How to Manage and Repair PST Files

PST files are mail files that are stored in a database for Microsoft Outlook that also contains your calendar, email contacts, and other information you use when using the Microsoft Outlook email client. PST stands for "personal store" which is the file format that is used for archiving Microsoft Outlook mail.

How to Manage PST Files

PST files are a personal storage folder that is located on your computer's hard disk drive and should be backed up in the event of an operating system failure. Creating a backup is the primary method for saving and managing PST files.

  • Backup: You should create a copy of your PST file in the event of system failure. You can backup your PST file by clicking the "Start" button on your main toolbar on your desktop and then choosing "Run." Type "control panel" into the dialog box and then click "User Accounts." Click on the "Mail" icon and then choose "Show Profiles." Click on the profile you want to use and under the profile name choose "Personal Folders." This is the folder you want to backup. Proceed to click on "Settings" and then choose the path and file name to copy the files. You can also choose to copy the files to portable storage by choosing the appropriate path and file name.
  • Import PST Files: To transfer files from your portable storage device to Microsoft Outlook, connect your portable storage drive and copy the files to your computer's hard drive. Open your Microsoft Outlook email client and then click on "File." Choose "Import and Export" from the sub-menu and then choose "Import from another program or file" and click "Next." Click on the "Personal Folder File" and enter the path and the name of the file you want to import and click "Next." Choose the folder you want to import and click "Finish."

How to Repair PST Files

PST files can become damaged and corrupt over a period of time and will contain errors that require repair. To repair files that contain errors, you can locate them by clicking on "Tools" in Microsoft Outlook and then choosing "Options." Click on the "Mail Setup" tab and then choose "Data Files."

Choose the SCANPST.EXE file which will scan all of the files on your personal file folder. When it finds files that are damaged or corrupt, it will ask you if you wish to fix the problem and then provide you with an option of yes or no. It is a good idea to make sure the files are backed up before you repair them in the event something happens during the repair process. It is important to keep in mind that if your files are severely damaged you may have to run the scan utility multiple times to repair the problem.

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