Offline Storage Table or OST is an Outlook data file that is created when you sign in to MS Outlook by using MS Exchange, Office 365, or IMAP accounts (with cached mode enabled). The file keeps an offline copy of your mailbox data on the server containing emails, attachments, contacts, calendar items, tasks, etc.
This helps users to access their mailbox data even when the system isn’t connected to the internet. The changes that are made while the system is offline are synchronized immediately to the Exchange or IMAP server.
Reasons to Locate OST File
There could be several reasons that may force an MS Outlook user to locate the OST file. Some common reasons are as follows,
- MS Outlook is not accessible
- Outlook displays message to delete Outdated OST file to recreate new
- To convert OST file to Outlook importable PST when Exchange profile is deleted or disabled from the Exchange server
- To change the OST file default location due to storage space issue
- To backup OST data, when Outlook Import/Export wizard is not accessible
If your Exchange profile is deleted from the server or you can’t access your Outlook account for some reason, you can convert the OST file to PST by using Stellar Converter for OST.
The software helps you find the OST file location on your system by scanning the drive. It finds and lists all available OST files stored on your PC along with their location.
You can then use the software to extract the mailbox items from an orphaned OST file and back up or migrate your data in OST file to a different Outlook account. It uses an advanced algorithm to extract the mailbox data from the OST file, with 100% precision and integrity.
How to Locate OST File?
By default, the .OST file is stored in the ‘AppData’ or ‘Application Data’ folder of the Windows user account. However, the location varies based on the MS Outlook and Windows version installed on your system.
Below mentioned is the default location of .OST file in Windows,
You can manually follow or copy the path URL provided in the above table to locate the .OST file on your Windows PC.
How to Find OST File Location?
If you can’t navigate to the default location, follow these steps based on the MS Outlook version installed on your system to quickly find the OST file location on your Windows PC.
Steps to Find OST Location in MS Outlook 2019, 2016, & 2013
To locate OST file in MS Outlook 2013 and above versions, follow these steps,
- Open MS Outlook and go to File>Info
- Click ‘Account Settings’ and then select ‘Account Settings’
- Click on the ‘Data Files’ tab and select the .OST file from the list that belongs to your account (which you want to locate)
- Then click ‘Open File Location…’ button
- This opens the location where OST file is stored
In MS Outlook 2010
- Go to File and click the Info tab
- Then click on Accounts Settings and Account Settings again
- From the list, choose Microsoft Exchange Server and click Change
- Click on More Settings and under the Advanced tab, click Offline Folder File Settings
In Microsoft Outlook 2007
- Open MS Outlook 2007
- Click Tools>Account Settings…
- Select the email account from the list and click Change
- Click on ‘More Settings’ in the ‘Change E-mail Account’ dialog box
- Click on the Advanced tab and then click the Offline Folder File Settings
- You will find the OST file location in the ‘File:’ field. Simply copy the folder path and paste in the File Explorer to open the OST file location
Again, if for some reason, the OST file can’t be located, download, install and run Stellar Converter for OST to find the OST file and export the OST data to PST file.
Can You Change OST File Location?
Yes, there are a few ways and workarounds that you can follow to change the default location of the OST file. For instance, you can create and set the ForceOSTPath registry value. The steps are as follow,
- Press Windows+R and type regedit
- Click ‘OK’ or press ‘Enter’
- Then navigate to following registry key,
Replace xx.0 with your version of Outlook (16.0 = Office 2016, Office 365 and Office 2019, 15.0 = Office 2013).
- Then right-click on Outlook, choose New> Expandable String Value
- Type ForceOSTPath and press Enter
- Then right-click on the ForceOSTPath registry key and then choose Modify
- In the Value data box, type the new folder path where you want to keep the .ost file. For instance, D:\MyFolder\ and then click OK.
- Then close and exit Registry Editor
Now, when you start Outlook, new OST file will be recreated at the new location that you mentioned in the ForceOSTPath registry key value.
Similarly, there are other ways and workarounds that you can use to change OST file location. For a detailed guide on OST relocation, read How to change the location of the Outlook OST file?
MS Outlook users can easily locate the OST file in Windows by navigating to the default OST location. However, this default location is different based on the Outlook and Windows version installed on the system. Follow the blog to know the default location of the OST file and also learn the manual ways to quickly find the OST file location.
But if the OST file is not found in the default location, you can use Stellar Converter for OST to locate OST files, extract mailbox data, and save the data in Outlook importable PST file format. You can get started by downloading the free demo version of the software by using the below link.