Expert Solution to Import OST files to Outlook

Updated on April 15, 2024 by Armaan

This blog will deliver a detailed explanation to import OST files to Outlook. Here, you will learn about OST files and their location in your system. When will you need to open OST files in Outlook? And how to migrate your Outlook data files to the Outlook application. Read the article till the end for complete information.

What is an OST file?

Outlook OST files stand for Offline Storage Table. It stores your complete Outlook mailbox profile. This file type enables accessing your emails when you are offline. Also, any change made in the mailbox will automatically be reflected in the Offline Storage Table file when Outlook connects to the Internet.

Location of Outlook Offline OST File

The Outlook OST file is stored in the root folder of MS Outlook. The default path of the OST is “C:\Users\user\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook”.

Depending on the version of Outlook you use, the location may slightly vary but it remains in the root folder. You can manually locate OST files in Outlook by following the below steps.

  • Launch the MS Outlook application and click on File.
  • Choose the Account Settings option and then click on Account Settings.
  • In the Account Settings wizard, switch to the Data Files tab.
  • At last, choose the desired Outlook data file and click on the Open File Location button.
  • It will open OST files in Outlook.

What Leads to Import OST Files to Outlook?

Outlook OST files are the Offline storage table and store your Outlook mailbox locally. However, there are many situations when the PST file format is more suitable and beneficial. You will be required to change OST into PST file format in the following scenarios:

  • When you want to share your mailbox with another user, you have to convert OST files into PST file format. This is because offline storage files are not transferable.
  • Considering the privacy of your mailbox items, the PST file format is better than the OST file type because PST enables password protection.
  • Also, OST files are prone to corruption which leads to data loss. So, converting OST to PST will protect your valuable data.
  • You can not split or add OST files. So, if your Outlook mailbox is large, converting OST to PST and splitting it into multiple smaller files is a better option.

These are some of the main reasons for which you must change OST to PST file format. Now, let us check how to import OST files to Outlook 365 or Outlook application.

How to Import OST file in Outlook 2016, 2019, and Other Versions?

Microsoft Outlook does not allow you to directly add OST file to Outlook 2019 or other versions.

microsoft offline outlook data

You need to convert OST to PST file format for migrating your Outlook emails. Now, we share two effective and easy-to-perform manual methods for file conversion. Afterward, importing the OST file to Outlook will be feasible.

Method 1: Auto Archive Outlook Mailbox

In this technique, you use the auto-archive functionality of Outlook. It allows saving Outlook mailbox into PST file format automatically into local drive on a regular frequency. Follow the below steps.

  • Open the MS Outlook application in your system.
  • Click on the File button and choose the Options tab from the left menu.
  • After that, switch to the Advanced tab in the Options wizard.
  • In the AutoArchive section, click on the AutoArchive Settings.
  • Configure the AutoArchive settings like frequency, destination, etc., as needed.
  • At last, click on the OK button to save changes.
  • It will create a backup of your Outlook mailbox or OST file into PST file format at the specified location.

Method 2: Import OST using the Import/Export Features

Another manual method to convert OST to PST file format is the Import/Export feature. Using this option, you can back up any required Outlook mailbox into PST file format. Below is the procedure for downloading emails via the Import/Export feature.

  • Launch Outlook and click on the File option from the top menu bar.
  • Select the Open & Export >> Import/Export.
  • It will open the Import Export wizard. Choose the Export to a file option and click OK.
  • After that, choose the Outlook Data File (.pst) and press the OK button.
  • Select the Outlook mailbox you want to backup and hit OK.
  • At last, click Browse and specify the destination for backup.
  • Click on the OK button to start saving Outlook mailbox as a PST file.

It is the procedure for converting OST to PST so that you can import OST to Outlook 365 or MS Outlook application. Once you migrate Outlook OST files to PST file format, you can easily import PST to Outlook.

Major Limitations of Manual Approach

The standard methods mentioned above are undoubtedly effective when it comes to converting OST to PST file format. However, every approach has some limitations. The above-explained solutions are no different. Some of the major drawbacks of the manual approach of converting Outlook OST to PST file format are:

  • It does not help in migrating complete Outlook mailbox data at one time. You need to perform the same procedure repeatedly for complete migration.
  • These procedures are easy to perform for an Outlook expert but a novice user will face challenges in executing them.
  • You can not convert an Orphan OST file into PST file format via manual methods.
  • The manual methods will not work for a corrupted OST file. You must recover damaged offline OST file first for conversion.
  • This approach is quite complicated and time-consuming. Also, when the OST file is large, it will take too much time.

You might be wondering if there is any solution available that helps you migrate Outlook OST files into PST without any of the above-mentioned challenges. The answer is the professional OST file to PST Converter.

Advanced Solution to Import OST files to Outlook

Regain OST to PST Converter Tool is a highly recommended and proficient tool to convert OST to PST file format. This is an enhanced software that provides numerous options for fast and efficient file conversion. Moreover, you can export your Outlook OST files directly to Office 365. It provides various advanced features.

  • It allows you to add multiple Outlook OST files in a batch. So, you can convert all your OST files simultaneously.
  • The application offers a detailed and structured preview of mailbox items.
  • Along with the PST file format, you can also convert OST to EML, MSG, MBOX, HTML, etc.
  • It enables you to import OST files to Gmail, Office 365, Yahoo Mail, Hotmail, Amazon Workmail, etc.
  • Its PST splitting option helps you to break large PST files into smaller files to avoid oversized Outlook PST file issues.
  • The OST to PST file Converter is built with an easy-to-understand and interactive GUI.

How to Convert OST to PST File

  1. Download the Regain OST to PST Converter Tool. Install and run the application.
    Import OST files to Outlook using Regain Software
  2. Click on the Open button and select the required Outlook OST file. Press Start Scan.
    Select OST file
  3. Check the mailbox preview and choose the items you want to convert.
    Scan OST file
  4. Click on the Export button to proceed with the migration.
    Select File format
  5. Choose PST file format and other file conversion options as per your need.
    Select File format
  6. At last, click on the Convert Now button to initiate the file conversion.
    Successfully export OST files to Outlook

Microsoft does not provide any feature to import OST files to Outlook directly. You must convert OST to PST file format so that you can migrate the mailbox data to Outlook. Using the AutoArchive option and the Import/Export feature are the two manual solutions. These techniques are effective but for fast and accurate mailbox migration, we recommend you to use the professional Outlook OST file to PST file Converter Tool.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q 1. How to open an OST file?

Ans. Follow the below steps to open the OST file.

  • Open Outlook and click File.
  • Choose the Account Settings tab and click Account Settings.
  • After that, switch to the Data Files tab in the Account Settings wizard.
  • Select the desired file and click Open File Location.
  • It will open the OST file location.

Q 2. How do I restore a damaged OST file?

Ans. Microsoft provides scanpst.exe or inbox repair tool which is an inbuilt utility to repair corrupted/damaged Outlook data files. It will help you to fix minor OST and PST file corruption. However, for severely corrupted OST files, you have to use the professional OST recovery tool.

Q 3. How do I convert an OST File to PST in Outlook?

Ans. The manual approach to convert OST to PST file format is by using the Autoarchive feature and the Import/Export option of Outlook. These methods are effective but do not provide accurate migration. Therefore, we suggest using the professional OST to PST Converter Tool.