A Quick Glance at the Main Reasons behind Corrupt Outlook

While the reasons primarily attributed to the PST files getting damaged is a corruption, many other reasons may cause your outlook not to function on your computer. You may come across errors as mentioned below

  1. Operation Failed
  2. Cannot start Microsoft Outlook
  3. Cannot open the Outlook Window

You may also experience Outlook functioning pretty slowly and may hang at times. All these errors are due to corruption in Outlook. This article shall help you identify those possible reasons for the same.

Why Does Outlook get Corrupt?

The causes for this trouble are broadly classified as Hardware and software issues. Predominantly, in both cases, the trouble lies within the PST file. But there are a few other issues about both cases. The easier one for you to understand is the hardware challenges.

  1. If the hard disk of your computer has damaged sectors that save the PST file, it might cause Outlook to malfunction or do not function at all. As such the PST file data is full of errors causing this trouble. On top of it if we recover the file, then it might cause further damage to the email client or the PST file.
  2. If your computer is in a network and the PST file is in the network server, the outlook may not open if there is trouble with the network cables, routers, or any other network links. If any of the network links is faulty, it might not get to the PST file eventually causing the Outlook not to function at all.

But the software reasons are the ones that cause major trouble as most of the time the hardware is intact. The offices might use the best of the hardware and the systems are maintained appropriately for no such damage to occur.

Software Challenges that Prevent Outlook from Opening

  1. Virus: This is the possible reason for any email client to malfunction. Ensure that your system is protected with good anti-virus software. Also, check if the anti-virus software is upgraded and updated. Expired Anti-virus may also cause this problem. In such cases, either remove the anti-virus and install a new one or update the existing software.
  2. PST File Damage: This is caused due to many practical issues. Let us take a look at them one by one.
  3. Size of the PST file: You may come across that Outlook might not function if the size of the PST file is large. In MS Outlook 1997 to 2002 versions, the PST file size is kept at 2GB. With many communications and networking, the size of the file might max out and cause the PST file to get damaged or corrupt.


Many Folders and Subfolders: This is a similar problem to the previous one. If your PST file has many folders and subfolders, the software might not create a link between the two. A few folders might have got corrupted making the PST file faulty attributing to corrupt Outlook.


File Recovery Mistakes: This is mainly caused due to lack of knowledge or carelessness. As you recover the PST file, the tool that we use may not recognize the error files. It shall recover all the useless files and causes the MS Outlook not to function. This problem might occur if there is a system failure too.


Outlook Closed Inappropriately: This is a sheer user error. One must realize that Outlook is software that works on the network. You must exercise patience as you shut down the system or the email client alone. It is recommended to close the outlook by allowing the software to save the PST files and click on Exit or close.


This shall allow Outlook to function properly and the PST files are intact. Further, if you find that Outlook is performing the task at the back end and you would want to close it. If you can wait, you can wait and close it as mentioned above. If you feel that the operation is taking a bit longer or you might want to leave soon, experts reckon that you open the Task Manager and click on End task. This shall safely close the MS Outlook causing no harm.

There might be other issues where Outlook closes without any notification. One of the possible troubles is a power failure. This may corrupt the PST file and thus causing the error.

Incomplete Outlook Installation: This might be the reason on a few occasions as you might not have installed the program completely. In such cases, it is recommended to complete the process, if the system does not allow you to do so, remove the file and reinstall it again appropriately.


Profile Not Configured Properly: If the synchronization protocols are not followed while installation, MS Outlook may not function properly causing any one of the errors that we saw in the beginning. You may either rest the Outlook protocols or uninstall if there are any previous versions of the MS Outlook present on the computer. On the last resort, remove the Microsoft office and reinstall it for the proper functioning of Outlook.

As we saw earlier, software problems are the most confronted ones. Ideally, the anti-virus must be up to date. This shall cause the Outlook not to send or receive any emails and it blocks the passage for the same.

There are troubles if your Outlook is itself faulty. It might not be the installation problem but if there are conflicting software and it causes the error of not sending or receiving emails. In such cases, you may remove the conflicting software allowing the email client to function without any hassle. In these cases, the anti-virus may not play a role. Some precautions to overcome such trouble are to shut down your system or your email client with care. Allow the software to stop functioning and then close it. Also, use the task manager option wisely to have the email client work without causing any error.


Writing has always been a big part of who I am. I love expressing my opinions in the form of written words and even though I may not be an expert in certain topics, I believe that I can form my words in ways that make the topic understandable to others. Conatct:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *