Troubleshooting Tips for Dealing with a Corrupt PST File in Outlook

At some point, you may experience a corrupt PST file in Outlook. A corrupt PST file can lead to data loss and prevent you from accessing important emails and other information within your mailbox. If this happens, it’s important to take the appropriate steps to troubleshoot and fix the issue as quickly as possible. 

In this article, we’ll discuss the causes of a corrupt PST file and offer troubleshooting tips to help you resolve the issue.

Causes of a Corrupt PST File:

There are several different causes that can lead to a corrupt PST file. The most common cause is due to errors in the download or installation process, which can happen if your computer shuts down unexpectedly during this process. Other possible causes include hardware failure, virus infection, or improper shutdowns when Outlook is running. 

Troubleshooting Tips for Dealing with Corrupted PST Files: 

1. Check Your Computer’s System Requirements – 

When downloading or installing Outlook, make sure your computer meets the minimum system requirements. This will help prevent any potential errors from occurring during these processes that could lead to a corrupt PST file.

2. Repair Your Outlook Installation – 

If you’ve already downloaded and installed Outlook, but the PST file is still corrupted, try running a repair on your Outlook installation. This will replace any damaged files that could be causing the issue with new versions, which may help resolve the problem. 

3. Run an Anti-Virus scan – 

A virus infection can often cause corruption of your PST file, so it’s important to run a thorough anti-virus scan if this is suspected as the cause. Once complete, try launching Outlook again and see if the issue has been resolved. 

4. Restore from Backup – 

If all else fails, restoring from a recent backup is the best way to ensure you don’t lose any important data. All Outlook versions include a feature that allows you to create backups of your PST files, which can be used to restore the file if it becomes corrupted.

5. Try a PST Repair Tool – 

If your computer doesn’t have a recent backup of the file, you can try using a third-party PST repair tool. These tools are designed to scan the corrupt PST file and fix any errors that may be present.

6. Execute Scanpst – 

Scanpst is a built-in tool in Outlook that can be used to detect and repair minor issues with PST files. To execute this tool, open Outlook and select ‘File’, then ‘Account Settings’ followed by ‘Data Files’. Select the corrupted file and click on ‘Start’ followed by ‘Repair’.

7. Split Large Files – 

Large PST files are more prone to corruption than smaller ones, so it’s a good idea to split them up into smaller files. This can be done easily by using the Data File Management tool in Outlook. 

8. Disable Third-Party Add-Ins – 

Third-party add-ins for Outlook are often the source of PST file corruption, so disabling these add-ins can help prevent future issues from occurring. To do this, open Outlook and select ‘File’, then click on ‘Options’ followed by ‘Add-Ins’. Select the add-in you want to disable and click ‘Go’. 

9. Repair Registry Entries – 

Corrupted registry entries can also cause PST file corruption, so it’s important to repair any affected entries as soon as possible. You can use a registry cleaning tool to do this, or use the ‘Scanreg’ utility included in Windows. 

10. Reinstall Outlook – 

If all else fails and you still can’t resolve the issue, then reinstalling Outlook is your best bet. This will replace any affected files with fresh versions and should help resolve the corruption issue. 


Dealing with a corrupt PST file in Outlook can be a frustrating experience, but there are several troubleshooting tips you can use to help resolve the issue quickly and easily. By checking your computer’s system requirements and running anti-virus scans, as well as repairing your Outlook installation or restoring from a backup, you should be able to get back on track and access all of your emails and other information without any problems.

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