How to Delete a Corrupt Outlook File


A corrupted Outlook file may cause certain features in Outlook to not work properly, or may even stop Outlook from working at all. When an Outlook file becomes corrupt, two things can be done--either delete the file or restore the file. Restoring the file is recommended, but if you decide to delete the file instead, then this article will show you quickest way to accomplish this task.

  • Locate the file you want to delete. The .pst (personal mail storage) and .pab (personal address book) file are usually the files that become corrupt and cause the most problems for users.

    To find a .pst file:

    Open Outlook.

    On the left side will be a tree view of the folders in Outlook. Each folder has its own .pst file.

    Right click the folder and select \"Properties\" from the drop-down menu.

    Under the General tab, click the \"Advanced...\" button.

    In the Filename dialog box is the path to the .pst file.

  • Right-click the file. A drop down menu will appear.

  • Select the “Delete” option.

  • Click the “Yes” button when the confirmation window opens.

Tips & Warnings

  • To repair the corrupt file, perform the following:
  • Close Outlook.
  • Navigate to the c:\\Program Files\\Microsoft Office\\Office12 folder.
  • Click the “scanpst.exe” file. This is an application that will search for Outlook corrupted files and repair them.
  • Type in the name of the corrupted file in the “Enter the name of the file you want to scan” dialog box.
  • Click the “Start” button. If errors are found then a Repair button will appear.
  • Click the “Repair” button to repair the corrupt file.
  • To find the .pab file do the following:
  • Open Outlook.
  • Select \"Tools\" and then \"E-mail Accounts.\"
  • Click \"View or change existing directories or address books.\"
  • Click the \"Next\" button.
  • Click \"Personal Address Book.\"
  • Click the \"Change\" button.
  • The path to the .pab file is located in this window.
  • Deleting the corrupt file may stop Microsoft Outlook from working at all. It is better to repair the corrupt file.

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