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Resolving PST issues caused by Anti-virus Software

Akash Tiwari
Akash Tiwari Updated On - 13 Apr 2020

Deploying legitimate antivirus programs enhances the performance of your machine, protects your system from external threats and allows you to take actions such as delete/quarantine viruses. Every antivirus program has its set of algorithms to work; some allow specific programs to make changes to your system while other treats the same as potential threats.

Antivirus programs also have certain impact on desktop-based applications like MS Outlook. It has been reported by a majority of Outlook users that they face issues while operating Outlook on an antivirus protected machine. As we know, a PST file is loaded each time you launch Outlook and it’s quite possible that the antivirus software that is currently running on your machine restrict Outlook to load the PST. Moreover, if your PST file is virus infected and the antivirus installed is not powerful enough to remove viruses from the file, then also your PST become inaccessible.

A user may encounter one of the following error messages if their antivirus blocks Outlook.

“Your Anti-Virus software has blocked the file you were trying to open”

“Outlook PST is in use and cannot be accessed”

Apart from these, there are several other issues the antivirus program create.

Reasons behind PST Errors caused by Antivirus

Some of the root causes behind PST errors caused by antivirus programs are listed below:

  • The antivirus currently running on your machine doesn’t support your recent Outlook version.
  • Antivirus is out-dated or you are using a trial version of the program.
  • You are not using a legitimate antivirus program.
  • Possibly your Outlook PST has gone corrupt.
  • The PST file is virus infected and the anti-virus is not capable enough to remove the virus from the file.

Possible Fixes:

The foremost method to resolve such issues is to make sure that your anti-virus is either up-to-date or has no restrictions on the functioning of Outlook. If you are still getting the same error message, try resolving the issue using methods that are mentioned below:

  • Update your antivirus with the recent updates
  • If the file is virus infected and your anti-virus is unable to remove the virus, then delete the file as soon as possible and restore it from a valid backup.
  • Use Inbox Repair tool (scanpst.exe), an inbuilt utility provided by Microsoft, to deal with the PST corruption issues.

If you haven’t backed up your Outlook data and the Inbox Repair tool fails to resolve the issue, seemingly because of severe level of corruption to the PST, then, the most recommended way is to look out for third-party Outlook PST repair tools.

In this regard, we have highlighted an efficient repair tool that provides a one stop solution to all your PST related issues.

Kernel for Outlook PST Repair is one of the most popular alternatives to Inbox Repair Tool and other manual approaches to resolve corruption issues from your Outlook PST. The tool repairs your corrupt PST files and restores items such as email messages, notes, tasks, calendars, journals, appointments and other Outlook items. Here is how the tool works:

  1. Launch Kernel for Outlook PST Repair and click Browse to locate the folder containing the corrupt PST. Launch Kernel for Outlook PST Repair
  2. Select the required PST file and click Open. select PST file
  3. Then, click Next. open pst file
  4. Read the process information and click Finish.Finish the process
  5. The next window displays the recovered data; mailbox folders are displayed on the left-hand side panel whereas the contents are displayed on the right-hand side panel. Select the required data and click Save to save the recovered PST file.save the recovered PST file
  6. Select PST (MS Outlook) as the output type and click Next. select PST as output type
  7. Select desired filters to save specific data from the recovered PST and click on the Next button. Select desired filters
  8. Provide a destination path to save the recovered file and click Next.  data-src=
  9. The recovered PST file gets successfully saved to specified location; click OK to finish the process. successfully PST file saved

Wrapping Up

Getting PST file issues due to antivirus applications is fairly a common scenario faced by a majority of Outlook users. You can either use an updated version of the antivirus or configure it to allow Outlook functionalities to run on your system. However, there are situations where your PST might get corrupted due to virus infection, which in turn indicates that the antivirus running on your system is unable to detect and quarantine viruses and other affected programs. In such circumstances, it is always recommended to use a reliable tool like Kernel for Outlook PST Repair to resolve corruption issues in PST.