How to Fix “OST File is not Updating” Outlook Error?

Summary: In this post, we have discussed the problem of OST file not updating automatically. We have shared some solutions to fix the issue. We have also mentioned a specialized OST converter tool that you can download below to extract OST data in case you can’t access Outlook.

Offline Storage Table (OST) is a replica of your Exchange mailbox, which is stored on the local system. This file is synchronized with the mailbox on your Exchange server whenever there is Exchange connectivity. However, in some situations, you may face issues such as Outlook inbox not updating, Outlook not syncing, etc.

Signs of Outlook syncing improperly with Exchange mailbox

  • Differences in the messages received in Outlook client and Outlook Web Access (OWA).
  • Some items, such as emails, contacts, etc. missing in the OST file when you sync the file with your Exchange mailbox.
  • Errors when you sync the OST file with Exchange mailbox.

When OST File is not Updating, you may receive an error message similar to the following:

Cannot Start Microsoft Outlook error

A common cause behind “Outlook inbox not updating” or “Outlook OST is not updating Outlook” issue is a damaged (corrupt) or orphaned OST file.

Solutions to Fix ‘OST File is Not Updating Outlook’ Issue

You can repair the damaged OST file by using the Outlook’s Inbox Repair tool or recreate the file to resolve the problem. Both solutions are discussed below.

Solution #1: Repair OST File

For Outlook 2010 and newer versions

If you are using Outlook 2010, 2013, 2016, or 2019, you can use Scanpst.exe to repair the OST file. However, before using this utility, try to update the folder in your mailbox manually by following these steps:

  • Right-click the desired folder and select Properties.
  • Select Clear Offline Items and then select OK.
Outlook folder properties window.
  • Click Send/Receive tab on the top and click Update Folder.

For Outlook 2003 and 2007

Outlook 2003 and 2007 come with OST Integrity Check Tool or Scanost.exe that can remove inconsistencies in an OST file. You can use this tool to repair your OST file and fix the problem of Outlook 2003 not syncing or Outlook 2007 not syncing.

Read: Repair OST File in Outlook (2019/16/2013/2010/2007)

You can find Scanost.exe in the following locations:

  • Outlook 2003: drive:\Program Files\Common Files\System\MSMAPI\LocaleID
  • Outlook 2007: drive:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE12

To use Scanost.exe, follow the given steps:

  1. Close Outlook and launch Scanost.exe.
  2. Select the Outlook profile that contains the OST file you want to repair.
  3. Select Repair Errors checkbox.
  4. Click Begin Scan.

Solution #2: Recreate OST File

To fix the problem of OST file not updating, you can try to recreate the OST file. For this, take the following steps:

  • Export your mailbox data to PST so that you have a backup of your mailbox.
  • Close Outlook and delete the OST file from your system. You can find its location by going to File > Account Settings > Account Settings > Data Files. Note the file location and delete the file manually.
OST file location in Account Settings

Note: If any program that’s linked to the OST file is also open (such as Skype for business), then close that program as well.

  • Open Outlook. It will display a “Preparing for first use” message.
  • Wait for Outlook to recreate the OST file.

What to do if the above methods fail to fix OST File sync issues?

In most situations, you can simply recreate the OST file to fix the Outlook sync problem. However, if you can’t access Outlook, then you can’t recreate the OST file. So, what can you do?

In such a case, you need to recover the data from OST file. For this, you have to convert the file into PST first. You can easily convert an OST file to PST by using a specialized software such as Stellar Converter for OST.

Stellar Converter for OST is a trusted and user-friendly OST to PST converter software that can extract and convert the OST data to PST in just a few clicks.  

Following are some impressive features that make Stellar Converter for OST the best tool for OST to PST conversion tool:

  • User-friendly and intuitive interface
  • Can convert even large OST files
  • Supports all Outlook versions including 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, & older
  • Splits and compacts large PST files


Sometimes, Outlook users encounter problems with OST updating and synchronization. Usually, this happens due to an oversized or damaged (corrupted) OST file. You can fix the problem by recreating the OST file or by repairing it with Inbox Repair tool. If these fixes don’t work and you can’t access the Outlook, then it’s best to recover the OST data by using a reliable OST converter tool.

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