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Why PST Files are Bad Choice for Outlook Backup

Written By Nimisha Ramesh
Mack John
Approved By Mack John  
Published On July 31st, 2021
Reading Time 4 Minutes Reading

Despite being a versatile and popular email client, Microsoft Outlook is not free from corruption and security hacks. Rather, it is fragile against the virus and security threats that are lurking online. As a method of precaution, users may think of data backup. If you are planning to backup the PST file, there is a big no-no from the experts. This write-up will explain the reasons why PST files are bad choice for Outlook backup.

Though PST files store Outlook data files, it cannot be trusted as the mode of backup. Readers must be wondering why! Read on till the end to know the answer.

Why PST Files are Bad Choice for Outlook Data Backup?

Every Outlook user knows that PST files are not completely trustworthy. In this section, let us see the reasons why one must not backup Outlook data in PST format.

1.  PST is Corruption Prone

PST is infamous for corruption issues. Many Outlook users continue storing Outlook data in a single PST file. Hence, PST files face corruption issues. When the PST file reaches its size limit, the PST file gets corrupted. Corruptions can take place due to many other reasons and if not resolved immediately, it can lead to data loss. This is why PST files are bad as a backup.

2. e-discovery of PST Files are Difficult

e-discovery is a necessary process that many organizations need to go through. Exchange Server e-discovery tools do not analyze PST file data. The reason being PST file data stored outside the Exchange information store. Thus, backed up PST files are not supported by the e-discovery process.

3. It is not Compatible for Sharing

Data backup means opening the backed up file on any system. If we consider this point, Outlook PST is not the best type of file that users want to backup and share. PST files are supported by Outlook email only. No other email client or software can access and read its data. If the Outlook becomes inaccessible, the backup data will also become inaccessible. This is another reason why PST files are bad as backup file.

4. PST Files Give Rise to Compliance Issues

Every organization has critical and confidential data. Companies apply different security measures to ensure the secrecy of sensitive data. If Outlook is used for exchanging critical info, it is a bad idea to backup PST file.  Users will need a more secure file format to backup confidential data.

5. These Are Not the First Choice for Backup

When it comes to business users of Outlook, PST files are hardly backed up. The reason is pretty simple. In most companies, PST files are stored in local hard drives or on removable storage devices. We all know that system administrators do not perform backup on hard drives. As a result, PST files are mostly not backed up.  For this reason, users may face severe data loss due to the lack of backup.

6. PST Is Not Suitable for Network-Stored

Network places are not the best storage for saving Outlook PST files. If stored on Network there is a high chance of Outlook data file corruption. Therefore, it is better not to backup the PST file as users will not be able to store them in the network place.

8. It Cause Rise in Cost

Since PST files cannot be stored in Network, users have to store them in regular storage devices like SSD or HDD. For this reason, the cost increases as they need to purchase and maintain additional devices.

If PST Files are Bad Choice for Outlook Backup, What are the Alternatives

Now that users know why PST files are bad for backup, they must be looking for some alternatives. The best way to backup Outlook PST file is to convert it and save it in some other format. SysTools PST Converter is a reliable application for this purpose. It is available to download for both Windows and Mac OS.

Download for Windows


Download for Mac


This software easily converts PST file items such as emails, contacts, calendars, tasks, notes, journals etc. into multiple file formats. One can convert PST to ICS, PST to EML, PDF, MSG, HTML, TXT, vCard, ICS, DOCX, RTF, etc. The best part about this software is its vast compatibility. It can convert any version and size of PST file on all the latest Windows machines.

Author Suggestion

In the present time, the online threats are high and data backup has become compulsory to secure valuable data. It is true in the case of Outlook data too. But it is not a good idea to directly backup the PST file. In this blog, users learned why PST files are bad choice for Outlook backup. They also got introduced to a standalone software that can convert PST into different file formats.