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Computers and Technology

Manual Method for Converting an OST File to a PST File

Outlook uses two types of database files: OST and PST. The PST file stores all Outlook mail flow data on the system’s hard drive, whereas the OST file is a local copy of the Exchange Server data. It saves Exchange data for later use. When the OST file format enables users to view Exchange Server mailbox contents in Outlook while offline, some circumstances are necessary to convert OST to PST Professional choice. We’ve listed a few scenarios in which converting an OST file to a PST file format can be beneficial for accessing your Exchange data.

  • Exchange Server experienced a crash as a result of corruption or for other reasons.
  • The Exchange Server is currently undergoing maintenance.
  • Exchange data erasure or loss due to human error
  • Transitioning from one system or operating system environment to another
  • There is a requirement to create a permanent and portable backup of OST data.
  • Compliance and laws applicable to a business or organization

Because the connection to Exchange is lost at that time, any negative effects on Exchange Server have no effect on the OST file content. The OST file content can also be recovered as a new copy once the Exchange Server is reconfigured. Thus, users can activate their process for converting an OST file to a PST file in order to gain immediate access to the data contained in Exchange mailboxes within the Outlook application.

In this essay, we will discuss the realistic free alternatives for converting an OST file to a PST file. These solutions are completely free and are capable of being implemented by any user, but some level of technical competence is always required.

Free Exchange OST to Outlook PST File Conversion

There are two common freeways for converting an OST file to a PST file or migrating OST data to a PST file.

  • A. OST data archiving to a PST file
  • B. Using Outlook’s Export Feature

Note: To transfer small amounts of data, such as a few emails or a large number of email attachments, you can simply forward them as emails to any specified email address. Drag and drop of OST emails to the freshly generated PST file (in the Outlook interface, navigate to New Items> More Items> Outlook Data File) is also an option if there are only a few emails.

A. OST Email Archiving to a PST File

This method cannot be used to transfer contacts or any mailbox contents other than emails to a PST file. Only emails can be saved to PST; contacts, calendars, and other mailbox items cannot.
To save OST emails to a new archive PST file, you must enable archive. Additionally, the OST file must be opened through the Outlook application, which requires an Exchange connection. To activate the archive for an OST mailbox, follow the instructions below.

  1. Navigate to File>Options in your Outlook application.
  2. Now, select the Advanced menu option. Select AutoArchive Settings from the AutoArchive feature section.
  3. Add settings to the AutoArchive frequency of days, period for deleting old things, and so forth, in the opened AutoArchive window. Under the section Move old objects to, you can look for and add the PST folder to which you want to save OST archived material. After completing all AutoArchive configurations, click OK.
  4. As a result, OST emails are preserved to the PST format in the system location specified by you.

Note: This Archiving tool also assists in maintaining the size of Outlook files by automatically archiving or deleting old items from the file according to established settings.

Additionally, you may navigate to File> Info> Cleanup Tools> Archive to manually move items from the OST file to the Archive Folders in the PST list to a designated destination based on the time/days criteria.

B. Using Outlook’s Export function

All Outlook versions include an integrated import and export feature that enables users to effortlessly convert an OST file to a PST file. The primary need is that the OST file is connected to Exchange Server at the time of export. It comes in handy when a user needs to create a local and portable backup of his or her Exchange mailbox data. Allow us to comprehend the procedure.

  1. Start the Outlook program. To import or export data, navigate to File>Open & Export>Import/Export.
  2. Click on next from Export option.
  3. Following that, it will prompt you to choose the file type in which you wish to save the OST data. Choose Outlook Data File (.pst) as the file type. Then click Next.
  4. You can migrate a single mailbox folder to PST (the most often used Inbox folder). Select your preference and also tick the Include subfolders checkbox. Then click Next to proceed.
  5. Click Browse and navigate to the location of the PST file on your machine. Select a management option for duplicate objects and click Finish.
  6. Following that, you may either add the password to the saved PST file or go without it. The conversion procedure will begin and end according to the data involved.

Method Elaboration:-

As long as the Exchange conversion is not halted, this method works well. These free methods frequently lose data or attributes during conversion. Native processes with data or item restrictions.

Most importantly, it requires a strong connection to Exchange Server, which is why it does not convert orphaned OST files or during server maintenance. Also, it does not support corrupt Exchange OST files and requires lengthy processes, resulting in slow performance.

To securely convert large amounts of OST data, use a professional or third-party OST to PST Converter. Without a connection or file size restrictions, it ensures secure and quick conversion.

The convenient tool verifies conversion in a matter of minutes with only 5-6 steps. In addition way, no data is lost or change during the conversion process. Orphan and corrupt OST files are quick recovery and convert, and the software is very compatible with all Outlook versions.


Exchange OST files must be converted to Outlook PST files for backup, when Exchange is unavailable, or if it crashes. The article concludes with a recommendation for a fully automated OST to PST converter solution.

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