The 10 biggest annoyances in Outlook

We show you how to get round them

6. My .pst file is corrupt

If you've used Outlook long enough, at some point, your .pst file may get corrupted and no longer load. What can you do?

First off, prevention is better than recovery. When .pst files get up to 2GB, they can easily become corrupt, so make sure that your .pst file does not get to be 2GB or larger in size. (Open Windows Explorer, navigate to the location of your .pst file and click on the file icon to check its size.)

In addition, it's always a good idea to back up .pst files so you can revert to them if any gets corrupt. Make sure you back up the .pst files regularly.

Now on to fixing the corrupt file. There's a free Microsoft utility called the Inbox Repair Tool that's designed to fix corrupt .pst files.

scan_PST_file

The file name is Scanpst.exe, and its location seems to vary from machine to machine, but a good place to look is in C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12. Before running the program, back up your damaged .pst file. Then run the program, choose your .pst file location and tell the program to do its work.

The program should fix the corrupt file. If not, try using it three or four times; sometimes it takes several passes in order to fix the file.

If that doesn't work, you do have one other option. Though we haven't had a chance to test them, there are a variety of programs that claim they do a better job than the Inbox Repair Tool of fixing corrupt files. A Google search will turn up several if you want to go down that path.

7. How can I kill duplicate Outlook entries?

In Outlook, duplicate emails, contacts, tasks, notes and other information have an annoying habit of appearing out of the blue. Sometimes this happens when you import data from an earlier version of Outlook. And other times ... well, I simply don't know why it happens, but it does. You say you'd like to be able to kill duplicates without devoting your life to tracking down every single one and deleting by hand?

Once again, a third party has stepped up to the plate with a solution. Download the free Outlook Duplicate Items Remover, close Outlook, and install the software.

Once you do that, you'll find a new Outlook menu option, ODIR. Click the 'menu' option, select 'Remove Duplicate Items' and, from the screen that appears, select a folder from which you want duplicate items removed. Click 'Remove Duplicate Items' and it searches for duplicates in the folder. At that point, it copies the duplicated items to a folder, so you have a backup, and removes the duplicates from Outlook.

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