Why Microsoft Outlook Inbox Repair Tool Cannot Recover the Data in the File?

Microsoft Outlook is the go-to tool for countless users worldwide; it is very prone to errors and glitches. Now and then the users come across an issue and one such hiccup that users may encounter is “The Microsoft Outlook Inbox Repair Tool Cannot Recover the Data in the File.”  This is an error message that appears when you try to repair a corrupt PST file and the ScanPST fails to repair the file

Since the inbox repair tool is an inbuilt application provided by Microsoft to troubleshoot MS Outlook glitches, it is quite annoying when it does not work as per the expectation. To comprehend this issue, we’ll unravel the mysteries behind this error and equip you with the tools and tips to resolve it effectively.

Understanding the Error

The “Cannot Recover the Data in the File” error typically surfaces when users attempt to repair a corrupt Outlook data file (.pst) using the Inbox Repair Tool, also known as Scanpst.exe. This tool is designed to diagnose and repair issues within Outlook data files, but it may encounter limitations when faced with severe corruption or other underlying issues. Besides this, there could be other possible reasons for the error message to appear.

What are the Common Causes of the Cannot Recover the Data in the File Error?

As we know Inbox repair tool is a Microsoft app to fixes the errors and inconsistencies of MS Outlook, it is quite certain that if the Inbox repair tool does not respond, it won’t do its job. Considering this, there could be several factors that contribute to the occurrence of this error, including:

  • Due to severe corruption in Outlook data files, the Inbox repair might fail to read the file and fix it.
  • External factors such as hardware failure or abrupt system shutdowns cause the failure of ScanPST.exe
  • Incompatibility issues with the Outlook version or operating system could be a possible cause.
  • Concurrent usage of third-party add-ins or utilities that interfere with Outlook’s functionality.

How to Troubleshoot Inbox Repair Tool Cannot Recover the Data in the File Error?

Now that we know the common cause for the issue, it is important to learn the methods to resolve them. Depending upon the causes, you can try the following troubleshooting methods to fix the pro:

Verify File Location: Ensure that you’re pointing the Inbox Repair Tool to the correct location of the Outlook data file (.pst). Navigate to the file’s directory and verify its existence and accessibility.

Run Scanpst.exe Multiple Times: Sometimes, running the Inbox Repair Tool multiple times consecutively can yield different results. Try running the tool several times to see if it can detect and repair any previously overlooked issues.

Create a Backup: Before proceeding with any repair attempts, it’s wise to create a backup of the Outlook data file. This ensures that you have a safeguard against any inadvertent data loss during the repair process.

Consider Third-Party Recovery Tools: If the Inbox Repair Tool fails to resolve the issue, consider utilizing third-party Outlook recovery tools. These specialized utilities often offer advanced features and capabilities for repairing severely corrupted Outlook data files.

Seek Professional Assistance: In cases of persistent or complex issues, it may be advisable to seek assistance from professional IT support or data recovery services. These experts possess the expertise and resources to diagnose and address even the most challenging Outlook-related issues.

How to Prevent Inbox Repair Tool cannot recover the data in the file Error?

Regular Backups: Implement a routine backup strategy to safeguard your Outlook data against unforeseen circumstances. Regular backups mitigate the risk of data loss and provide a safety net in the event of corruption or other issues. You can easily turn OST backup into PST or if you have a PST file then convert PST to MBOX file format to create a backup of data.

Update Outlook and Operating System: Ensure that you’re using the latest versions of both Outlook and your operating system. Regular updates often include bug fixes, security patches, and compatibility enhancements that can mitigate potential issues.

Exercise Caution with Add-ins: Be discerning when installing third-party add-ins or utilities for Outlook. Some add-ins may conflict with Outlook’s functionality or introduce vulnerabilities that could lead to data corruption.


While encountering the “Cannot Recover the Data in the File” error in Microsoft Outlook can be frustrating, it’s not an insurmountable obstacle. By following the troubleshooting steps outlined in this guide and adopting preventive measures, users can effectively address the underlying issues and restore functionality to their Outlook environment. Remember, perseverance and prudent decision-making are key to overcoming Outlook-related challenges and ensuring smooth sailing in your email management endeavours.

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