What is a Corrupted PST and How to Repair it?

Corrupted PST files are common in Microsoft Outlook and can be cause by viruses, sudden power loss, file system errors. And incorrect shutdowns. A corrupted PST (Personal Storage Table) stores all the data related to a user’s mailbox. Such as emails, contacts, calendar entries, tasks etc. When these files get corrupted they become inaccessible leading to a complete disruption of communication. Within the organization or even between an individual and its contacts.

In order to repair a corrupted PST file it is important to understand. What caused it in the first place so that further damage can be prevented. It is also important to have a reliable backup of the original file. Should something go wrong during the recovery process.

Common Causes of Corrupt PST Files:

1. Virus or Malware Attack:

Viruses and malware can easily corrupt your PST file if it is not protecte by an antivirus program.

2. Improper Outlook Shutdown:

When Outlook is shut down improperly, the data in the PST file may get corrupt.

3. File System Errors:

If there are any errors in the file system, it can affect the integrity of the PST files.

4. Sudden Power Loss:

Unexpected power loss can be disastrous for any computer system. And can cause permanent damage to your hard drive and its data including your PST files.

5. Oversized Files:

Microsoft Outlook has a limit on its storage capacity which, if exceeded. Will result in corruption of the PST files leading to inaccessibility of data.

6. Outlook Add-ins:

Outlook add-ins can cause unexpect behavior and corruption of the PST files if they are not compatible with the version of Outlook being used.

7. Hardware Malfunction:

Hardware malfunctions such as also a bad hard drive or memory card can also lead to PST file corruption.

8. Application Conflict:

Using two or more applications that conflict with each other can cause your PST file to become corrupted.

9. Incompatible Operating System:

If you use an older version of Windows, it may not be compatible with the Outlook version you are using. Which could result in PST file corruption.

10. Network Issues:

Network issues can also affect your PST files if also you are using a shared storage system.

11. Human Error:

Accidental deletion, moving or renaming of the PST file can lead to corruption and data loss.

12. Software Malfunction:

Software malfunctions such as also Microsoft Outlook crashing or freezing can cause corruption of the PST file.

13. Improper File Conversion:

If you try to convert your PST file from one format to another without properly following the steps. It could result in corruption of the file.

14. Trojan Horse Attack:

Trojan horses are malicious pieces of software that can also disguise themselves. By pretending to be legitimate programs which can easily corrupt your PST files if not protected.

15. Disk Errors:

Disk errors can also cause corruption of your PST file which can also lead to data loss and other problems.

Repairing a Corrupted PST File:

There are several ways to repair a corrupted PST file depending on the level of damage that has been cause. Most common methods include using the Inbox Repair Tool (ScanPST) provided by Microsoft, third-party software solutions. Or manual recovery techniques such as restoring from backup. All these methods have their own advantages and disadvantages. So it is important to understand them before attempting any repairs.

Using the Inbox Repair Tool (ScanPST):

The ScanPST utility is an inbuilt tool provided by Microsoft for repairing corrupted PST files. It is a simple to use tool and can scan for errors in the PST file. Find any problems and then repair them if possible.


Corruption of the PST file is a common issue that can be cause by any number of factors including hardware and software malfunctions, human error, or malicious attacks. It is important to take preventive measures such as also regular backups and virus scans to reduce the risk of corruption. In case of corruption, there are several methods available for repairing the PST file. Such as using the Inbox Repair Tool (ScanPST). Third-party software solutions like DataNumen, or manual recovery techniques. Choosing the right method depends on the severity of damage. So it is important to weigh all your options before attempting repairs.

So keep all the things in mind for better results.

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