How to Backup Offline OST File in MS Outlook?

In today’s digital age, where our lives are intricately woven with technology, ensuring the safety of our crucial data is paramount. For Microsoft Outlook users, especially those who rely on offline access to their emails, backing up the offline OST (Offline Storage Table) file is a crucial step to safeguarding valuable information.

This is the only file which gives you the access to your emails and other data in MS Outlook. Thus, if the OST file corrupts, every data is gone. Although, you can always restore it from server but why to take risk when you can easily turn an outlook OST backup into PST.

Understanding the Importance of Backup

The OST file in Outlook serves as a cached copy of mailbox data when working in offline mode. This means that any changes made to emails, contacts, or calendar events while offline are stored in this file and later synchronized with the Exchange server when online. However, relying solely on this single copy poses risks in the event of data corruption, hardware failure, or accidental deletion.

To backup an offline OST (Offline Storage Table) file in Outlook, you’ll need to locate the OST file on your computer and then copy it to a safe location. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Locate the OST file:

OST files are typically stored in a specific folder on your computer. The default location for OST files is:

Replace “username” with your actual username on the computer.

If you’re unable to locate the OST file in the default location, you can use Windows Search to find it.

Copy the OST file:

  • Once you’ve located the OST file, right-click on it and select “Copy.”
  • Navigate to a safe location where you want to store the backup. This could be an external hard drive, a cloud storage service, or another folder on your computer.

Paste the OST file

  • In the destination folder, right-click and select “Paste” to copy the OST file into this location.
  • Wait for the copying process to complete. This might take some time depending on the size of the OST file.

Verify the backup

  • After the copying process is finished, navigate to the destination folder and ensure that the OST file has been successfully copied.
  • Optionally, you can rename the copied OST file to something more descriptive to distinguish it from the original file.

Keep the backup secure:

It’s important to keep your backup in a safe and secure location, preferably separate from your main computer. This ensures that you have a backup in case of hardware failure, data corruption, or other unforeseen events.

By following above steps, you’ll have successfully created a backup of your offline OST file in Outlook, giving you peace of mind knowing that your important data is safe and accessible. However, instead of doing all this manually, you also convert OST into PST file format using a reliable third-party app like Magus OST to PST converter.

It is a smart tool designed specifically to convert large OST files into PST file format keeping the meta properties and folder structure intact. It is the simplest yet failproof way to protect your data from loss. It provides you the option to export OST into PST, MBOX, EML, MSG, EMLX format so that you can easily open it in various application apart from Outlook, like Thunderbird, Seamonkey, Lotus Notes etc.

How to Keep OST File Secured while Taking the Backup?

While copying the OST file to a hard drive is a common method for creating backups, it’s essential to understand that OST files are sensitive to changes and may not function properly if manipulated incorrectly. Here are some considerations regarding the safety and potential risks:

Read-only mode:

OST files are designed to be accessed by Outlook in conjunction with the Exchange server. When Outlook is in online mode, the OST file is continuously synchronized with the server.

However, when Outlook is in offline mode, the OST file serves as a cached copy of the mailbox data. In this state, the OST file is essentially read-only, and direct manipulation is not recommended.

Backup while Outlook is closed

To minimize the risk of corruption, it’s advisable to close Outlook before copying the OST file. This ensures that the file is not actively in use by Outlook or any other program.

Risk of corruption

Although copying the OST file to a hard drive is generally safe, there is always a risk of corruption during the copying process or due to external factors such as hardware failure or file system errors.

It’s essential to use reliable methods and hardware when copying the OST file to minimize the risk of corruption. Additionally, ensuring that the destination hard drive is in good condition and has sufficient free space is important.

Consider alternative backup methods

If you’re concerned about the integrity of the OST file or prefer a more robust backup solution, consider using built-in Outlook features like exporting OST mailbox data to a PST (Personal Storage Table) file or utilizing third-party backup software specifically designed for Outlook data.

In summary, while copying the OST file to a hard drive is a common backup practice, it’s important to take precautions to minimize the risk of corruption and ensure the integrity of your data. If possible, explore alternative backup methods for added security and peace of mind.

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