Recover Outlook Rules and Alerts from Corrupt OST File

Admin | Published: 2017-07-06T10:18:02+00:00 | Outlook Tips

Outlook Rules and Alerts are created to filter incoming emails according to a phrase or a keyword. These are implemented automatically by Microsoft Outlook when receiving emails. There are different conditions and actions to choose from using the Rules and Alerts Wizard. Sometimes users find that while upgrading, MS Outlook rules disappeared. Also, a corruption in the Offline Storage File (OST) file may result in rules and alerts missing. Hence, in this post possible ways on how to recover Outlook rules and alerts from corrupt OST file have been discussed.

Possible Solutions to Recover Outlook Rules and Alerts

There a few ways through which users can recover Outlook rules and alerts items. Some of the methods are described below. Read the section below to find out more on this topic.

Solution#1 Manual Approach using the scanpst.exe tool

There is an inbuilt tool provided by Microsoft to recover deleted Outlook rules. A scanpst.exe tool is used to repair any minor corruption in a PST file. One can use this tool to recover deleted rules and alerts. To use this tool all the Outlook profile data needs to be archived on a personal storage file(PST). A corrupt OST needs to be converted to a PST file stored on user’s local computer. This is the manual way to recover the rules and alerts created by a user. A performance guide is provided here on how to recover Outlook rules and alerts from corrupt OST file. All one needs is to follow the steps below.

Firstly, archive all data from corrupt Offline Storage of mailbox items. The data items saved on Exchange server must be transferred to a Personal storage file saved on user’s machine. This can be done in the following manner:

  1. In Outlook version 2010, 2013, and 2016, when on Inbox folder, go to New Items>>More Items>>Outlook Data File. Then, enter a file name. One may also set a password for this file.
  2. Then, click OK. Type in the password and verify password if checked the password setting option. Click Finish to complete the archive process.
  3. In Outlook version 2010 and below, users can simply go to File>>Archive to archive all data. These two methods will archive the complete mailbox.
  4. Alternatively, there are ways to migrate limited contents of mailbox items like rules and alerts only. One can export the limited mailbox data items to a PST file by going to File>>Open and Export.
  5. Then, choose Export to a File from the list. After that, click Next.
  6. And then, choose Export to a .pst File and click Next.
  7. Now, choose the data items that need to be saved in a new PST file.
  8. Finally, choose the location where the file will be saved and click Finish.
  9. Make sure to remember the folder path where the personal archived data file is saved.
  10. Now, exit the Outlook completely.

Locate the ScanPST tool from its default location in the Outlook mail folder. Search for ‘scanpst.exe’ in the C:/Program Files.  Alternatively, try the following locations

                   Outlook Version Location of Scanpst.exe
                        Outlook 2016                     C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16
                        Outlook 2013                         C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15
                        Outlook 2010                         C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14
                        Outlook 2007                          C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office12
  • Firstly, double-click on scanpst.exe to launch the Inbox Repair Tool window.
  • Now, Browse to the folder location where the corrupted PST file is saved.
  • Then, click Start button to start the scanning and repairing process.
  • On completion of the process, reopen MS Outlook, create a new PST file.
  • Finally, drag the items from ‘Lost and Found’ folder to the new PST.

Limitation of ScanPST.Exe process

There are a number of shortcomings to using ScanPST tool for repairing mailbox items. Some of them have been described below:

  1. Only Minor Bug Fixes:  This tool is can repair only minor corruption in a PST file. It can not recover lost rules and alerts from a highly corrupt OST files.
  2. Not The Best Solution: Often this manual way of using Inbox Repair Tool can affect the integrity of already corrupt OST files. It may not be the most professional solution for repairing corrupt OST files.
  3. Synchronization Problems: The result from the scanning may not always be the same as what is saved on the Exchange Server. Resultant emails may differ in formatting or folder hierarchy. Using this method may cause more harm than good.

Solution# 2 Alternative Solution of Using a Third-Party Tool

There are a number of limitations to performing the manual process. Many times users find this procedure irrelevant and lengthy. In comparison to alternative tools available in the market, the Inbox Repair Tool seems inefficient and unprofessional. Often users look for a workaround to recover deleted Outlook rules. One such way is the Outlook PST Recovery Tool. It not only repairs a corrupt PST file but also is proficient to recover deleted emails. It is an easy-to-use, simple tool that is a useful product for repairing and recovering data from a corrupt Outlook mailbox.

Wrapping It Up

Rules are created for user convenience to filter incoming emails according to certain conditions. These are best used to filter spam or for directly saving an email to a particular Inbox folder. MS Outlook upgrades almost every two years. In order to transfer those rules and alerts along with the emails is a must. So, in this post, important ways on how to recover Outlook rules and alerts from corrupt OST file has been described. One can either approach the manual method or go for the professional tool described in this post.