Can I Delete Outlook OST Files without Losing Email Messages?

One fine day, a user reported a system-hang issue. Troubleshooting detected overloaded space issue and space overload factor is caused due to voluminous OST files. Outlook users get so possessive about their emails that they do not want to part with the most unwanted emails and attachments even when they are aware that these mails hold no importance. What is the outcome? OST files grow abnormally huge in size and their chances of corruption also get higher. In fact, these enormous OST files can be counted as a database, due to their vast size. Such OST files are prone to corruption leaving no other option for the user but to “delete OST file”. Now the problem arises as to how to you access your Outlook when the OST file is deleted. Read on to understand the process of deleting the OST file without deleting Email messages.

When you delete ost file, it shows following message:

“Careful, if you remove this account, its offline cached content will be deleted, learn how to make a backup of the offline .ost file”

Make sure you Back-up the OST Files

Few experts don’t believe in backing up OST files as they have a preconceived notion that they can easily download these files again from Exchange Server, but as mentioned in the message stated above, it is important for data retention or when the files are deleted accidentally from Outlook. It is recommended that you backup your OST file into PST file format. Backup data in PST format enables you to access OST file data from different accounts if the same Outlook profile is not available.  You can also transfer OST file data to new computer by exporting it to PST format. Use Stellar Converter for OST to export Outlook data into PST file-format. Though Outlook’s Import-Export utility can also be used but the major limitation of this inbuilt utility is that user is unable to export other mail components like calendars, contacts, journals and more. Stellar Converter for OST Recommendations:

Steps to delete OST file without losing Email messages:

Step 1: Close MS Outlook application

Step 2: Go to Start and type Run in the search bar. Search for the OST file from the run command. Enter the following command in the Run Window: C:UsersUser NameAppDataLocalMicrosoftOutlook, as shown in the image below

delete ost file

Step 3: Click Ok and the location where the OST file is placed opens.

Step 4: Select OST file and click on Delete button. A confirmation message appears on the screen ‘Are you sure you want to move this file to Recycle Bin?’ Click on Yes button and the file gets deleted.

Once the OST file is deleted, you may feel the need to recreate the file to let the Outlook work efficiently. This can be done by creating a new OST file with a different pathname and synchronize it with Exchange. Configure your Outlook and initiate working in offline mode with the newly created and synchronized OST.

Steps to create new OST

Once you have received the message of successful deletion of OST file, verify if it is available on Outlook. Once you are sure, follow the below mentioned steps to create and synchronize new OST:

Step 1: Quit MS Exchange Client (MS Outlook)

Step 2: Rename the existing OST file. This ensures that file name is different for each file.

Step 3: Restart MS Outlook in Online Mode

Step 4: You will receive the following error message- “The file “C:\Exchange directory\file name.ost could not be found”. Click OK

Step 5: Got to Offline Folder File Settings dialog box, click OK button

Note: You can also alter the path and the file name of the OST file using this dialog

Step 6: You will receive an error message- “The file c:\Exchange directory\file name.ost’ could not be found. Would you like to create it?” Click Yes

Note – MS Outlook will start in online mode

Step 7: On the Tools menu, click Synchronize-All folders

This way, the newly created OST file gets synchronized with the Exchange Server. Now you can configure Outlook to initiate working in offline mode by using the new OST file.

Why we delete OST file?

We are forced to delete the OST file due to excessive file-corruption. Corrupt OST file hampers the working of your Outlook. It should be deleted as per the procedure mentioned above. You can also use OST to PST Converter by Stellar Data Recovery to repair corrupt file without deleting Outlook OST file.

The unprecedented situation

OST corruption is beyond repair and synchronization is not possible due to inaccessible EDB file! In normal circumstances, when corrupt OST files are deleted by the users it may not result in deletion of Email messages as users are able to retrieve Outlook data by synchronizing data with Exchange server but here the EDB file is also inaccessible. In the event, when Emails are crucial for correspondence, you have to find a solution to either repair the corrupt OST or compromise with ineffective communication.

Situation is avoidable with Stellar converter for OST software. This software tool helps users to repair the corrupt OST files and retrieve data in their Outlook. Wonderful Graphical User Interface assists the user at every step in finding and/or selecting the corrupt OST file, submit this file in the software for scan and repair and ultimately retrieve the file as corruption-free OST.

Free download



All in All

Communication is the lifeline of the organization. If communication is hampered, users are unable to work in perfect harmony. In that case, corruption in OST is certainly not permissible. Click on to install Stellar converter for OST software which scans corrupt files and folders and repairs all mail components and saves them in a new PST. Newly formed PST can be imported to Outlook for mail-data retrieval. All email messages are intact and data is available in original format minus the corruption. To cut the long conversation short, mails are the most valuable data which should be retrieved at all cost. With OST to PST Converter software, users remain free from unwieldy processes and utilize their valuable hours in productivity and business operations.

Please check our MVP review to get more insight about OST to PST converter from stellar.

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