The Inbox Repair tool (Scanpst.exe) can run multiple passes in Outlook 2016

Applies to: Outlook 2016Outlook for Office 365

Summary


In versions of Microsoft Outlook that are earlier than Microsoft Outlook 2016, version 1807, the Inbox Repair tool (Scanpst.exe) can run only a single pass to scan a damaged Outlook data file (.pst) or Offline Outlook data file (.ost). However, multiple passes are sometimes required to fix all errors.

Starting in Outlook 2016, version 1807 (build 16.0.10325.20082), the Inbox Repair tool can be run at a command line to automatically do multiple scans in a batch until a steady state is reached.

More Information


You can now choose to have the Inbox Repair tool run automatically until a steady state is reached.

Steady state

The steady state is reached when one of the following is true:

  • Zero (0) errors are returned
  • No new errors are reported (two consecutive passes output the exact same result)
  • A maximum number of passes is reached (to avoid a possible loop); currently, the limit is 20 (this value defaults to 10 if it is not specified)

Important There is no support for networked .pst files.

Enabling the new functionality

Any of the following command line arguments enable the new functionality. Other command line arguments are covered in the "Command-line arguments" table.

  • -force
  • -silent ​
  • -rescan ​
  • -no repair ​

If these command line arguments are not used, the legacy code of the tool is used, and the tool behaves as it does in earlier versions. Therefore, you have to run Scanpst.exe at a command prompt to benefit from the new functionality to automatically rescan.

Tracking the automatic progress

Earlier versions of the Scanpst tool run only eight phases. When you use the –rescan argument together with the updated Scanpst tool, the subsequent sets of phases are incrementally numbered. For example, if three rescans are required to reach a steady state, the progression of UI updates is as follows:

  • Initial pass: Phases 1 to 8​
  • Second pass: Phases 9 to 16​
  • Third pass: Phases 17 to 24​

Note In addition to the minor UI update that is related to the phase numbering, when you create a log file, each pass is numbered in the log sequentially (Scan Number 1, Scan Number 2, and so on).
 

Command line arguments

Argument 

Meaning 

Notes 

Default 

-log 

Create a log 

Must be followed by one of the following:

append | replace | none

replace 

-backupfile 

A backup file will be created 

Must be followed by the desired backup file name​.

-rescan 

Maximum number of scan or repair iterations before reaching steady state 

0-20; any integer greater than 20 defaults to 20​.

10 

-no repair 

Run the scan without repairing

Scan and repair 

-force 

Do not require the user to click any UI options before running or closing the scan or repair

UI is displayed without user interaction, also known as Immediate mode​.

Normal mode 

-silent 

Do not show any UI 

User must monitor the process to know when it ends. For example, by looking at the .log file (if any), the creation of the .bak file (if backup option is being used), or checking for Scanpst.exe in Task Manager​.

Normal mode 

-file  

File to be scanned 

Path to .pst or .ost file