Home Tech A Brief & Easy Guide to Managing Corrupt PST Files

A Brief & Easy Guide to Managing Corrupt PST Files


All PC users have experienced data loss. You may experience data loss from an unanticipated or sudden power outage or when an app suddenly freezes while updating valuable project documents. According to Forbes, when files get lost, it becomes necessary for you to try and salvage or retrieve irreplaceable, critical business data and even recover personal items like photos. While using Microsoft Outlook, all your email messages, contacts, tasks, calendars, and more such items are save automatically on your computer on your mail server. All Outlook items are save on the computer and store in Outlook data files, such as PST and OST files.

PST Files: Some Perspectives by Experts

A PST file seems to be a valuable personal storage table, a file format use by Microsoft programs for storing items, such as copies of email messages, calendar events, and contacts. We find PST files in popular software from Microsoft, such as Windows Messaging, Microsoft Outlook, and Microsoft Exchange Client. PST files are use widely. They are often unreliable and susceptible to corruption. This often results in the loss of critical business or even personal data. Moreover, the time necessary for resolving PST file issues may be a substantial drain on resources.

PST files are use while moving your email from one particular place to another, like when it becomes necessary to migrate between mail servers and even when your firm needs to maintain a separate copy of valuable business data (for instance, when an employee quits or leaves an organization. PST files are use widely for storing and organizing older email data.

Why PST Files Are A Problem?

The PST files cannot boast of having a robust format. They were not created to facilitate the long-term storage of humungous volumes of data. PST files often become excessively large in size. This may make them particularly susceptible to corruption, particularly when you access them over a network. Moreover, the time necessary for resolving PST file issues can be a substantial drain on corporate IT resources.

How Do PST Files Get Compromise? 

The PST file has a complex binary format. Moreover, it has not been design to withstand or tolerate faults. Any interruption or disruption in processing when a PST file is being update or create may lead to a partial update, causing corruption. The risk becomes manifold when the concern PST file is large in size. If your app terminates abruptly when the PST file is still open in Outlook, you will get a corrupt PST file. It may occur if either Windows or Outlook crashes, or if your computer is powered down before quitting Windows and Outlook.

Some companies are in the habit of storing PST files on a central server for files, with numerous users having easy access to the files over the network. This practice is common even though this specific configuration is not at all supported by Microsoft. In such a case, any abrupt interruption or disruption in network connectivity could lead to PST file corruption. Moreover, whenever more than one person is accessing the files simultaneously, it may lead to PST file corruption issues.

PST files often get damaged if their size crosses the set limit. This used to be a critical issue with PST files present in earlier versions of Outlook where the maximum permissible PST file size was limited to 2GB.

Repairing the PST File

Microsoft has provided free software called the Inbox Repair Tool for examining the PST file structure and headers and attempting to repair or fix PST file errors. However, a specific kind of corruption may make it almost impossible for you to resolve the issue. Often during the recovery and retrieval process, one corruption issue may help you detect more corruption issues in the same PST file. Hence, the PST file Inbox repair tool may be run once again.

However, some of the third-party PST recovery tools claim to be far more effective than inbuilt free repair tool provided by Microsoft. It is of pivotal importance to remember that whatever software you use, the repair efforts may fail to retrieve and retain all valuable data from your corrupted PST files. Always be prepare to lose some critical data in the event of PST file corruption. It is best to perform regular backups of your PST files to ensure no loss of valuable business or personal data.


There are numerous ways of tackling the critical issue of PST file corruption. Advanced tools like “ScanPST” Inbox Repair Tool that comes free from Microsoft are available and often prove quite helpful. Moreover, cutting-edge third-party recovery software or tools are best for addressing corruption issues. As they come with advanced features and capabilities. Unfortunately, it is not possible to automate the entire process. The DBA should play a pivotal role in finding the ideal resolution for each PST. To effectively minimize the loss of critical business information and valuable personal data.


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