errors appear every time I run SCANPST

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Outlook version
Outlook 2013 64 bit
Email Account
I'm running Outlook 2013 with one IMAP OST file and four PST files. Calendar, Contacts, and Notes default locations is one of the PST files.

Every time I run SCANPST (on four different PST files) I get messages that that there are errors in the file. I sometimes need to run SCANPST several times before the PST file has no errors. Then as soon as I run Outlook and then SCANPST I get messages about errors. Frustrating. However, I rarely have problems where it is necessary to restart Outlook.

  • Is this situation normal?
  • Is there a one-time solution to this problem?
  • Would a more powerful repair utility fix this problem? Which one? (I'm self-employed, so I don't have an employer to spend big bucks on this problem.)
Thanks for any help and advice.

Phil Burton

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
it is normal for it to find errors and normal for it to take 3 passes to fix all. In most cases, there shouldn't be enough errors to fix every time you run it - in fact, its not recommended to use it just for the sake of using it or in an attempt to ward off problems in the future. That can cause more problems.

Do you have an antivirus scanner scanning the data file? That can cause corruption as can any utility that accesses outlook data.

FWIW, its not recommended to use scanpst on ost files, only pst files. If the ost is corrupt, delete it. (If its an imap ost, you need to make sure you have the calendar and contact 'this computer only' folders backed up before deleting the ost and resyncing.)


Outlook version
Outlook 2013 64 bit
Email Account

Thank you for letting me know that it's normal for scanpst to find errors. I know this question may be slightly off-topic, but if Outlook is the only program that operates on PST files, why can't Microsoft get rid of the bugs that cause these errors? I'm sure that PST files are very complex databases, with lots of tables, but the PST file format is over 20 years old now. The fact that normal Outlook operation normally causes PST errors seems "wrong."

My AV scans all files by default. Recently someone posted in a photography forum that I could safely exclude NEF RAW files produced by my Nikon camera. (I never get NEF files from anyone else by email and I never download NEF files.) It didn't occur to me at the time that there were other "special" categories that could also safely be excluded.

I have never (or not in a long time) run scanpst against OST files. I seem to recall that at one time there actually was a scanOST program.

Phil Burton

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
he fact that normal Outlook operation normally causes PST errors seems "wrong."
it happens because outlook is constantly reading/writing to it and also because 3rd party programs are also accessing it. It fixes many programs on its own.

Honestly, I dont expect changes to the file structure - they are more likely to introduce more bugs and make the pst so its not backwards compatible.
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