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Recovering Lost Outlook Email

written by: Bruce Tyson•edited by: Amy Carson•updated: 4/29/2011

Microsoft provides a program that will help restore emails lost in Microsoft Outlook. Called the Inbox Repair Tool, the programm offers an important recovery method in the event something goes wrong

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    Restoring Emails Lost in Microsoft Outlook with the Inbox Repair Tool

    No one is perfect; neither is Outlook or anything else. That realization doesn't help much when you have lost important email that contains vital information about your business, work, or personal life.

    Before giving up hope, read the directions listed here that can help you recover lost email messages from Outlook using the Microsoft Inbox Repair Tool .

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    Preparing to Use the Inbox Repair Tool

    When an Outlook user notices that emails or email folders are missing from Microsoft Outlook, they have a tool already on their computer that can help.

    Before using this tool, Outlook users must know where their Outlook mail file is stored on their computer. If this location is unknown, open Outlook and then right click on the email address that has the missing messages or folders. Next, click the "Open File Location" to open it in Windows Explorer. recover002 

    Next, close grab the location of the file by right clicking in the address bar and then clicking on the "Copy address as text" option from the context menu.


    This information is important in the next step when the actual recovery is performed, so users should be sure to keep it on the clipboard (Alternatively, users can paste this information into a Notepad text file for safe keeping).

    The recovery utility, called Inbox Repair Tool for Outlook 2010 on a computer's hard drive in the "Office14" folder in the "Program Files" folder of Windows. Get there by clicking on the "Computer" icon in the Windows "Start" menu. In this Windows Explorer window, navigate to "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14" and then double-click the file "scanpst.exe." this will run the Inbox Repair Tool.


    The Inbox Repair Tool will open as shown below.


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    Using the Inbox Repair Tool

    The Microsoft Inbox Repair Tool does not automatically know where the mail file that needs repair is located. To load it into the tool, click the "Browse" button.recover008 

    In the "Select File to Scan" window, right click on the address bar and then click the "Edit address" option.


    Next, the user should right click and then paste the location of the mail files that was copied in the previous step and then press "Enter." The window now shows a window that contains the Outlook mail file that needs to be repaired.


    Double click the file to load it into the Inbox Repair Tool.


    Click the "Start" button to begin the repair. Depending on the size of the file, this process could take a long time.

    When finished, the program will issue a report when errors were found in the file. The user is prompted to make a backup of the file (recommended) and then should click the "Repair" button to recover the file.


    When the "Repair complete" message appears, the recovery is finished. Click the "OK" button and then open Microsoft Outlook. If the recovery was successful, the lost email messages or folders will be present.

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    This tutorial showed how to restore emails lost in Microsoft Outlook using the Microsoft Inbox Repair Tool. Because this tool is installed on every computer with Outlook, the program offers an important first recourse when emails are lost.

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    Microsoft. "How to find and run the Inbox Repair tool in Outlook",

    Screenshots provided by writer