While using MS Outlook, the items like emails, tasks, calendars, notes are saved on the Exchange server. And, the OST file is a type of data storage type which lets you access email client data even in the absence of Exchange server. This file type is used when you need or want to work offline and the data is synchronized on the mail server after the re-establishment of Exchange server.
Where the OST file can be found?
The OST file location varies for the different operating system. So, if you are searching for the OST file location on your device, use the below-given information:
OST location in Outlook 2016/2013:
- Launch the Outlook application and click on File option available at the top left corner of the screen.
- Now, go to the Account Settings and open the menu.
- Select Data Files from the Account settings tab.
- You can see the name and location of your file.
For Outlook 2010:
- Click on File after launching the Outlook application.
- Go to Accounts Settings and then again select Account Settings from the drop-down menu
- Next select Microsoft Exchange server from the options and tap on Change
- Click “More” settings to proceed.
- In the Advanced tab, choose Offline Folder File Settings option
- The default location can be found in the prompted dialog box
- The usual location of OST file is; C:\ Documents and Settings\ username\ Local Settings\ Application Data\ Microsoft\ Outlook\ outlook.ost
In MS Office Outlook 2003:
- Go to the Tools option after opening Outlook 2003
- Now, open the Email Accounts option
- Select Microsoft Exchange server option and tap Change
- Click on Advanced tab and then click Offline Folder File Settings
How to open OST file without Outlook:
For opening the Outlook application on your device, you need to install the OST viewer tool. This tool is the only option that can help you open the OST file in the absence of Outlook application.
To view the OST file using OST viewer tool:
- Start by launching the tool on your device
- Now select the mode of scanning
- After this, the entire list of documents will be shown on the left-hand corner of your screen.
Difference between OST and PST files:
There are two different file types in which Outlook data is stored. Both the file types are of different use; OST allows the offline access to the data and PST stores all mailbox data on the local device. Furthermore, the PST file can be transported (imported/exported) whereas the OST file can be only opened using the profile which you used while creating the OST file.
The PST files are responsible for regulating the POP3, IMAP settings of MS Outlook and the other webmail clients. On the other hand, the OST file depends upon the email account configuration and thus it cannot be opened anonymously.
OST file stores all the data which has been saved in the Exchange mailbox and can be modified or deleted. While PST file is created automatically while using POP3 and IMAP accounts. It is stored on the local device of users and can be shifted from one system to another.
How to delete OST file?
OST file consists of mailbox data which is crucial for every user. But cases of corruption, damage or oversizing force the user to delete the file. Deleting the OST file is not a hard nut to crack if you know the exact location of your OST file. For deleting the OST file, you need to locate the file and right-click on the file followed by clicking on the “Delete” button.
If you are using the Outlook 2007, 2010, 2013 or 2016, the below-mentioned steps will help:
- Open the Start menu and type Run or press Win+R keys.
- Enter “%LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\Outlook” in the dialog box
- Click Ok to proceed
- You will see a window with the list of all OST files.
- Select the one you want to remove and right click on the file.
Recreating the file:
If your OST file has been damaged, you need to recreate it after deleting it from where it resides on your system. For recreating a new file, follow the steps given underneath:
- Launch Outlook application on your device.
- Next, in the Outlook 2007, choose Menu or select File, if you are using Outlook 2010, 2013 or 2016.
- Click Info to proceed
- Now, open the Account settings
- Click twice on the option of Microsoft Exchange
- Select More Settings option
- Hit on Advanced button and select Offline Folder File Settings.
- Select the path to save the OST file and click OK to apply.
- A message stating “<path> <filename>.ost could not be found. Would you like to create it?” will appear on your screen.
- Click OK and then Finish
How to Disable the OST file?
If disabling OST file is the need of the hour, you must do it right away. Disabling the OST file can be the cure for corruption and damage, thus one should not hesitate to do it. Here below are the steps using which one can disable the OST file:
1. Start by synchronizing the OST file of Offline folders to Server folders. To perform the sync, follow the steps:
- Click Tools from the menu and then Send/Receive, for synchronizing a particular folder
- In order to sync the entire group of folders, click on Tool menu and tap Send/Receive followed by Send/Receive All.
2. After completing the synchronization, open the Tools menu and then choose Email Accounts.
3. Tap on View or change existing email accounts and hit “Next”
4. Next, select MS Exchange Server and then tap on Changes
5. Tap on More Settings
6. now, hit the “Advanced” button
7. Last, click on the Offline Folder file settings and click Disable Offline Use.
OST File size limit:
For avoiding the oversizing issue which can bring corruption and damage to the file, one must follow the guidelines stated by Outlook regarding the file size limit.
UNICODE OST allows the 20 GB of storage, while the latest Outlook versions provide 50 GB file size. For OST file, one needs to be limited till 4 PB whereas the ANSI OST offers 2 GB of storage limit.
How to Repair, Migrate or backup OST file?
There is one solution to fulfill the needs of migration, repair and restore and that is; Microsoft OST to PST converter software. This professional tool can easily convert the OST data to PST format which you can use whenever required. Also, PST files are transferable thus migrating data is an easy approach with this. Above all, beginners can take benefit of this particular tool as no technical skills or knowledge is required to perform the conversion.