Data corruption in OST file is a problem that users encounter frequently. Unfortunately, a corrupt OST or Offline Storage Table file can have serious consequences. That is why it is important to know what causes OST file corruption and handle it appropriately. Here are the top factors mentioned that become reason for OST corruption. So, let’s begin.

Before understanding the causes behind Offline Storage Table file corruption, first, have an overview of OST.

Quick Note on OST File

Microsoft Outlook creates an OST file when an Exchange, Office 365 or IMAP-enabled account configured within it. Basically, it is a copy of mailbox associated with an added account on the local drive that saved on Server. Moreover, OST or Offline file provides accessibility of data in offline mode. This feature of OST file makes email account functional in the absence of internet. And, whenever the connection established, OST file synchronizes the data with server.

After knowing about Offline Storage file, let’s move to the root causes that trigger damage or corruption in OST.

Potential Reasons for OST file Corruption – Know Causes, Effects & How to Address Them

OST file corruption is not innate, but rather a symptom of other wider faults. It results from the problem in either hardware or software systems. And, whenever a .ost file gets corrupt, it shows different types of error such as file xyz.ost is in use and can’t be accessed and so on. Now, let’s go deeper to understand each and every factor.

  • Hardware Related Problem

There are various circumstances where OST file gets corrupt because of failure in hardware components. It can be hard disk failure, sudden system shutdown etc. Here, we are going to illustrate reason for OST file corruption in detail.

  • Hard Disk Drive Problem

The traditional computer hard-drive has wear and tear problem that damaged some section in it. So, whenever an Outlook saves OST file at the bad partition, it becomes corrupt and useless (sometimes unrecognizable). So, it is advised to protect the hard drive of PC or laptop from the factors that bring damage in it like keep away HDD from water and heat etc. 

  • Bad Connectors

After a time, most of the network connectors like cables/fiber optic cables, network interface card undergone physical damage that consistently creates issues in performance. Because of this, sometimes,  OST file cannot be synchronized with the Server completely and leads to corruption. If a user experiences such type of connectivity issues, then it is important to check the state of connectors.

  • Unexpected System Crash

A sudden shutdown of computer with the OST file still open can result in data corruption. In such a case, when the user sending a mail to a recipient via. Exchange account. And, suddenly system gets turn off  and the communication terminated midway. This overall situation will also be the reason for OST file corruption problem. In fact, many times, the supply of high voltage or power surge damages the electronic devices and makes system file lost or corrupt.

  • Software Related Problem

The problems that deal with the logical inconsistencies in the software or programming comes under this section. Multiple factors trigger this problem and all of them are described here.

  • Inadequate Software Performance

Many times, users have experienced that using Outlook is difficult and not working accordingly as per the instructions. In that case, Outlook application itself creates errors in OST file. This refers one of the most common software problems where the fault that occurs between what is to be designed and what is actually presented. This type of problem is only identified or fixed by developer’s only.

  • Outlook Plug-in Problem

Microsoft Outlook add-ins are the program that offers new functionality. Sometimes this extensions creates issues in the functioning of Outlook application. Therefore, in order to protect the Outlook data file, disable those add-ins that are responsible for OST file issues.

  • System Viruses

The viruses are also the reason for OST file corruption. There are lots of viruses that attacks the computer system. These viruses main target is to damage the data file and make it inaccessible or corrupt. So, it is advised to always keep installed a latest antivirus software in the machine to prevent the crucial information.

  • Limited File Storage

Microsoft already has a specified file size limit for OST file. And, whenever the offline file reaches to its maximum limit, it becomes corrupt and starts showing abnormal behavior. The solution to overcome this situation is to use Compact Now feature of Outlook to compress the large-sized OST file. Else, break the huge OST into smaller files for better memory management.

Top 2 Techniques to Resolve OST File Corruption

How much prevention a user takes, somehow OST gets involved in data corruption. So, if you find that the offline file become damaged, then stop using it. And, take the help of below-mentioned techniques to repair the OST file.

#Approach 1: Use Outlook Inbox Repair Tool

Outlook has an inbuilt utility known as SCANPST.EXE (or Inbox Repair Tool) to repair the corrupted Outlook data file i.e., OST or PST. To use this procedure, first, you have to locate the tool and open it. Thereafter, browse the corrupted OST file and repair it. The only consequences attached to this workaround is it does not fix the major corrupted .ost file. For complete info about this method the user can refer Repair OST File Outlook 2013/ 2016 / 2019.

# Approach 2: Use OST Recovery Tool For Highly Corrupted Outlook Files

If the above tool gets failed to repair Offline Storage file, then it is the case of major damage in file. So, use OST Data Recovery Software, an automated utility, that has the ability to recover data files from minor or major corrupted OST file. Also, you can successfully convert the restored items to multiple formats like PST, EML, MSG, HTML. All the formats are compatible in their respective mail clients such as Outlook, Thunderbird and so on. The best part of the tool is it supports all OST file of any size created in every Outlook versions. Moreover, the entire process takes few mouse clicks and file repaired so effortlessly.

  1. Launch OST Recovery tool and click on Add File to upload OST.
  2. After scanning, all the recovered data items displayed on software interface.
  3. Select the file format &  provide a destination location the save resultant file.
  4. Click on Export to wind up the procedure. 


Most of the factors that bring data corruption are preventable and some not. We have discussed all the top reason for OST file corruption along with effective preventive techniques. So, if the Outlook file gets corrupt, then use the above-described methods and make OST file workable.

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