outlook crashing, hanging or messages not sending from the Outbox when using PoliteMail, then your Outlook data file needs to be repaired.

Because Outlook data files can become damaged for a variety of reasons (e.g. you computer shuts down while Outlook is running) Microsoft provides a tool to fix corrupted pst/ost files, the programs ScanPST.exe and ScanOSt.exe are included with the Microsoft Office system.

Here’s how to fix your Outlook data file(s):

First, you need to determine the type of data file Outlook is using (pst/ost).
You can look in the default location, or use Outlook to help you find it.

  • In Windows 8 the default outlook data file location is: C:UsersUserAppDataLocalMicrosoftOutlook
  • In Windows 7 or Vista, the default Outlook data file location is:
  • In Windows XP and Windows 2000: disk drive:Documents and SettingsusernameLocal SettingsApplication DataMicrosoftOutlook

screenshot outlookfinder

If you do not see the files in the default locations above, you can use Outlook to identify the file location.

  • In Outlook, to find out which data file Outlook is using, click on File > Account Settings (in Outlook 2010) or Tools > Account Settings
  • Click on the Data Files tab and click on Open File Location or Open Folder for the default profile selected.
  • At the top of the windows file browser, select and copy the directory address of that file (folder location, e.g. C:UsersNameAppDataLocalMicrosoftOutlook ) and remember the specific file name (e.g. outlook.ost or outlook.pst)

If you are still unable to see the file, you may need to check if it is a hidden file

  • To do this find your users folder, right click and select properties.
  • Under general, attributes, click hidden, then OK to see any hidden folders or files. user scrnsht

Also make note of the file size, if your Outlook data file is greater than 2GB, then you will first need to run a truncation tool (see additional instructions below)

  • Close Outlook
  • Now that you know the file type, you need to run the corresponding ScanPST.exe or ScanOST.exe program. If you are using Outlook 2013, run ScanPST.exe. This can be run from C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office 15\root\office15. If you are using Outlook 2010, you will always run ScanPST.exe. This file can be run from Windows > Start menu, by browsing to this file folder: C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft OfficeOffice14SCANPST.EXE (remove the (x86) if running 64-bit Office)If you are using Outlook 2007, choose the program C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft OfficeOffice12SCANOST.EXE (or SCANPST.EXE)If you are using Outlook 2003, choose the program C:Program Files(x86)Common FilesSystemMSMAPI1033SCANOST.EXE (or SCANPST.EXE)
  • Now enter the complete path and Outlook data file name (from step 1 above)

Click Start. This may take a while to run

If you get errors, rerun it when completed, until no errors are reported.

  • If you are using multiple Outlook profiles (sending from more than one email address) however, you should re-run this tool for each Outlook data file on your system. You can identify these using Steps 1.1-1.3 above, selecting each of the profiles you use, then choosing Open Folder Location to get the path and specific filename.
  • After the repair, restart Outlook

If your Outlook data file is > 2GB, run the truncation tool (not installed on most systems)

Run this truncation tool first on large files, then scan the resulting files.
For more information, see the Microsoft Support forum pages: