Top 5 Reasons Your .OST Outlook Data File Gets Corrupted

Feb 24, 2021 7:35 AM ET

iCrowdNewswire   Feb 24, 2021  2:35 AM ET

There’s nothing more nerve-wracking than realizing, in the middle of your day, that Outlook isn’t working. You rely on email for just about all work communication, and if your email is down, that’s a big problem. Rather than sitting around waiting for your company’s IT team until you can get back to work, try these solutions for Outlook corruption and get yourself up and running faster.

Virus Infection

Your computer being infected with a virus is one of the most common reasons for your OST file to get corrupted. Malware can overwrite your file with useless junk data, delete a crucial part of the file, or a number of other things that can wreak havoc on your system. Outlook’s OST files are especially susceptible to viruses. Make sure you equip your computer with a trustworthy firewall or anti-virus software.

Closing Outlook Incorrectly

If you ever shut down any program abnormally, you run the risk of damaging your files. This can also happen if Outlook shuts down unexpectedly, which is sometimes out of your control. To avoid this, always close Outlook properly, and update your software often to prevent crashes and unexpected shutdowns.

Hardware Problems

If your OST file is corrupted, check your computer hardware. See if the storage device is working properly. Check your network connection. Are you having trouble connecting to the internet? Try restarting your router, or, if needed, your computer to get your internet connection back. And if your computer shuts down unexpectedly due to a hardware issue, don’t be surprised if Outlook goes on the fritz soon after.

A Bloated Outlook Data File

Outlook data files can only fit so much. If you push it too far to capacity, you run the risk of Outlook misbehaving or the OST file getting corrupted. Stop what you’re doing and make time to delete bulky items from your OST file to get it working normally again.

Sketchy Add-Ins

Add-ins can be really useful tools in Outlook. Unfortunately, they can also be the source of problems from time to time. To see if add-ins are the cause of your OST file corruption, open Outlook in safe mode and disable add-ins (in the Options) menu. Try restarting Outlook. If it’s working properly now, you know at least one of your add-ins is the root of the problem. Slowly narrow down which it is, then disable or delete it.

Outlook OST file corruption is undeniably frustrating. Luckily, this is a pretty common issue, so there are plenty of approaches to take to fix it. Knowing these strategies and having them in your back pocket gets you on the right path to be able to troubleshoot Outlook for yourself, rather than having to wait on tech support or IT to solve your problem for you. It might even make you the office hero, when you’re able to help your coworkers navigate similar issues when they inevitably come up.


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