This is a sponsored article and was made possible by Recovery Toolbox. The actual contents and opinions are the sole views of the author who maintains editorial independence, even when a post is sponsored.
Most of the errors in Microsoft Outlook occur due to corruption in its Personal Folders (PST) file. The reason is that all your data items – emails, contacts, calendars, notes, etc. – are usually stored in this file. Therefore, if damaged, it denies you access to all the information within it. To help you overcome this problem, Microsoft has a free utility tool called “Inbox Repair Tool” (“scanpst.exe”) built into Outlook that you can use to diagnose such problems.
By definition, you should be able to repair Outlook PST by just executing it. However, the tool is not for “ordinary mortals” and requires advanced technical know-how to work it out. The good news is that there are many Outlook recovery software you can use that overcome the limitations of the built-in repair tool. One such tool is Recovery Toolbox for Outlook. We had the privilege to test the full version of this tool to provide this honest review of the program.
Recovery Toolbox for Outlook is an out-of-the-box software that enables users to obtain data from corrupted outlook messages and save it to file. This tool is ideal for repairing the destroyed, damaged, or corrupted data files of Microsoft Outlook. The software can also be used to recover data from Microsoft Exchange .ost files and/or convert them to Outlook .pst format.
Recovering data using Recovery Toolbox for Outlook involves three stages:
- Reading the damaged .pst file.
- Analyzing and recovering data from the PST file
- Saving the recovered data to a new PST file
The program manages to complete the three processes fast, irrespective of the file size. I tested it with a 265MB corrupted PST file, and it and was able to recover all the damaged files in less than twenty minutes. But that’s not the only thing that makes this tool stand out. Its simplicity of use is remarkable. You won’t need an extra hand to navigate through the program.
Once you launch the program, the first thing you’ll notice is a clean and clutter-free interface with self-explanatory instructions. This makes it incredibly easy to use.
Having tested and used many software programs, I know the impact RAM-hungry applications can have on a computer’s performance. So I tested it for RAM and CPU usage. Surprisingly, the Recovery Toolbox for Outlook uses an incredibly low amount of RAM and CPU (see screenshot below). This means it won’t slow down your computer or disrupt normal user activity.
I didn’t encounter any problems throughout the tests, as the tool did not crash, freeze or pop up any error messages.
Recovery Toolbox for Outlook: Features and Highlights
The Recovery Toolbox for Outlook isn’t short of features. Here are the software’s top specs and highlights.
- Repairs PST files of Microsoft Outlook 97 and higher
- Restores corrupted files of Exchange server
- Restores deleted objects (emails, contacts, notes, appointments …)
- OST to PST converter
- OST to MSG converter
- PST to EML converter
- OST to EML converter
- PST to MSG converter
- Export recovered data into separate PST/MSG/EML/VCF/TXT files
- Read and repair encrypted PST and OST files
- Read and repair password-protected OST and PST files
- Compatible with all Windows versions (Windows 98-10)
This tool is not limited by file size. It can repair and recover large PST and OST files of more than 2GB.
How It Works
To illustrate how the Recovery Toolbox for Outlook works, we’re going to cover two of the main functionalities of this program:
- Recover a damaged .pst file
- Convert an .ost file into a .pst file
The very first thing to do is to download the software from the company’s official site.
1. How to Recover a Damaged PST File
Here’s the procedure for recovering a corrupted PST file.
1. Head over to the company’s official site and download the software.
2. Run the installation wizard to install the program.
3. Launch the program. The easiest way is to type “recovery” in the Search bar and then double-click to launch it.
2. Click the “search for .pst & .ost files” button to select a Microsoft Outlook .pst file.
You can select a damaged file from your hard drive or directly from Microsoft Mail. Once you’ve located the .pst file, click on it, then click the “Search Now” button as shown below. Once done, click the “OK” button.
3. Your selected .pst file location path will now appear as shown below. Click the “Next” button to continue.
4. The next page will ask what you want to do with the file. Select “Recovery Mode” if you have a damaged PST or OST file that you want to repair and recover. If you have an OST file that you want to convert to a new PST file, select the “Converter Mode.”
5. Click the “Next” button to continue. A confirmation box will pop up. Click “Yes” to allow the recovery process to start, and then click “Next.”
6. The software will start the recovery process. You’ll be able to see progress as the tool analyzes your corrupted file for recoverable items. Mine was quite a large file (265MB), and you can see how it was broken down into phases.
7. The tool will then display a preview of the data to be recovered. It took the software exactly sixteen minutes to analyze the entire file. If you click on any of the categories on the left side, it will open a list of all the items to be recovered in that category. I clicked on the “Calendar” folder, and the tool displayed a total of ninety-four calendar items that were recovered.
8. Click the “Next” button to save your recovered data, and then select the target folder where you want the recovered data to be saved.
9. Click “Next” to continue. A new page will open where you’re supposed to select how you want to save your recovered data. You can save the data into a new PST file, or save the recovered data into separate files. Once done, click “Save.”
10. That’s it! You’ve successfully recovered data from a damaged PST file. On the last page the system will display a log of the recovery process.
Click the “Finish” button to finish and exit the recovery wizard.
2. How to Convert a .ost File to .pst Format
Here’s how to convert an OST file to PST. The procedure is the same as the one outlined above, only that this time we’ll use the “Converter Mode” rather than the “Recovery Mode” that we previously used.
1. Launch Recovery Toolbox for Outlook.
2. Click the “search for .pst & .ost files button” to select the .ost file you want to convert.
3. Once you’ve selected the file, click “Search Now.” The file’s location path will populate to the right. Click on it to highlight the file, then click “OK.”
4. This will return you to the initial (home) page with the location path for the .ost file in the search box. Click “Next” to continue.
5. Select “Converter Mode,” then click “Next.”
6. The next page will open a preview of data to be converted. Review the data and click “Next” to continue.
7. Enter the location to save the converted file.
8. Select the type of save. Click the radio button for “save as PST file.”
9. Click “Save.” This will save the file and open the target folder where the file was saved. Right-click on the file and select properties to check the final file format. As you can see in the screenshot below, the saved file is now a Microsoft Outlook PST file.
10. The application will also display a log of the conversion process. You can also see in the screenshot below that the source file is a .ost file while the saved data is an Outlook PST file.
Click “Finish” to complete the process and exit the application.
Pros and Cons
- Easy to use, with clear instructions
- Clean and user-friendly interface
- Compatible with all versions of Windows
- Handy preview feature that displays all the recovered items
- Support for multiple file formats
- Can work with Outlook x64
- The analyzing speed could be better
- Does not export contact groups
- Relatively expensive at $49.90 for a personal license
- Can only fix up to five files per folder for free
To Sum Up
Microsoft Outlook is one of the most popular and preferred email clients in the world. When its PST data files are corrupt, it’s important to find a robust Outlook recovery software that you can rely on, and Recovery Toolbox for Outlook is your best bet.
Having performed in-depth tests on this tool, I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a straightforward recovery tool for Outlook.