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[Fixed] The Microsoft Outlook Inbox Repair Tool Does Not Recognize the File Error

Published By Ashwani Tiwari
Aswin Vijayan
Approved By Aswin Vijayan
Published On March 4th, 2023
Reading Time 5 Minutes Reading
Category Updates

“The Microsoft Outlook Inbox Repair Tool does not recognize the file” error is a dialog box that pops up when the file is too corrupt for Scanpst.exe to handle. In this article, you will know how to fix this error effectively. And what process to implement when Inbox repair tool fails to do the job. You will also know as to what circumstances may have corrupted your Outlook PST file. So you can avoid it in the future.

inbox repair tool error message

Microsoft Inbox Repair Tool/ScanPST.exe

Microsoft Inbox Repair tool is a free utility that handles the corruption of Outlook data files. It is used when either of the Outlook files i.e., PST or OST gets damaged. Scanpst.exe scans the files for inconsistencies and errors and helps to resolve them. However, it has its own limitations.

  • First and Foremost, it cannot handle medium or high level corruption in Outlook files.
  • It is only suitable for resolving minor damage and returns various errors if the process is unsuccessful.
  • One of these error occures when “ScanPST fails to recognize the PST file”.

Why “Microsoft Outlook Inbox Repair tool does not recognize the file” error occurs?

why outlook error occurs

MS Outlook data files are highly prone to corruption. That’s why it is important to always backup your data on regular basis. In case you forgot to do so and your PST files become corrupt, you can still repair them with the free Inbox Repair tool of Microsoft.

However, since its capabilities are limited, it won’t work in all cases and you may end up with errors like “Microsoft Outlook Inbox Repair Tool does not recognize the file”. Thus, rendering the tool useless.

Given below are some common practices that result in PST corruption of higher-level such that ScanPST.exe is unable to handle it:

  • The most common culprit is the Outlook shutdown. Given that how Outlook was exited is a major case in PST corruption. Due to power failure, virus, or even deliberate shutdown of Outlook in an improper way, the underlying data files get corrupted.
  • In earlier versions of Outlook, the most common concern for users was the allowed PST file size. In Outlook 2000 the limit was 2 GB which was significantly increased to 20 GB in Outlook 2003 & 2007. In the latest versions, you can find this limit to 50 GB. Once the data accumulated more than this limit, the PST file gets corrupted. So, it is always necessary to manage your files and delete unwanted data on a regular basis.
  • PST files are not your network share-friendly files. A number of cases have been observed where the PST file has been damaged due to access over network drives. So, it is important to regularly check the network devices and server to prevent corruption and hence the “unrecognized file” error.
  • Other causes may be virus attacks, faulty storage disks, improper execution of files from third-party tools, office upgrades etc.

How to Fix “Microsoft Outlook ScanPST.exe does not recognize the file” error

it is possible to repair microsoft outlook error

Download Tool Purchase Now

Try one of the best PST repair tool from a list of the most popular software that Inbox Repair Tool cannot compare with. It allows you to scan and preview all the data within the unrecognized PST file and export them into a healthy PST format. With this tool, you do not need to worry about the error message – “Microsoft Outlook Inbox repair tool does not recognize the file”. Within a few clicks, all your PST data will be repaired and recovered thus fixing the error effectively.

Follow the steps and resolve your Outlook error without ScanPST.exe:

1. Download and Install the software.

2. Add the Outlook file which Inbox repair tool does not recognize and Use Advance Scan for deep PST repair.

3. Preview the Outlook emails, calendars, contacts, tasks, notes, and journals.

4. Select Export Type to PST, enter your saving location and click on Adv. Settings… button.

5. Manage the contents of PST file with Split PST, date filter and category option.

6. Finally, click on Export and the tool will repair the damage in Outlook file and create a healthy PST file with complete data.

This is how you will be able to fix the “unrecognized file” error of ScanPST.exe as well as generate a healthy PST file with original data.


The article explains why and how “Microsoft Outlook Inbox Repair tool does not recognize the file” error occurs and provides the method to fix it easily. Even if the corruption is beyond the limits of Microsoft ScanPST.exe, it can still be repaired with the repair tool.

This solution will repair all your Outlook PST files at once and as described here, is the most prominent fix for the “unrecognized file” error. Other than recovering emails from corrupt PST file, it also repairs all your contacts, calendars, tasks, notes, and journals. Try the Free trial version and take a look at all the Outlook data items it can retrieve for you.