Outlook is a most commonly used email client. It uses POP and IMAP protocols for communication purpose. The mailbox items of MS Outlook are stored in a PST file on the local machine. A Personal Storage Table(or PST) can be used to recover deleted or lost emails. Business users that travel often, need to access old emails and mailbox folder items. They often carry their PST file in an external hard drive to open later. Now, some may prefer to open & read PST file in absence of MS Outlook Environment. In this post, possible reasons for corruption in PST file and solution to view these files without Outlook has been discussed.
Reasons for Corruption in PST File
Software Issues: Using faulty data recovery software may cause issues with the PST file of an Outlook client. Such tools corrupt the database files and overwrite healthy PST with garbage values. This can lead to deletion of PST file and along with mailbox data that can not be recovered.
Hardware Related Issues: Any issues in the physical device that stores the PST file can lead to corruption in the PST file. Hardware related issues include technical problems like a malfunction of the hard disk and accessing PST via remote connection. Also, issues like damage to the sector of the storage device saving the storage file. These all can lead to damage to the PST file.
Virus Attack: A malicious data file that can take up a lot of space on PST file can cause Outlook to hang. Such viral attacks are quite common in email clients, as email attachments are the most common way to distribute a virus. It is highly recommended not to open attachments from anonymous senders.
Abrupt Outlook Closure: Users tend to close Outlook without saving data on PST file. This can cause corruption in the storage file and lead to inaccessibility to data residing within it.
Power Surges: If there are power related issues on a user’s computer, the PST file may not be saved in a proper manner. This can lead to corruption on PST file and cause problems while accessing user mailbox.
Web Browser: There are ways through which an email can be viewed using a web browser like Chrome, Mozilla, Safari etc. A PST file mostly comprises of individual emails and mailbox items. One has to just open these files separately and save them in an HTML/HTM file format. This can be done by opening the message, use the Save As.. and save the email.
This step can be performed over and over again for each email file. This is a very time-consuming and lengthy process. Often users look for a workaround when a mailbox storage file has more than say, 400+ data. But the advantage is that the email properties like email header, cc and formatting is retained in this process. One can view email same as it was in Outlook interface.
Text Based Reader: This is very similar to saving email file in HTML format. In this, instead of saving in an HTM/HTML file format users can save emails in ‘.txt’ file format. This will save the email file in a text file. Such files can be accessed by using any or all text based reader applications. One of them being Notepad which is available on all Windows Operating systems. It is easy to read from anywhere, at any time. Header and message body are all included in a text format.
of PST file contents instantly. It even repairs and recovers corrupt PST file before loading them into the application. Any minor or high corruption can be fixed using this tool.
Wrapping It Up
For a business user, an email application is used on a daily basis. Chances are at times, there can be corruption in the storage file of the Outlook application. Hence, users may try to look for alternate approaches to open & read PST file in absence of MS Outlook environment. Some alternative has been discussed in this post including using a third-party software. A PST Viewer is an efficient tool that can resolve all issues pertaining to PST file. It repairs and recovers corrupt PST file and allow users to preview its contents easily.