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How to Convert OST to PST Format Manually

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By: semnaitik

March 11, 2018

Many times I've heard Outlook users asking about OST to PST conversion. In fact, it's one of the most common topics among Microsoft Outlook users. Though both OST and PST are Outlook data files, both are different from each other. OST is an offline storage table while PST is a personal storage table. In this article, I'll help you understand the difference between OST and PST files. Also, we'll discuss some common scenarios when OST to PST conversion becomes extremely important. And in conclusion, I'll help you learn how to convert OST to PST manually, i.e. without requiring any 3rd party OST to PST Converter tool.

Difference Between OST and PST

First, let's find out the difference between OST and PST files. This is very important before we can learn how to convert OST file to PST format. If you're using Microsoft Outlook client as a stand-alone application, i.e. without Exchange Server, it uses PST file for most of the accounts which include POP3, IMAP, and other web-based email accounts. The entire mailbox content is stored into a PST file on the local system. And if you're connected with Microsoft Exchange Server, the mailbox items are usually delivered and saved on the mail server. In order to work with your email messages and other mailbox content when Exchange Server is not available, it creates another type of Outlook data file (.ost) on your local system.

An OST file contains only the copies of your original mailbox content which is saved on the mail server. In order to perform changes to the OST file, you must connect to the Microsoft Exchange Server. You might also be interested in Introduction to Outlook Data Files (.pst and .ost)

When & Why Should We Convert OST to PST?

In this section, we're going to discuss top 5 common scenarios when we need to convert OST file to PST format. I've described them below:

Unexpected Crash in Exchange Server

Microsoft Exchange Server is a great tool for businesses and organizations. There's no doubt about it. But you should be aware of this fact that it's prone to frequent crashes. Sudden power failure, software malfunction, viruses and the internal bugs are few common reasons behind Exchange Server crash. So whenever the Exchange Server crashes down, you can't connect to it by anyway. It may take some time to fix this problem. Until the problem is not resolved, you can't work online. Though you can use the OST file on your local system, you can't save the changes because Exchange Server is not available. In such a situation, you may need to convert OST file to PST format so that you can save the changes and start your work again.

Exchange Server Goes for Regular Maintenance

There's no way to access the mailbox online in a case of Exchange Server downtime or if it goes for the regular maintenance. And it becomes quite urgent to access the mailbox items. You have the OST file that contains the copies of your mailbox content. But you can't use it online until unless you synchronize the changes with Exchange Server. In order to access and use the mailbox content online, you need to perform OST to PST conversion.

Data Migration

If you're shifting from one place to another, data migration becomes very important. Or if you want to move your mailbox content from one system to another, you have to convert OST file to PST format. Why? An OST file can be accessed or opened only by the system on which it was originally created. If you don't have the original system, the only way to access or open OST file is by converting it into PST format.

Job Change

Your Outlook profile was connected to the Exchange Server previously. Now you've switched to a new organization and you're no longer a part of the Microsoft Exchange Server. All you have now is just the OST file which you can open/access but can't use online. In order to access the old mailbox content, you must perform OST to PST conversion.

Accidental Deletion of Mailboxes

If you've accidentally deleted some of your mailboxes on the Exchange Server, you can try to restore them via OST to PST conversion. How? Don't forget that the OST file contains all the mailbox folders. You can convert OST file to PST format and get your deleted mailboxes back.

Sometimes corruption in OST files can also raise the need for OST to PST conversion. How? There's no better way to fix or repair OST file. Though Microsoft provides you the scanost.exe utility, it may not work in a case of severe corruption. Therefore, you can restore your mailbox content by converting OST to PST format. Keep in mind that you can convert a corrupt OST file into PST format only by using a professional OST to PST Converter tool.

How to Convert OST File to PST Format?

Now the time has come to learn how to convert OST file to PST format manually. The manual tricks I'm sharing here don't need any third-party software. But keep in mind that the manual tricks don't convert OST file to PST format. Such tricks can help you only import mailbox content from OST to PST file. Microsoft Outlook client is the only thing you need to use here. It has few built-in features which help you import mailbox content from OST to PST file. Those features include Archive, Export, Move, and Drag & Drop. By using any of these features, you can import mailbox content from OST to PST file. But before you can use any of these features, you must create a new PST file into which you can import the mailbox content from an OST file.

There are few limitations of importing mailbox content from OST to PST manually. Make sure:

  • You're using the same computer system on which the OST files were originally created.
  • You're connected to the Exchange Server while moving mailbox content from OST to PST file manually.
  • And most importantly, the OST files are not corrupt. They should be valid.

Use OST to PST Converter Tool

If you don't meet the above requirements, you can't use any of the manual tricks. In such a situation, you should look forward to a professional solution. Download the free demo version of OST to PST Converter software before you can purchase any paid solution. It's a smart tool that can convert OST file to PST format without causing any alteration to the original mailbox content. It can successfully convert OST files even if they're corrupt. If you need to convert multiple OST files, this OST Converter tool will best fit your needs. Via this software, you can effortlessly convert single as well as multiple OST files simultaneously in minimum possible time. Other than converting OST to PST, you can save OST files' content into any of these file formats: DBX, EML, MSG, and MBOX.

This OST to PST Converter tool doesn't require any prior technical expertise. Any technical or non-technical user can use this software with great ease. It has a highly interactive user-interface that makes it an easy-to-use tool for everyone. Before you can purchase the software, you must download the demo version for free evaluation. By using the demo version, you can save first 25 email items from every mailbox folders you select within the OST file(s) into a new file. And if this satisfies you, then you should purchase the licensed version of this software.

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