13 effective ways to prevent PST file corruption

PST files are the cornerstone of Outlook’s data storage system, so any corruption or loss of data can be extremely inconvenient. Fortunately, there are several preventative steps you can take to protect your PST file from corruption.

Here are 13 effective methods for preventing PST file corruption:

1. Use the Scanpst Utility:

The scanpst utility is a Microsoft-provided tool that scans and repairs corrupted PST files. It should be used regularly, even if the file is not showing any signs of corruption, as it acts as a preventative measure against future damage or loss. To use it, simply locate the .exe file on your computer’s hard drive and follow the instructions provided in its user manual.

2. Enable AutoArchive:

AutoArchive allows Outlook users to automatically archive old messages and other items that may be cluttering their mailbox. This helps to reduce the size of their PST file, which in turn reduces the chances of it getting corrupted. AutoArchive can be enabled by accessing the options menu in Outlook and selecting “Tools” then “Options” followed by “AutoArchive”.

3. Keep your Antivirus Software Up-to-Date:

Antivirus software is essential for preventing malicious code from corrupting your PST files. Ensure that you keep all antivirus programs updated and scan your computer on a regular basis to keep malicious content away from your hard drive.

4. Do Not Open Suspicious Attachments:

Malicious attachments are among the most common sources of PST file corruption, so it is important to exercise caution when opening emails with attachments. If the attachment looks suspicious, or if it is from an unfamiliar sender, do not open it and contact your IT administrator for further instructions.

5. Use a Reliable Backup System:

It is important to regularly back up all of your PST files so that you can restore them quickly in case of unexpected data loss or corruption. Consider investing in an offsite backup system such as Dropbox or Google Drive, which will ensure that your backups are stored securely no matter what happens to your local hard drive. Also, you can try Datanumen tool.

6. Limit Network Connections:

PST file corruption can occur when they are accessed over a network connection instead of locally on the hard drive. Limiting the number of computers that can access your PST files will help to reduce the chances of this happening.

7. Split Large PST Files:

PST files that have grown too large can become corrupted more easily, so it is important to regularly split them into smaller chunks. This can be done using a third-party tool such as Outlook PST Splitter or Merge PST Files.

8. Repair Corrupted PST Files Immediately:

If you do encounter a corrupted PST file, it is important to repair it as soon as possible to prevent further damage or data loss. Fortunately, this can be done using the same scanpst utility mentioned above.

9. Compact Your PST File:

When Outlook compacts your PST files, it helps to reduce their size and improve the overall reliability of the program. You can compact your PST files manually or use a third-party tool for an automated process.

10. Avoid Unnecessary Add-Ins:

Outlook add-ins can be useful, but if too many are installed they can put unnecessary strain on the program and increase the chances of PST file corruption. Ensure that you only install add-ins that are absolutely necessary for your work.

11. Keep Your System Up-to-Date:

Outlook is regularly updated by Microsoft, and these updates often contain bug fixes and other improvements which help to reduce the chances of PST file corruption. Regularly check for any available updates and install them as soon as possible.

12. Perform Regular Maintenance:

It is important to regularly clean up your Outlook data files by deleting old messages and items, archiving emails, and running the scanpst utility when needed. Doing this on a regular basis will help to keep your PST file organized and less prone to corruption.

13. Utilize Cloud Storage Alternatives:

If you need to store large quantities of Outlook data, consider utilizing a cloud storage service such as Google Drive or Dropbox. These services provide an additional layer of security and are often more reliable than local storage solutions.


By following the above tips, you should be able to reduce the chances of PST file corruption and keep your Outlook data safe from malicious content. Regularly backing up your PST files, keeping antivirus software updated, and utilizing cloud storage alternatives can all help to ensure that your data remains secure and intact. If a problem does occur, it is important to repair corrupted PST files immediately to avoid further damage or data loss. With these measures in place, you should have no trouble protecting your Outlook data from potential harm.

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