What is an OST File? Everything You Should Know!

OST file is an Offline Storage Table created by MS Outlook to save mailbox data in a user machine. In simple words it is a data file of MS Outlook which is created when MS Outlook is linked with Exchange server.

Anyone who has encountered an OST file error or looking for a solution to convert OST to PST probably wants to know about this file format a little more. It is required if you want to fix any OST file error without messing up the important data stored in it.

In the world of computers, emailing system is the backbone of today’s work culture. People not only use emails to send or receive important information but also select emails as their marketing strategy. This is because emails are used and accessed by every computer literate nowadays.

A laptop with a graphic image of an incoming email

This inclination in usage of emails has also raised the importance of emails in our life. Be it an organization or personal users like you and me. No body stomachs the loss of emails and wants them to be accessible in as easy way as possible and that is why a various Emailing systems are made.

Microsoft has made similar attempt by creating MS Outlook as its local emailing client which can be used by anyone to view, send or receive emails right from their desktop. To manage the same job in a workplace; MS Exchange server has been developed.

Many offices and firm uses MS Exchange sever to keep control on their office emailing system. This helps them to create / remove / Edit or watch mailing activity of every employee or user associated with it. This also helps organizations to prevent data leaks and track any illegitimate activities.

All about OST (Offline Storage Table) File

OST file is created by Exchange accounts, IMAP Accounts, Outlook.com accounts and Office 365 accounts to store the mailbox data in MS Outlook 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019 at user end. In all the accounts, OST files hold entire important data and folders like Inbox, Drafts, Journals, Tasks, Notes, Junk, Deleted Items, Calendars, and Contacts. These items contribute in overall of size of an OST file. And if the MS Outlook is configured with any Pop3 account then it will create a PST file.

Just like OST file, PST file is a MS Outlook data file meant for home users mainly who has configured their Pop3 mail account with MS Outlook to open and view emails in offline mode. Despite many differences in OST and PST file, a lot of users convert OST into PST to read a inaccessible OST file data.

How to find your MS Outlook OST File?

An OST file created by Outlook 2013 or Outlook 2016 can be found in Documents >> Outlook File folder and if the you have upgraded your MS Outlook from older version like MS Outlook 2007 or earlier then the file location might be hidden which you can find it here: drive:\Users\user\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook

The easiest method to locate OST file in your machine is to follow the steps below

  • Open MS Outlook
  • Click on the file tab
  • Now click on the Account Settings in right pane
  • Again select the Account Settings option
  • Now click on Data Files tab
  • Here, select any of the entry
  • Now, click on Open File Location

OST files are used by most of the accounts to help users in accessing their emails in the offline mode, which means if you are travelling or does not have internet access then also you can at-least open and view your older emails. And once you are back in internet contact your emails get synchronized with the server and mailbox is updated with all the queued items. This helps in hassle free workflow and improves the overall efficiency of work.

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