Is your Offline folder file (OST) corrupt due to any reason? Can’t you access the mailbox content stored in it? Corruption with Outlook data files is very common these days. It may cause inaccessibility of the mailbox content, and even you may lose them. And sometimes it may happen that you need to convert OST file to PST format. There might be any reason for that. In this article, I’ll help you learn how to repair OST file so that you can perform effortless OST recovery. Also, you’ll learn how to perform OST to PST conversion in the safest way possible.
Microsoft Outlook is a popular email client, used as a stand-alone application. Also, it can work with Microsoft Exchange Server for multiple users in an organization. In order to use the Exchange Server, a Windows Server operating system is mainly required. If you configure Outlook with Exchange Server, it saves a local copy of the Exchange mailbox content on the local system. It’s called OST file, aka offline storage table or offline folder file. PST aka personal storage table is another Outlook data file created by MS Outlook client. PST file is created by default on the local system where the MS Outlook client is installed. And to create OST file, you must enable the cache mode in the user’s Exchange Account.
An OST file is just a copy of your Exchange mailbox content, created and saved on a local system. The best part of an OST file is that you can work with it even when there’s no connectivity between the client and the Exchange Server. And once the connection is available, you can synchronize the changes you’ve made earlier. But sometimes you may face some serious problems while working with the OST files. Data deletion and corruption are two most common issues faced by the users. Generally, data deletion is caused by human mistakes. On the other hand, corruption is inevitable. It can happen at any time due to any reason.
Corrupt OST File. Why?
Just like a PST file, an OST file is also prone to corruption. There are various reasons responsible for corruption in the OST files. I’ve categorized them into two parts below:
- Hardware Related Issues include power failure, hard disk failure, HDD containing bad sectors, network issues or failure, etc.
- Software Related Issues includes virus infection, abrupt cancellation of Outlook, errors during synchronization, software malfunction, etc.
Whenever corruption takes place in the OST files, you can’t open or access the mailbox content anyhow. To fix this problem, you should use the backup file to restore your data from it. But if you don’t have the backup or the backup file is corrupt, you’re left with only one option, repair OST file.
How to Repair OST File?
If you’re using Microsoft Outlook 2007 or any earlier version, you can use the Integrity check tool scanost.exe utility, a built-in repair tool. But in Microsoft Outlook 2010 and later versions, it has been discontinued. Consequently, OST recovery becomes a challenging task for the Outlook users. In such a situation, you should try few easy DIY tricks to repair OST file.
Rebuild OST File
This is the best way to handle a corrupt OST file. If the OST file is corrupt, you can get the fresh copy of your mailbox data by downloading it from the Exchange Server. You should delete the OST file. Make sure the Microsoft Outlook client ain’t open. First, go to the location where Outlook data file is stored.
- Click Start > go to Control Panel.
- On the Control Panel window, click Mail in the options.
- On the Mail Setup – Outlook window, click the E-mail Accounts… tab.
- On the Account Settings dialog box, click the Data Files tab. Select the OST file in the list and click Open File Location…. tab.
- You can now see the OST file in the File Explorer. RIght-click the OST file and click Delete. Note: Before you can delete the OST file, don’t forget to close the Account Settings and Mail Setup dialog boxes.
Now you should start the Microsoft Outlook application that’ll create a new OST file for your account.
Also, you can try to repair OST file by updating the folder. Though it’s not that much effective, there’s no harm in trying it. Follow these simple steps:
- First, right-click the folder and click Properties.
- A dialog box will appear where you need to click the Clear Offline Items option. Click OK.
- Now go to the Send/Receive option on Outlook 2010 ribbon. Click Update Folder.
Though the scanost.exe utility ain’t available for Microsoft Outlook 2010 and later versions, you can still use the scanpst.exe utility for both PST and OST files. With the Inbox Repair tool, you can scan and repair OST file. If it fails, you can create a new OST file and then import the data back to the mailbox folder. If nothing works for you up to the mark, you should use a professional solution. There are many vendors in the market which provide 3rd party tool to repair OST file.
OST Recovery Software
You should download the free demo version of OST Recovery software that works as a recovery cum converter utility. It can successfully repair OST file which is corrupt due to any reason and restore maximum possible data from it. There are three recovery modes to handle the different level of corruption: Standard, Advanced, and Deep. With this software, you can convert OST to PST, OST to DBX, OST to EML, OST to MSG, and OST to MBOX.