Open OST into Outlook 2016

Updated on November 05, 2022 by Deepika Singh

MS Outlook has usually been the most widely used desktop email software, with multiple corporations using it. If you're a regular Outlook user, you're probably familiar with the two data files that come with your MS Outlook account: OST (Offline Storage Table) and PST (Personal Storage Table).

All Outlook Personal emails, including items and attachments, is configured as an email account and saved in PST format. On the other hand, the OST file contains Outlook's replica emails, which are kept in local machines when cache mode is enabled, and which are created by MS Outlook and Exchange Server during synchronization. When Outlook users desire to work with their email clients in offline mode, it will be really helpful.

Benefits of OST files

  • You can keep your emails safe with OST file even if the server crashes or if there is an Exchange outage.
  • Second, when your Exchange database has been corrupt and is no longer recoverable. You'll need the OST files again since you can restore data from the OST files on your hard drive.
  • Finally, you may have some extremely critical emails that you are unable to access owing to a lack of network. These OST files come in handy in this instance.

Common OST file Errors in MS Outlook

The most discussed errors related to Outlook is “OST file cannot be opened” However, some other errors that make it difficult for users to access their OST file:-

  • OST is in use by another application
  • Microsoft Outlook not responding
  • Default Outlook.ost is in use and cannot be accessed
  • The set of folders cannot be displayed

Now, the reason behind these errors could be given below:-

  • According to MS Outlook, you have not configured your email account.
  • The OST was saved on a faulty section of the hard drive, rendering it inaccessible and corrupt.
  • It's possible that the automated synchronization between the OST file and the exchange server was interrupted, resulting in an OST file error.
  • Due to a power outage, a rapid shutdown of your MS Outlook account can result in file corruption.
  • Your file may have been corrupted by virus, making it unavailable.

Where is the OST file located in Your System?

Before opening the OST file in Outlook 2016, the location of the Outlook OST file must be known in order to be able to access the content of the data in the system. Here are the simple steps to find out the correct location of the OST file:

  • Start MS Outlook on the old system on which the OST file is available. All configured data elements such as emails, attachments, contacts, etc. are available.
  • Select the configured account name and right click on it to select the system ‘data file properties’.
  • A new window that appears with all the elements of the configured account, select the "Advanced" option
  • The location of the file is shown in the data file settings, which look like this “C:\Users\Admin\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook\”.
  • Copy the location of the file, paste it into the search field of the Run command and press Enter.
  • Select the OST file for which you need to access the items in another system.

How to Open OST File in Outlook easily?

After knowing that opening an offline OST file is enabled in Outlook (by default), you can either try to open your OST file in Outlook with the entire mailbox manually or with a professional third party tool. The location of OST files in your local system differs on the basis of different versions of MS Outlook application. Like :-

For Outlook 2010: (Windows Vista, Windows 7, 8 & 10)

Drive: \Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook

Windows XP

Drive: \Documents and Settings\%username%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

Outlook 2007: (Windows Vista)

Drive: \Users\user\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook

Windows XP or Windows Server 2003

Drive: \Documents and Settings\user\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

But you need to know that MS Outlook 2010 and higher versions like Outlook 2016, 2013 and 2019 does not allow manual method of importing OST files. Therefore, in this situation, your only option is to recreate an OST file using manual steps. You can then access your mailbox elements with MS Outlook.

Following are the Steps to Re-creating OST file and then Open into Outlook 2016:-

  • 1. Quit MS Outlook. Click or double-click Mail of In Control Panel
  • 2. Select the Exchange account on the E-Mail tab, and then click Change.
  • 3. Select and clear the Cached Exchange Mode check box. Now click on More Settings.
  • 4. On the Advanced tab, click Offline Folder File Settings.
  • 5. Click Disable Offline. The dialog box will appear. Click yes.
  • 6. Click the Offline Folder File setting again. Click OK.
  • 7. Click 'Yes' in the dialog box that appears.
  • 8. Now use the Cached Exchange Mode check box under the Cached Exchange Mode Settings
  • 9. Now click on OK, then on Next and then on Finish.
  • 10. Click the Close button under Account Settings and Email Setup.

Manual Method – once you successfully transferred the OST file, try to open the file in the new system through MS Outlook. You will get an error message that says- "The File C:\Users\admin\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook\abc.ost file cannot be opened."

As we can see, the OST file cannot be opened manually in Outlook. This method is not efficient and it can also damage or corrupt the file. Therefore, using a professional third party tool will be the best choice for you to open OST file in Outlook.

Method 2: Open OST file in Outlook 2016 with OST Recovery Tool

There are many third-party tools available on the internet that can easily fix all the issues with OST files and successfully allow you to open OST files in Outlook, including 2019, 2016, and older ones. The user can download the OST file recovery software to restore offline OST files on the Exchange server and open all mailboxes of OST files in Outlook as PST file format with all email items.

Regain Software developed a email recovery tool such as Regain OST file recovery software can help you to repair an inaccessible, orphaned, or encrypted OST file to PST, RTF, MSG, PDF, EML, and HTML formats. The software extracts all mailbox items such as emails, contacts, calendars, notes, attachments, etc., in PST format with 100% accuracy. The tool can import OST file to Office 365, Gmail, Yahoo Mail and many more email platforms.

Below are the quick steps to use this tool:

  • 1. Download and install the software. Click Add file option to open OST file or click on Browse.
  • Step 1
  • 2. Now choose the OST files which you want to recover and Set the details and click Open. The scanning process will start.
  • Step 2
  • 3. Select the mailbox folder that you only want to recover, mark check on the folder to select.
  • Step 3
  • 4. Select the mailbox folders that you want to save into a new PST file. Click Save on the taskbar.
  • 5. Next, click the browse button to set the location for a new PST file. Click OK.
  • Step 4
  • 6. Finally, the recovery will start and after recovery click OK to close.
  • Step 5

Now, import the recovered PST file in Outlook to access all the data accurately without facing any technical issues.