How to Prevent Outlook Data File From Corruption?

Microsoft Outlook is famous and powerful email client application and with newer versions (2013 and 2010) it becomes more valuable and user's first choice. Advanced features like social connector, amazing interface (including themes), heavy data storage capability makes it perfect email client utility for email communication and sharing data.

Whatever you send or receive in MS-Outlook, it gets saved in one single file called Outlook Data File (PST). In common language, you can call it a PST file, PST data file or Outlook PST file. So, now the question is that does Outlook PST file just store emails or also keep other data like calendars, notes, attachments, images?

Yes, Outlook PST file contains the entire database related to Outlook. It can be your important data which you have received or might be the archived data. However, archiving creates a separate PST file having name of "archive.pst" (as default).

Sometime a single error can corrupt the Outlook data file enhance risk of data lost. Mostly, we are not aware about the reasons of corruption in PST files and it occurs as exceptional ways. So, what should we do to prevent Outlook Data File from the corruption and Errors? Or there is a method to get overcome from this, if we suddenly faced one of them.

Causes and Fixes to Keep Safe PST file From Corrputions:

  • Correct Settings of Antivirus/Firewall Programs: At a point, these programs protect Outlook from malware/virus attacks over the internet, but sometimes they pretend the incoming mails as malware even without reading it completely and does not move them in the Inbox. In such circumstance, PST files become inaccessible. So, always make sure about the settings of these types of filter programs.
  • Properly handle the old-format PST file (2GB): Old version of Outlook like MS-Outlook 2002 and earlier version had a storage limit of 2GB. Means, the earlier version of Outlook could only hold the data up to 2GB and after an overflow of data (emails) above from this level starts showing pop-up errors and sometimes lead to PST file corruption. So, if you are working with the 2GB PST data file, thens always make archive of your data before getting any sign of error or corruption.
  • Reduce Size of Outlook Data File: Always monitor the file size of the PST data file while working with Outlook. It is not mandatory that corruption of PST only takes place due to limitation of 2GB PST file (I am talking about prior versions of Outlook). The same factor can be found in the latest versions of Microsoft Outlook like Outlook 2010, &2013 . It is acceptable that in comparison of older version, these editions of MS Outlook come with higher storage capacity but at an extent. So, reducing PST file size can resolve the issue and optimize Outlook speed. Given below are some methods to reduce the size of bulky or oversized PST file that also keep away Outlook from corruption:
    • Archiving: By using archiving methods, users can make an archive of Outlook database of a stipulated time interval. Set a few rules and deploy Archiving and Auto-Archiving in order to move older Outlook emails into a specific PST file (archive.pst).
    • Compact: Compact option in Outlook helps to reduce PST file size by removing the unnecessary white spaces which Outlook automatically creates once a user hit on delete button.
    • Export: You can also create backup of Outlook data by "Export" methods and can reduce the database's load of Microsoft-Outlook.
  • Proper Shutdown of PC: Improper shutdown can evoke corruption issues and drag the Outlook PST file toward damaged level. Sometimes, it becomes more risky since improper shutdown directly affects on running Outlook interface and its database. Some situations are belows:
    • Situations of Wrong Shutdown: Power failure, forceful closing of Outlook using task manager, etc. are also counted as reasons of damaged PST file. So, always exit properly and safely after using Microsoft Outlook and considering such minor factors in mind can prevent Outlook database from corruption and errors.
  • Correct Network Settings (Internet or ISP): Incorrect network connectivity with the ISP provider using wrong server settings is a common cause behind the errors in Microsoft Outlook. A list of reasons for corruptions (especially, Outlook numeric error) pop-up due to the wrong server settings and in such scenarios, a user not able to send/receive emails in MS-Outlook.

Note : To know about more send/receive errors in Outlook (

Using accurate account settings to make a proper connection with ISP is best advise to handle such kind of sending/receiving errors in Outlook.

Third Party Plug-ins : We generally use the third party plug-ins for our connivance as they make our work easy. But, day by day errors and corruption points is continuously increasing because most of this Add-Ins does not work properly with Outlook and stop responding it. Always use the least number of required and recommend plug-ins in Microsoft-Outlook.

Lastly, management with Microsoft Outlook and its database is an important point. But along with these tips, you should also keep in mind about the human errors like hardware failure, which also play a lead role in generating PST file errors.

Optional Tips to Fix Corrupt Outlook PST Data File are:

Yes the above given tips are very useful for an Outlook user, if they really don't want to lose their data due to the any PST file error

But, now the most important question is that "How to repair and save the Outlook data file", if it has been infected by an Outlook error and showing corruption (error) message.?


Free solution: Inbox Repair utility offered by Microsoft, which exist in your computer because it automatically installed along with MS-Office suite. And at the times of corruption, this tool helps to fix damaged Outlook data file.

Third party Tool: PST recovery helps to fix corrupt Outlook PST issues when free solution fails. In simple terms, Microsoft's free utility comes with limitations and not capable to handle the high level corruption.