Professional Development for Healthcare Professions Blog

Monday Technology Tip- Help My Outlook is Acting Up!!

Posted by Chad Sines on Mon, Jul 16, 2012 @ 05:00 PM

Microsoft OutlookOne of the most common questions I hear from students in our medical transcription course is how to trouble shoot Microsoft Outlook issues. Without a doubt, Outlook is one of the most effective tools for handling large amounts of email. The ability to sort, use a calendar, create task lists, and sync to mobile technology makes it an invaluable resource.

Med-Line does offer training in Microsoft Outlook and other current software packages in our medical transcription training, something that is missing in most medical transcription schools.

If your Outlook is running slow, you shut the PC off with the button while Outlook was open, or Outlook crashed, you most likely have a damaged Outlook file.  Microsoft makes a very useful program  to repair the Outlook file (has an extension of  .pst). You run the program, tell it the location, and it will check the file and alert you to any issues.

Make sure Outlook is closed or you will get an error message. If it is closed and you still get an error message, reboot and try again.

Finding scanpst.exe
This can be one of the hardest steps. Sometimes the search box (what you see at the bottom of the menu items when you click the Windows flag in the lower left) will find it if you type the full file name in. If that does not work, the normal location  is:

On 32-bit Windows (most desktops) or with 64-bit Outlook, using the default installation locations, scanpst.exe is located at  C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OfficeXX\scanpst.exe

On 64-bit Windows with 32-bit Outlook, scanpst.exe is at C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\OfficeXX\scanpst.exe

Note: XX refers to a version number. It will be different depending on your Office version

Locating the PST file

Windows 7 or Vista:


Type or paste this shortcut in the scanpst dialog to jump to the location:


Windows XP or Windows 2000:

C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

Type or paste this shortcut in the scanpst dialog to jump to the location:

%USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

Once you find the pst file, you click start. The program will run for a bit and let you know if there are no errors, minor inconsistencies, or errors. You simply tell the program to correct these errors and in a few seconds, it is fixed.

Start Outlook and you are back on track.

I run this program at least once a month just as part of my regular computer maintenance. I even made a shortcut on my desktop for it.

So give it a whirl today to see how healthy your Outlook file is.

If you find this tip useful, please share on Facebook and other media using the buttons at the top.

Topics: Technology Tip