What Causes the Outlook Data Files to Corrupt?

The PST files, also known as Personal Storage Table, are one of the most effective MS Outlook file formats. Unlike OST files, PST files are more effective at storing various mailbox items such as calendars, events, emails, contacts, etc. However, just because the PST files are effective doesn’t mean they will prove helpful all the time. Sometimes, the PST files face severe corruption, making the data items inaccessible.

Many users don’t know the causes of PST file corruption and wonder how they can repair the corrupted PST files. It’s essential to remember that computer files, such as PST files, are vulnerable to corruption that might cause permanent data loss.

If you get to know the primary causes of PST file corruption, you will be able to take relevant steps that will help you fix the corrupted PST files. Continue reading the article to know more.

Hardware Failure 

The hardware failure consists of power failure, storage device failure, and network linking issues. The PST files are stored in the local hard drive, and sometimes, bad sectors in the hard drive can also make the PST files prone to corruption. Additionally, the remote access of the PST files might expose them to other types of damages, especially if network linking issues comprise other interface cards, network hubs, servers, and routers. When you’re accessing the PST files, you need to handle them very carefully. This is why abrupt power failure will force the shutdown of the PST files, which might cause corruption.

Software Failure 

The software failure consists of improper processes and data recovery tools, a poor MS Outlook program, improper shutdown of Outlook, and malware attacks. Many uses implement incorrect file system recovery processes that will corrupt the PST files but also make the data items prone to permanent loss. Make sure you never use irrelevant or faulty recovery tools and methods and improper mixing of data items. If you don’t know how to handle the file recovery process, you must ensure you’re following the proper guidelines. Apart from that, if you’re planning to fix the corrupt PST files and recover the data items, make sure you choose the best and most effective PST Recovery tool.

Virus Attacks 

Even though virus attacks fall in the category of software issues, this deserves to be enlisted in another point. This is because virus attacks are one of the most common causes of PST file corruption. When the virus or malware attacks your system, the PST files will be damaged, and you will have no other option but to use an advanced PST recovery tool. Some of the most common computer viruses, such as Stage virus and worm explore zip can attack the Outlook data files of your computer. These viruses will undoubtedly prevent users from accessing PST files. If you want this not to happen to your system, make sure you purchase a high-quality and licensed anti-virus or internet security that will protect your computer from virus attacks. As per Deccan Chronicle, viruses can make your computer slower.

Improper Shutdown 

Most users turn off their MS Outlook application after saving the changes that have been made to the PST files. However, this is one of the most important steps you need to remember before you exit the program. If you don’t pay close attention to this process, you will end up making the PST files vulnerable to corruption. When the shutdown of the system or MS Outlook is incorrect, you will face major problems. Many users even use Task Manager in cases when the PST files stop responding. Remember that any kind of forceful shutdown will corrupt the Outlook data files. Therefore, if you want to protect the PST files from corruption and save the sensitive data items from permanent loss, make sure you purchase a CPU to avert the abrupt shutdown. This way, you can show down your system and MS Outlook application without any problem.

Design Issue 

Sometimes, issues associated with the MS Outlook application itself can make the PST files prone to corruption. This type of corruption is most visible in the older versions of MS Outlook. If you’re using MS Outlook 2002 and earlier, the PST files will be corrupted when the size expands to more than 2GB. This is because PST files of this MS Outlook version are not designed to handle data items worth more than 2GB. However, due to the growth of personal data and communication, the size of PST files has also started increasing. When you choose the best patches and fixes for the program, you can also fix the issue without any problem. You can use MS Outlook 2003, where the PST file storage is 20GB.

Make sure you always pay close attention to the sizing of the PST files. If you cross the size limit, the PST files will undoubtedly corrupt.


These are the causes of MS Outlook data file corruption. What do you think? Make sure you share your thoughts in the comment box below.