Recovering lost Microsoft Outlook data step by step
The process of recovering lost Microsoft Outlook data is a sequence of operations involving scanning, identifying and saving such Microsoft Outlook items as messages, contacts, notes, reminders, journals, meetings, etc. You should closely follow the sequence of operations during the recovery of information from corrupted .pst files with Recovery ToolBox for Outlook (download) to successfully complete the recovery process. You may need to recover data when a *.pst file completely or partially stops functioning, for example, it becomes completely or partially unreadable because of other applications, antivirus software or power failures. While recovering Microsoft Outlook data from a corrupted pst file, Recovery Toolbox for Outlook only scans, identifies and saves data from the pst file without modifying or indexing the source pst file. Recovered data, such as messages, notes, contacts and other Microsoft Outlook items will be saved to a new pst file (or several *.pst files) created by Recovery Toolbox for Outlook. Recovery Toolbox for Outlook can save various Microsoft Outlook items as separate files with the .eml, .vcf and .txt extensions. Six sequential steps that should be made to recover data from a corrupted pst file:
- Recovery Toolbox for Outlook do not support Microsoft Outlook 2010 x64 yet.
- Recovery Toolbox for Outlook do not support a recovering of contact groups yet.
Software compatible and recovery data from PST files of Outlook 97-2013
- Selecting the pst file data from which should be recovered;
- Scanning and viewing the contents of the selected pst file;
- Selecting the location to save the recovered Microsoft Outlook data to;
- Selecting the method for saving the recovered Microsoft Outlook data;
- Saving the recovered Microsoft Outlook information;
- Opening the new functioning .pst file in Microsoft Outlook.
Let us describe each recovery step in more details.
Step I - Selecting the pst file data from which should be recovered
Selecting the pst file data from which should be recovered
In this step, you should specify the path to the .pst file information from which Recovery Toolbox for Outlook should recover. In case there is only one Profile created for the current user whose data is stored in one .pst file, the path to this .pst file will automatically be specified in the address bar. If the current user has more than one Profile in Microsoft Outlook or data from the selected Profile is stored in several .pst files, you should select the profile you need and the *.pst file to be recovered in the list (lists) by clicking the button or entering it manually into the address bar.
If you click the arrow of the drop-down menu in the right part of the address bar, you will access paths to .pst files recovered before that you can also select by clicking the corresponding line in the list. If you do not know the path to the corrupted .pst file data from which you need to recover, use the .pst file search built into Recovery Toolbox for Outlook. To do it, click the Search for .pst & .ost files button located in the right part of the Recovery Toolbox for Outlook window below the address bar. Use the new window to specify:
- search area (either select one of the disks in the left part of the window or specify a more detailed path to the folder you need)
- corresponding file extension (select the item you need from the drop-down Search Files with extension menu (*.pst, *.ost, *.*) or enter the search mask manually)
Click the Next button to continue.
Note:Recovery Toolbox for Outlook reads *.pst files created in Microsoft Outlook of all versions starting from Microsoft Outlook 97. When you start Recovery Toolbox for Outlook, Microsoft Outlook will be automatically closed.
Step II - Scanning and viewing the contents of the selected pst file
When you move on to the second step of recovering data from a corrupted .pst file, the program asks you the following question: Do you wish to start recovery?. Click the Yes button to start the recovery process. The program will start reading and identifying data from the selected corrupted *.pst file. The time it takes to recover data directly depends on the size of the file and the performance of your computer. A larger file and lower computer performance increase the time it takes the program to read and identify data.
After the data recovery process is over, the program will display the list of the folders being recovered in the Folder List field (the left part of the program window). You can view the contents of each folder being recovered in the Items List field located to the right from the Folder List field.
Click the Next button to move on to the next recovery step.
Step III - Selecting the location to save the recovered Microsoft Outlook data to
The third data recovery step is used to enter the path to save the recovered information to. The program informs you about:
- free space available on the selected disk (Free disk space);
- free space required to save information to the disk (Required free disk space)
Mind that free space available on the disk must be at least twice as large as the size of the source file for you to be able to successfully save information to it. The red color of the Required free disk space field means that free space available on the disk is not enough.
Specify the path for Recovery Toolbox for Outlook to save the recovered information to. To do it, enter the path into the address bar of the Folder for save field manually or use the button to select the path. You can also use the drop-down menu of the Folder for save field to select the path from the list of paths used for saving before.
Click the Next button to select the method of saving.
Step IV - Selecting the method for saving the recovered Microsoft Outlook data
Select one of the two ways to save the recovered information:
- as a pst file;
- as separate files (.eml, .vcf and .txt)
Use the first option to use the recovered data in Microsoft Outlook. Use the second option to export data to other programs supporting the standard, such as Outlook Express or Windows Address Book.
To save the recovered data as a pst file, select the Save as PST file checkbox. To save data as separate files, select the Save data separately checkbox.
The program can create *.pst files not larger than 1GB. In case the size of the file is larger, the program will create several *.pst files.
It is possible to save only five items from each recovered folder in the demo version. To save the entire information, you will have to purchase the full version of Recovery Toolbox for Outlook.
Click the Save button to move on to the fifth recovery step.
Step V - Saving the recovered Microsoft Outlook information
After you click the Save button, Recovery Toolbox for Outlook will start saving the recovered data. After the program finishes saving the data, it will display detailed data recovery statistics:
- the path to the source *.pst file (Source PST file)
- the number of recovered folders (Recovered Folders)
- the number of recovered items (Recovered Items)
- the path to the new *.pst file(s) (Saved PST file(s))
Click the Finish button after the recovery process is over.
Step VI - Opening the new functioning pst file in Microsoft Outlook
If you have saved the recovered data as a *.pst file(s) and you need to open the corrupted *.pst file, you should start Microsoft Outlook and select the Open item in the File menu.
After that you should click the following items in different Microsoft Outlook versions:
- Outlook Data File – in Microsoft Outlook XP;
- Personal Folders File (.pst) - in Microsoft Outlook 2000;
- Open Special Folder – in earlier versions of Microsoft Outlook.
Some technical details about Recovery Toolbox for Outlook:
- reading data from files created in Microsoft Outlook versions 97, 98, 2000, XP, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013;
- saving recovered data in the format of Microsoft Outlook versions 97, 98, 2000, XP, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013
- compatibility with all Windows operating systems starting from Windows 98
Additional information, sources and resources for a PST files repairing
- Changes in file format PST: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/830336/en
- Microsoft Outlook on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Outlook
- Official website of Outlook: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook/
- Microsoft Office Outlook Team Blog: http://blogs.office.com/b/microsoft-outlook/
- Outlook Developer Portal: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/office/aa905455.aspx