Outlook Data File Corruption

Outlook became unusable. I tried switching to the webmail, but my workflow is such that I essentially stopped checking email for last week. Meeting invites went unseen. Notifications missed my attention. Every strategy I tried to ensure that I saw the email and calendar were ineffective. So, I kind of need the application to work.

The issue appeared to be some kind of file corruption. The application would crash due to “a problem.” When I opened the application, it would claim there was an issue with the data file and ask to repair it. I allowed it. It would make a backup and repair the file and tell me all is good. Things would be fine for a while until it happened again.

Back in November it just happened twice. Then in early December, it was a couple times a week. In mid-December, it was a couple times a day. Finally, today, it would only stay open for a couple minutes.

I decided that since my data is on Exchange, that deleting the files should not really be catastrophic. Outlook should just rebuild the data files for me. So, I renamed the data files. (“Should” != “definitely would.”) They are located in C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook and have the file extensions .ost or .pst. I chose to rename them with “bad_”. I started Outlook again. It rebuilt the data files. I have not seen a crash since.

My guess is the repair did not actually fix the problem. Certainly, the repair tool kept identifying things to fix.

From Outlook Data File Corruption published January 10, 2018 at 06:31PM.

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