How to Convert OST to PST in Outlook 2007/ 2010/ 2013/ 2016/2019/2021
Summary: The blog summarizes the best ways to convert Exchange OST mailboxes to MS Outlook PST file format. It also describes the benefits as well as drawbacks associated with each OST to PST export approach and suggests the most recommended conversion method towards the end.
OST (Offline Storage Tables) is an efficient medium to access Exchange Server mailbox folders locally on the Outlook client when a reliable internet connectivity is not available. It allows continuing with the mailbox functionality in the offline mode i.e., without connecting to the Server. Although OST files are rigid and cannot be affected easily by outer disturbances, however, there are several reasons that makes OST data inaccessible and affects the routine business operations.
Regardless of the version of the application, whether it is MS Outlook 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019 and 2021 or any older ANSI edition, inaccessible OST requires troubleshooting in order to gain access to data stored within. The easiest way to fix all types of OST issues, irrespective of the intensity of damage or loss is to convert the OST file to Outlook PST.
There are several ways to migrate OST data to PST format which are as follows:
1. Use Outlook Archive feature
Archive feature can be used in Outlook to copy or move mailbox items to PST. It converts all the items of OST mailbox to PST format. This feature does not allow archiving Contacts; however, all other mailbox items can be moved. Follow the steps below:
- Open MS Outlook and then open the OST file from which the data needs to be exported
- Click on File tab, click on Info, and then click on CleanUp Tools
- Next, select Archive… from the options
- In the Archive dialog box that appears, ensure that Archive this folder and all subfolders option is selected (it is selected by default)
- Next, select the folder that you need to export to PST (e.g.: Inbox)
- In the Archive items older than: box, provide an appropriate date. All the items that were received earlier till the specified date will be archived
- Under Archive file: option, provide the destination path to store the new PST
- Click on OK to accomplish the export process
#2: Drag and Drop Mailbox Items
Dragging and dropping OST mailbox items to PST file format is, undoubtedly, the best way to migrate data from OST to PST. To accomplish this, you will need to make a blank PST file in MS Outlook and then click and drag the desired items in the OST mailbox to a newly created PST file.
However, there are some limitations associated with the drag and drop mailbox items procedure. Firstly, you will need to repeat the process for every individual item that needs to be moved to the PST mailbox. This requires attention to detail as the process is time-consuming; therefore, a single mistake will lead to unnecessary repetition of the process.
Moreover, the folder structure as well as the default folders such as Calendars, Contacts, Inbox, etc. cannot be directly migrated and you need to create a new PST file to manage the entire data in an organized manner.
#3: Outlook Import & Export Wizard
MS Outlook Import and Export wizard is, unquestionably, a successful way to convert OST data to PST file format in Outlook 2010 and other versions. You can also select migrating OST data to Excel and CSV file formats using this particular method. Since this is a manual technique, you can try your luck by executing the procedure accurately.
However, you need to be technically efficient to implement the built-in import/export strategy. There are chances that you may lose access to your valuable data if the procedure is executed inaccurately at any step. It is recommended to back up the OST file before starting the export process so that you have the chance to restore data if anything incorrect takes place.
#4: Stellar Converter for OST
The professional third-party OST to PST Converter tool is an automatic way to export bulk mailboxes. Not only does the tool convert Exchange mailboxes to Outlook supported PST files, but also splits and compacts the mailboxes for managing them in a more organized format. In addition to this, it also migrates OST data to Office 365 format.
Even if the Exchange OST files are encrypted using cryptic codes, the tool proficiently converts all the items stored within it to the PST mailboxes. The security and integrity of all the items are maintained as well as folder structures are taken care of during the export process. The tool is easy-to-use and caters to all user types. Follow the steps below:
- Download and Install Stellar Converter for OST tool
- Select Outlook Data file for conversion screen will pop out, You can choose “Profile list” or “Choose Mailbox Manually” option to upload the OST file to the tool’s panel
- If you do not know the exact location of the OST file, click on Find Outlook File button
- Once the OST file is uploaded, click on the Convert button to begin the scanning process
Note: The overall time that the tool takes to scan a file depends upon the volume of data it incorporates. You can also abort the scan process by clicking on the Stop button.
- Once the conversion is done, the tool gives a preview of the OST mailbox items, such as mails, contacts, attachments, calendars, shared folders, and deleted items highlighted in (red color) in the left pane.
- In the dialog box that appears, select the PST option under Save As section
- Under the Destination Path section, click on Browse to provide the storage location for saving the resultant PST file. You can also click Apply Advanced Filter link to apply filters and then click OK
Other than saving Exchange OST mailboxes to Outlook PST file, the software allows converting the Offline files to multiple file formats including MSG, HTML, EML, PDF, and RTF. These files can be accessed on desktop-based and web-based email client on both Windows and Mac operating systems.
Manual procedures are quite difficult and involve risk of data loss. Not only would you need technical knowledge for migrating mailboxes from OST to PST, but a lot of attention too while implementing the procedure. Even if the process is accomplished with all the consideration, however, the OST folder structure, security, and integrity of data is not ensured.
Keeping all related factors and features of the migration process in mind, it can be concluded that professional third-party tools are always recommended than manual techniques, since no data is compromised during the process. Therefore, among the four major OST to PST conversion procedures that we discussed, the professional third-party Stellar Converter for OST tool is considered to be the most scalable option.
Check out Stellar Converter for OST MVP reviews here