Reasons Why Outlook PST File Might Get Corrupted

forced shutdown can harm your computer.
forced shutdown can harm your computer.

Although MS Outlook is a famous messaging and calendaring application in the world email client market with millions of users around the world, there is one major drawback related to the Outlook data files, such as PST file corruption. 

Most of the Outlook issues are caused by various problems associated with the PST files that store a copy of different mailbox items, such as calendar items, contacts, emails, tasks notes, attachments, etc. on the local drive. 

If the Outlook PST data file on your device or system is inaccessible and damaged, it will cause various Outlook errors and prevent the MS Outlook users from operating their account and receiving new emails. Apart from that, PST data file corruption can also cause permanent data loss. 

In this article, we will discuss the causes behind the corruption of PST data files and some effective tips to prevent them from harming the data files permanently. 

Oversize the PST File 

In the earlier versions of Outlook such as Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2003, the size of the recommended ANSI PST file is within 2GB. However, developers implemented the UNICODE PST file on the later version such as Outlook 2010 which has a size limitation size of 20GB. When the limit of the PST files exceeds the mentioned value, the performance of the MS Outlook will be affected. As a result, users won’t be able to complete Outlook actions properly such as receiving or sending emails. 

These are all early signs of problems related to the Outlook PST file. When the size of the PST files grows larger than the limit, it will lead to errors and can ultimately cause PST file corruption. If you want to avoid this problem, make sure you clean the spam folders and deleted folders of Outlook through the archive option. 

Crash of System or Outlook 

Hardware failure, OS issues, and software malfunctions are some of the most common causes of Outlook or Windows crashes. If the Outlook or system crashes abruptly while you’re working, it will cause severe damage to the PST data files and can ultimately lead to data loss. In some situations, you won’t be able to reboot the system as per the severity of the issue. This way you will lose all the items in your mail permanently. If you want to fix PST data files, make sure you contact us. 

To prevent this problem from happening, you should implement decent hardware configuration in your system as well as also keep an eye on the latest software updates. Do not install beta versions of OS as they contain glitches and bugs. 

Sudden Shutdown 

Just like the software or hardware crash, the sudden shutdown of the computer due to power failure or other reasons will cause PSST file corruption. When your system has been shut down abruptly when you’re using MS Outlook, the PST file stored in your system won’t get time to complete the essential actions. As a result, it will cause severe damage to the PST file which will cause data loss. 

Most of the time, power failure is the primary cause behind the abrupt shutdown. To avoid this from becoming a massive problem, you should consider using a UPS. If you’re operating through a laptop, make sure the charge is sufficient to handle the programs and software. As per Small Business, forced shutdown can harm your computer.

Force Close of MS Outlook 

If you have backdated hardware configuration, it might not be able to support the tasks of MS Outlook. As a result, the Outlook will not only freeze but also stops responding. In such a situation, you might want to close the MS Outlook forcefully through the Task Manager, but doing it will only cause more harm to the Outlook PST files and even can cause corruption. Force closing is one of the most common reasons behind Outlook PST file corruption. 

The primary cause behind the freeze of the MS Outlook is its incapability of completing a task, such as processing or upgrading the PST files, or being stuck while responding to the commands. Instead of closing down the software or system, you should wait until MS Outlook starts responding to your commands automatically. However, if the MS Outlook doesn’t respond after a couple of minutes, you need to close it forcefully and restart. However, make sure you wait for the software to respond before you closed it.  

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Corrupted Add-Ins 

If your system has faulty or incompatible add-ins, they will cause both minor and severe issues in our MS Outlook, such as issues while receiving or sending emails. They will not only degrade the performance of the MS Outlook but also damage the PST file. 

This is why you should not use any third-party or unreliable source while installing plug-ins in your system. Use the genuine Microsoft Store to install add-ins in your system. 


These are the few reasons why MS Outlook PST files can get corrupted. If you’re suffering from a corrupted PST file and don’t know what to do, make sure you contact us and we will help you.