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How To Recover MS Outlook Email Due To Corruption Of Outlook File

Outlook PST (Personal Storage Table) file is one of the useful utilities of MS Outlook, and none of you can deny this fact. However, with various advantages of PST file, sometimes it becomes corrupt and thus causes inaccessibility of data stored in it. Since, to rectify any issue completely, it is advised to understand the root cause responsible for it and thus to resolve PST file corruption, understanding the basic causes responsible for the same is recommended.

Causes of PST File Corruption:

To let you understand some major causes for PST file corruption, we have divided it into two major categories:

  • Hardware Reasons
  • Software Reasons

The brief description of these categories is as follows:

Hardware Reasons: If the data storage device or hardware that you are using to store your Outlook PST file fails to store or transfer the PST file, then PST file generally gets corrupt. Some of the examples of hardware reasons are:

  • Power Failure: If sudden power failure occurs while you are accessing the PST file saved on the hard drive of your computer, then chances of PST file corruption are high.
  • Storage Device Failure: Failure of data storage device due to various reasons like generation of bad sectors on the hard drive of computer corrupts the PST file.
  • Network Device Failure: Suppose, your PST file is saved on a Network Server and you are trying to access it from client computer through network links. If the network links like routers, cables, hubs, routers, network interface cards, etc have some problems, then PST file may get corrupt when you try to access it.

Software Reasons: Some software reasons, which cause PST file corruption are:

  • Abrupt Termination of Outlook: Terminating MS Outlook application abruptly when you are accessing Outlook PST file at times corrupts the PST file. Therefore, it is always recommended to close Outlook very gracefully after saving all the changes of PST file.
  • Virus Infection: Various viruses install in your system just to corrupt your Outlook PST file and hence it is another big reason responsible for PST file corruption. Therefore, to overcome such issue, it is advisable to install well versed anti-virus software.
  • Predefined Size of PST File: The PST files have predefined size limit. The size limit of PST file varies according to the version of MS Outlook you are using. Outlook 2002 and earlier versions have 2 GB size limit for PST file whereas Outlook 2003 and later have 20 GB PST limit. When your PST file crosses this stipulated limit, it gets corrupt.

To repair corrupt PST file, Outlook offers an inbuilt utility named scanpst.exe. This utility of Outlook repairs PST file and restores its data as well. However, if your PST file is severely corrupt, then scanpst.exe too fails to do the needful. At such situation, to repair your PST file and restore your precious data, you have nothing but to opt for an efficient PST repair software. Reliable tool repairs even severely corrupt PST file and restores its various data also.

Written By

I am Data Recovery Expert from Stellar Information System Ltd and currently doing research on Outlook PST Recovery Software, Outlook Express Recovery, Exchange Recovery.



  1. Michael Davis

    July 13, 2012 at 7:05 am

    While I’ve personally never encountered the corruption issue while trying to upgrade, I’ve seen plenty of other cases of PST file corruption. When this happens, the Inbox Repair Tool and the Oversized PST And OST Crop Utility can help.

  2. sum

    July 15, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    thank you for this wonderful guide, very useful michael.

  3. jack bekson

    July 30, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Thanks for this guide, i have experienced it before and it is very fustrating. Once again thanks alot.

  4. Bert Leen

    November 16, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    You can recover your all lost data from Outlook mailbox by using Kernel for PST repair software. This software provide you best utility to recover outlook contacts, emails, notes journals etc You can download free demo version of this software to search in any search engine……!

    • Bill Howards

      January 28, 2013 at 8:39 pm

      @ Bert Leen: I have been struggling with a broken PST file and i’m thinking of trying “Outlook PST Repair”. I provided the link above. Have you tried this software before and If so can it restore Calendars and Contacts as well as emails? Thanks in advance!

  5. katharinesmith

    January 2, 2014 at 5:27 am

    Hi I tried a Demo version of Outlook file Repair Utility, it recovers 25 items per folder in an effective manner at free of cost. As I have need of more than that I invest in license version too. If you want to know about it more than follow the above link.

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