How to Keep My Outlook OST Files Safe

Discover some practical steps you can implement to safeguard your OST files and keep your emails working properly.

How to Keep My Outlook OST Files Safe

MS Outlook is one of the best email client software in the world. This is because it’s both reliable and easy to use. However, just like any other computer application, OST files associated with Outlook are susceptible to corruption, especially if users do not adhere to best practices on how to keep computer systems safe. Find some practical steps that can help you keep your OST files safe and prevent OST corruption in the sections below.

1.      Beware of Outlook add-ins

While some Outlook add-ins can help you work efficiently, others can crash your email program and corrupt your OST files. For this reason, it is better to avoid add-ins, but if you must use them only the ones that allow Outlook to run optimally. You may need to assess each add-in individually before installing it. Also, find out what other users say about the applications before using the add-ins on your mailbox.

2.      Exclude .ost files from antivirus scanning

Antivirus applications are very important for protecting your computer files from virus attacks. However, if left unchecked, they can damage OST files especially if they have file patterns that mimic a computer virus structure. 

If this happens, OST files become corrupt and inaccessible. While data may be salvage using data recovery tools such as DataNumen Exchange Recovery, chances of data loss are high. To avoid this, it is advisable to exclude OST files from scanning by your antivirus program.

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3.      Do not exceed the recommend OST file size

OST files are useful for storing mail data especially when users are working offline. These files come with a maximum capacity. This varies from one Outlook version to another. For instance, OST files for Outlook 2007 and earlier versions can store up to 20GB of data while Outlook 2010 and later versions can hold up to 50GB of mail data. 

It is common for files to get corrupted when they are about to hit the maximum capacity. Therefore, be wise and maintain the size of your files just above 50% of the recommended size. This will not only protect your OST files from getting corrupted but also increase the efficiency of your mailbox.

4.      Use secure and stable networks

If your OST files are domicile on a network drive, make sure you do not have downtimes when using Outlook. Also, confirm that your network is secure from unauthorized intrusion. This will protect your files from corruption because of unexpected network failure or a virus attack.

5.      Maintain a healthy computer drive 

When your computer hard drive develops bad sectors, the chances of crashing and damaging your OST files are high. Therefore, you need to be careful and avoid practices that hurt your computer such as improper shutting down. You may also need to replace your computer if it is old. Aging computer hardware such as cooling systems are susceptible to failure and can cause your HDD to overheat and develop bad sectors.

6.      Protect your computer from sudden power failure or surge

Investing in power backup and surge protector systems ensures that your computers are not exposed to the effects of sudden electricity outages, as such disaster will cause corrupt OST file from time to time. Such infrastructure gives you enough time to safely close computer applications and shut down your machines. 

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