How to Recover Contacts from a MS Outlook PST File

outlook_comContacts are a fundamental requirement of any email application such as Microsoft Outlook. Without contacts you cannot send or receive emails and the prime objective of the Outlook application left unfulfilled. So if the Outlook contact list is lost then this issue requires an urgent consideration. Contacts cannot be found due to various reasons like accidentally deleted contacts, corruption of PST file or some other reason. Therefore to recover Outlook contacts it is required to identify the reason and to choose the right method to fix this issue.

A most common issue to losing contacts from Outlook is corruption of the Outlook PST file.  If the PST file is corrupted then you can try any of these methods:

1. Use a backup PST File:

If you have maintained a backup of your PST file then you can simply use import/export method to get back contacts to your Outlook profile. But remember that in Outlook 2003 the contact file extension is .PAB and in Outlook 2007 it is .OAB. Use following steps for contacts recovery:

  • Open Outlook and select File option.
  • Select “Import and Export” and click “import from another program”. Click next.
  • Select PST file, click next and browse to select the backup copy of PST file. Click next and Finish.

B. Repair a PST File:

Most of the time it happens that the user forgets to create a backup of the PST file. In such a situation, the user has to repair the Outlook PST file to recover lost contacts. For repairing a PST file, scan it for errors and then use an appropriate utility or software for instant recovery.

For this purpose, an Inbox repair tool also named scanpst.exe is bundled with MS Outlook. Just run this utility on your PST file and you can repair the file if any error is found. However, this utility typically works only for low level corruption. If your PST file is badly damaged then you will have to opt for a better option like a professional PST repair tool. A recommended tool which offers a lot of useful features for recovery of a PST file is Stellar Phoenix Outlook PST Repair. You can get this utility from following webpage:

Once the PST file is repaired you can get all your Outlook contacts back!