Free Guide to Repair OST file Manually

Before discussing how to repair corrupted OST file, let’s understand what is OST file?


An OST file is an Offline data file created by Microsoft Outlook. It is used to store a copy of Exchange Server mailbox information. OST files are stored on the local computer, so that the user to access their emails and other mailbox information when they don’t have Internet access. Sometime a users Exchange server mailbox can become corrupted or even deleted from the Server for many reasons. However there is no need to panic as the user’s deleted files are often still present on the local client system (MS Outlook), and can be recovered using free data recovery software.


Frequent reasons for lost or corrupt Outlook OST files:

These are the most common reasons for OST file Corruption:


  • The OST file can be lost due to sudden power failure.
  • The OST file may corrupt, if the storage drive on which you saved the OST file is contaminated with these malicious programs.
  • This could be due to a network failure or loss of internet connection. If this happens during OST file synchronization with the Exchange server, it will result in inaccessible OST files.
  • The internal Outlook codes can be the cause of common OST file corruption.
  • If the Outlook program is accidentally closed without saving any data, it will result in corruption of the Outlook data.
  • Some of the installed plug-ins that affect the overall performance of the Outlook application can lead to corruption of the OST file in some cases.

To avoid these situations, you need to repair OST files. Hence, here we are trying to solve these issues using manual methods. You can also use professional tools for this task. However, I recommend you try the manual method first to recover/repair OST file. So let's start with manual tricks immediately.

Free Manual Methods for OST File Recovery

Method 1. Repair Outlook OST File Using Upload Folder

Users can use this manual method to recover/repair OST files that are badly damaged or corrupted. It's a simple and easy-to-use tool that any user can easily deal with.


All you need to do is follow the steps given below:

  • First, right-click on the OST file folder and select the Properties option.
  • In the dialog box, click the Clear Offline Items option.
  • Next, hit on the "OK" button.
  • Now, select "Send/Receive" option in the Outlook ribbon.
  • Now you are require to click on "Update folder" to save the changes made.

Now, you can check out whether this process repaired and recovered OST files or not. If not, move on to the next method


Method 2. Repair OST File With In-Built Tool Scanpst.exe

Before Outlook 2010, users had Scanost.exe as the only option to repair OST files. However, after the changes put into action in Outlook 2010, similar issues can be fixed by ScanPST (Scanpst.exe). If you want to repair OST and PST files both, you can use the Scanpst.exe tool built into it. It is a free tool from Microsoft that checks all errors and will help you repair damaged OST files. Working with Scanpst.exe (Inbox Repair Tool) requires a few steps. The steps are listed below:


Before starting any OST file repair, you need to find the OST file first. After that, users can use the scanpst.exe utility. Follow the steps below to use scanpst.exe.


1. You need to press Win+R key to open the "Run".


2. Here you need to type the "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16" and then click "Ok" tab to proceed further.

Note: – The above path only applies to Outlook versions later than Outlook 2013. But in case you are using Outlook 2013 use "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15" instead.



3. Now open the scanpst.exe. tool on your system



4. Now you can click the Browse button, to find the OST file that you want to repair, and click Start.



5. When the scanning is finished, click the "Repair" button to repair OST file.


Note: Before clicking the 'repair' button make sure that you are backing up the scanned file by checking "Make a backup of scanned file before repairing".



6. When the repair process is complete, the message "Repair Complete" will appear on the screen and you are now finished repairing your OST file.



Method 3. Repair Corrupt OST File by Recreating a New OST File

In this method, we are trying to recreate the corrupt OST file in order to fix certain OST file errors, which are mainly occurred due to corruption or damages and thereby access all of your Outlook data. This process applies to Outlook 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010 and lower versions of MS Outlook.

  • Launch Microsoft Outlook on your system
  • Click on File tab go to Info → then Account Settings
  • Click on the Account Setting option
  • In the Account Settings window, select the E-mail tab and Microsoft Exchange. The system displays the Change E-mail Account
  • Now you need to click More Settings
  • Here in Microsoft Exchange window, choose 'Advanced'
  • After that click Offline Folder File Settings.
  • In the File field, enter the path of the OST file, and click 'Ok'
  • The system names the OST file as Outlook.ost. click Ok
    Note: If a file with the same name already exists in the system, then you will be prompted for a new file name.
  • At last click on the Finish button.

The system will nicely recreate a new OST file that contains all the data of your corrupted OST file. You should only need to use this process carefully if your OST file is no longer usable. This method can help repair OST file, but it can result in data loss. So try other methods.


Method 4. Disable Firewall & Anti-virus settings to Repair OST File

An activated antivirus setting can sometimes block the normal functioning of MS Outlook device. In this case, you may have to disable the required settings and restart the system again. Sometime this type of tricks can also be used to repair blocked OST files. If this method does not solve your problem, proceed to the next method.


Method 5. Launch Outlook in Safe Mode to Repair Corrupted OST files

The main reason for starting MS Outlook in Safe Mode is to avoid add-ins that may have caused errors. Starting an Outlook in Safe Mode is also an option to skip these errors. However, this command doesn't repair OST files; it provides access to inaccessible OST files. You can start Outlook in Safe Mode with this command: "Outlook.exe / safe."


Step 1: Go to the Start button and click Run



Step 2: Now a "Run" dialogue box will appear on the screen, type Outlook.exe/safe


Step 3: after that click OK to continue and your outlook will open in safe mode


Drawbacks of using manual methods for OST file recovery:

  • These manual methods only repairs minor OST file corruption issues and cannot fully repair and restore corrupted OST files.
  • The manual method does not guarantee 100% safety of data while performing the recovery process.
  • It is a time consuming solution with complex procedure.
  • To use manual process users require technical knowledge, as a minor mistake can ruin the whole recovery process.

Method 6: by using professional OST Recovery Tool

If you are still unable to recover your OST files even after using the above manual methods, we discussed so far. We would suggest you to try a professional solution named as Regain OST Recovery tool. This is most reliable tool that has an easy to use interface to recover corrupt or damaged OST files and the best part of this utility is that it can also be run by a technical novice to recover OST files.

For the better understanding of the tool, let us view its following features carefully:

  • Provides complete recovery of OST files data (Mail, Calendar, Contacts, Notes, Tasks, etc)
  • Smartly converts OST to PST, EML, MSG, Office 365 and HTML
  • It provides 100% guarantee to fix corrupt or inaccessible OST file within few minutes
  • Helps users in recovering Outlook OST file with both High Level and Compressible Encryption
  • Allows users to view recoverable OST files data in preview panel before the actual recovery
  • During OST File recovery, it does not compel any size limit on OST files
  • It perform fast scanning of OST files and even generates Log file of whole recovery process in which it record each and every points of actions
  • This software is compatible with MS Outlook 2019, Windows 10 and all the earlier versions of Windows OS
  • It comes up with a user-friendly interface and can be used by a non-technical person without any hassle

Final Conclusion:

In this post, I have tried to explain the five free manual methods for OST File recovery, however these manual methods has some drawbacks. Keeping in mind this thing we have also discussed professional software for OST File recovery that works in efficient way and recover lost files without any data loss. You can choose any methods from the above to repair and restore lost OST files.