If you were previously using Outlook Exchange Server, OST to PST conversion turns into your primary need. Now, as you’re not connected to Server, you need to import mailbox content from OST to Outlook. Unlike Outlook 2013 & 2016, other Outlook versions don’t support OST format. To access mailbox data in Outlook, you can either import data manually or convert files via professional utility.
Before we can discuss OST to PST conversion, let’s first know about Outlook, a client-based email application for Microsoft users. It’s a standout amongst the most prominent email client applications among computer users. You can use it as a stand-alone application, as well as you can configure it with Microsoft Exchange Server. Outlook is primarily used for emailing purpose. Additionally, it provides features like calendar, task manager, contact manager, note taking, a journal and web browsing. If you’re an individual, you can use Outlook as a stand-alone application. In organizations where an extensive number of users use Outlook, it can be configured with MS Exchange Server.
All your mailbox data, such as: emails, contacts, calendar, tasks, notes, journals, etc. are saved into an Outlook data file. There are two types of Outlook data files: PST aka Personal Storage Table and OST aka Offline Storage Table.
Difference between PST and OST
However, PST and OST files are fundamentally the same as structure astute, be that as it may, there are a few contrasts between them. PST is a personal storage table used by Microsoft Outlook to store mailbox data of an Outlook user. While OST is a offline storage table used by Outlook Exchange Server that stores email messages and other mailbox data. An OST file can be used in offline mode. For example: you can use OST file regardless of the possibility that you’re not connected with Exchange Server. Or there’s no Internet connection available. In order to access and use PST files, you ought to be connected with the internet.
At times an Outlook client needs to convert OST to PST format. You can’t open an OST file in MS Outlook on the off chance that it’s not configured with Exchange Server. What will you would in the event that you like to view or read the OST files? This could be little challenging for you. In such circumstance, you have two alternatives:
- You can view OST files by using OST File Viewer software, or
- You can convert OST to PST or to any other format
Most common situations for OST to PST conversion
Let’s discuss the most common scenarios where OST to PST conversion becomes necessary.
Scenario #1 – Crash in Exchange Server
Microsoft Exchange Server is not immune to mishappenings which may sometimes cause serious issues. Crash in Exchange Server is often seen. If the Exchange Server crashes down, you can’t access your account until you repair it. It may take several hours to days in repairing the Exchange Server. If you urgently need to access your OST mailbox during this operation, you can convert OST to PST format.
Scenario #2 – Exchange Server Goes for Maintenance
Microsoft Exchange Server needs maintenance in a regular manner. If the Exchange Server goes for regular maintenance, you can’t access your account. The whole process of maintenance make take enough time. If you want to use OST mailbox during the maintenance, you must convert perform OST to PST conversion.
Scenario #3 – Migration From One Place to Another
If you want to migrate mailbox data from one place to another, you may require OST to PST conversion. There’s a strange limitation with OST file. You must use the same computer system on which the OST file was originally created, to open or access it. It’s not always easy to take all the computers along with you during migration. But you can migrate OST files easily from one place to another. In such situation, you need OST to PST conversion.
Scenario #4 – Switching from One Organization to Another
Your Outlook profile was connected with Exchange Server where you were previously working. Now you’ve switched to a new organization. All your mailbox data are stored in OST files, but you can’t access them as your profile was removed from the Exchange Server. To access the old mailbox stored in OST files, you must convert them into PST format.
Scenario #5 – Corruption in OST Mailbox
The most common reason behind OST to PST conversion is corruption in OST mailbox. Due to corruption, you can’t open OST file and access your mailbox. An OST file becomes corrupt due to various reasons which include Trojans infections, virus attacks, software related issues, unexpected hardware failures, abnormal termination, application shutdown, damage induced on the database, server breakdown, lack of storage space, accidental deletion of the user account, etc. In such situation, you can you can recover mailbox data from corrupt OST files by converting them to PST format.
How to perform OST to PST conversion?
There are some manual strategies or methods which can help you move your mailbox data from OST files to new PST files. Though the methods are exceptionally safe and effective, but still you must take backup of your original OST files before you can try any of them. Keep in mind, these strategies don’t require any 3rd party tool, all it requires is good technical understanding with Microsoft Outlook functions. Before that, create a new Outlook data file into which you can import OST mailbox data. While using archive feature, there’s no requirement to create new PST file.
Trick #1 Archive
In Microsoft Outlook, you can use Archive feature to move or copy the mailbox items to a PST file. If you want to convert OST to PST format, you can use this feature to have all the mailbox data of an OST file into a PST file. This feature helps you move or copy almost each and every mailbox items, except Contacts. You can’t archive Contacts of an OST file.
Follow the steps given below:
Now select any folder from the list that you want to move. For example: Inbox.
It’ll take a couple of minutes to complete the process successfully. As a result, the new PST file contains the mailbox folder archived from OST file.
Trick #2 Export to a new PST file
The Export feature of MS Outlook is not that much effective unlike Archive feature for converting OST file into PST format. However, it’s a quick and easy way to move all the mailbox data from an OST file to a new PST file. This feature not only allows you to export OST file data into PST format but also in CSV and Excel formats.
Follow the steps given below:
Step 1: First of all, launch Microsoft Outlook client on your system.
You can see a list of PST files in the navigation pane. Also, it includes the new PST file you created earlier.
It’ll take a couple of minutes to complete the process successfully. As a result, the new PST file contains the mailbox folder exported from OST file.
Trick #3 Move the items to a new PST file
This feature is one of the easiest and effective ways to move mailbox data from an OST file to PST file. You need to create a new PST file in your Outlook profile, and then drag all the mailbox folders of OST file which you want to have in your new PST file. Remember, you can’t drag the default folders like: Inbox, Calendar, Contacts, etc. into a PST file. If you try this, you’ll receive a message saying you can’t move default folders. You can only copy the default folders from OST file into PST file.
Before using any of these manual tricks, make sure:
- You’re using the same computer system in which you’ve created the OST files. This is the main requirement.
- Also, make sure the connection to MS Exchange Server is available.
- The OST files must be in valid state. If OST files are corrupt, you can’t open them. Therefore, none of the tricks can really work for you. You must repair OST files before you can convert them into PST format. Click here to know SCANOST.EXE (Integrity Check tool) to Repair OST File
Professional Solution for OST to PST Conversion
In such a critical situation, you must try OST File Recovery software to fix corrupt OST files and to convert them into PST and other popular email file formats, such as: MSG, DBX, EML, MBOX and Archive format. Archive includes EML, VCF, ICS and text format. The software is highly advanced to convert normal as well as corrupt OST files without causing any damage to the original files.