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Comprehensive Guide to Convert OST to PST

5 Min. Read

Microsoft Outlook maintains mailbox contents inside an Outlook data file. Based on the email account type (IMAP/MAPI/POP), Outlook may build an OST or Personal Storage Table (PST) file to keep a synchronized copy of mailbox contents on the local machine.

This guide will show you how to convert OST to PST files using both manual methods and Stellar Converter for OST, a powerful tool, so you can access them or import them into another Outlook profile.

Understanding OST and PST Files

OST (Offline Storage Table) files store a synchronized copy of mailbox data from the server, allowing users to work offline and sync back when connected. PST (Personal Storage Table) files store data locally without server authentication.

OST files are primarily used with Microsoft Exchange servers, providing access to mailbox data even when offline. PST files store mailbox items like emails, contacts, and calendar events on your PC, useful for data transfer and non-Exchange accounts.

Key differences:

  • OST files require authentication from the linked profile and Exchange server
  • If the server is down or the profile is deleted, access to OST files is blocked
  • PST files are compatible with multiple Microsoft Outlook versions and services

In data recovery and file conversion, understanding the uses of OST and PST files is essential for addressing synchronization failures, migrating data, and managing server downtime.

Reasons to Convert OST to PST

There are several compelling reasons to convert OST files to PST:

  1. Server crashes: When a Microsoft Exchange Server fails, converting OST to PST ensures continued access to email, calendar, and contacts.
  2. Data recovery: Converting corrupted OST files to PST allows extraction of emails, contacts, and tasks, maintaining their original structure.
  3. Server downtime and synchronization issues: Converting OST to PST bypasses sync problems and provides immediate data access.
  4. Data migration: When switching email services, converting OST to PST simplifies the transfer process.
  5. Accessing data without an Exchange server: PST files allow local access without server authentication.
  6. Managing large file sizes: Converting and archiving PST files helps avoid data loss and optimize Outlook performance.

These conversions ensure data integrity, accessibility, and better management in various scenarios, making them crucial for both individual users and organizations.

Reasons to Convert OST to PST
Reasons to Convert OST to PST

Manual Methods to Convert OST to PST

Three manual methods can be used to convert OST files to PST using Microsoft Outlook:

1. Import/Export Wizard

  • Open Outlook and go to File > Open & Export > Import/Export
  • Select “Export to a file” > “Outlook Data File (.pst)”
  • Choose folders to export and set the destination path

2. Archiving Method

  • In Outlook, go to File > Options > Advanced
  • Click “AutoArchive Settings” and configure options

3. Drag and Drop Mailbox Items

  • Create a new PST file in Outlook
  • Manually drag items from OST mailbox to PST file folders

Limitations of manual methods:

  • Time-consuming, especially for large mailboxes
  • Risk of data loss if interrupted or the OST file is corrupted
  • Requires technical proficiency
  • May not handle large OST files efficiently
  • Lack of error handling for corrupted files or sync issues

While manual methods are free, they have drawbacks in terms of time, complexity, and reliability. For larger mailboxes or more secure conversions, specialized tools like Stellar Converter for OST offer better alternatives.

Using Stellar Converter for OST

Stellar Converter for OST is a powerful tool for converting OST files to PST, offering features to handle large, encrypted, or corrupted files. It can recover deleted emails and provide a preview of converted files.

Steps to install Stellar Converter for OST:

  1. Download the software
  2. When Opening Dialog Box Appears, click Save File
  3. When Downloads Windows Appears, double-click the (StellarConverterforOST-Corporate.exe) file
  4. When the Security Warning Dialog Box Appears, click Run
  5. Select the desired language to use during the installation
  6. Accept the license agreement and click Next
  7. Select the destination installation location path
  8. Select Create a desktop shortcut and proceed with the installation
Steps to install Stellar Converter for OST
Steps to install Stellar Converter for OST

Steps to use Stellar Converter for OST:

  1. Run the software and select the OST file
  2. Initiate conversion
  3. Preview the converted file
  4. Save the converted PST
Steps to use Stellar Converter for OST
Steps to use Stellar Converter for OST

Key features:

  • Handles large OST files efficiently
  • Recovers deleted emails
  • Provides detailed preview of converted items
  • Compatible with various Outlook versions
  • Manages encrypted and corrupted OST files

Stellar Converter for OST offers a reliable solution for converting OST to PST, ensuring data integrity and accessibility. Its ability to handle various file issues makes it useful for both individual and enterprise-level data management.

Advanced Features of Stellar Converter for OST

Stellar Converter for OST offers several advanced features to optimize the conversion process and provide users with enhanced control over their data:

1) Auto-locate functionality: Automatically detects and lists OST files from IMAP, Exchange, or Microsoft 365 profiles configured in Outlook.

To use:

  1. Launch Stellar Converter for OST.
  2. Choose the option to ‘List Profiles’.
  3. Select the desired OST file from the displayed list.
  4. Click ‘Convert’ to proceed.
Stellar OST Converter Auto-locate functionality
Stellar OST Converter Auto-locate functionality

2) Batch conversion: Allows conversion of multiple OST files to PST format in a single process. This feature is available in Technician Edition.

Steps:

  1. Open Stellar Converter for OST.
  2. Use ‘Add OST’ to select multiple files.
  3. Select ‘Batch Conversion Mode’.
  4. Click ‘Convert’.
  5. Choose ‘Save’ to export converted files.
Stellar OST Converter Batch conversion
Stellar OST Converter Batch conversion

3) Exporting to Microsoft 365: Enables direct mailbox data migration to Microsoft/Office 365 accounts. This feature is available in Technician Edition.

To export:

  1. Run Stellar Converter for OST.
  2. Convert the OST file.
  3. Click ‘Save Converted File’.
  4. Select ‘Export to Office 365’.
  5. Enter Office 365 credentials and proceed.
Stellar OST Converter Export to Microsoft 365
Stellar OST Converter Export to Microsoft 365

4) Multiple format support: Saves converted data in formats including MSG, EML, RTF, HTML, and PDF.

To save in various formats:

  1. Complete OST file conversion.
  2. Click ‘Save Converted File’.
  3. Choose the desired format from the saving options.
  4. Specify destination path and finalize.

These features benefit both individual and enterprise users by simplifying data management, facilitating efficient migration, and ensuring data integrity during transitions.

Advanced Features of Stellar Converter for OST
Advanced Features of Stellar Converter for OST

Troubleshooting and FAQs

Let’s review the common troubleshooting issues and address the frequently asked questions by many users.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

1) Invalid OST File Error:

  • Check file integrity and correct selection
  • Verify access permissions

2) Missing Contacts After Conversion:

  • Import PST file in Outlook
  • Use Ctrl + Shift + F to locate contacts

3) Issues Opening Converted PST Files:

  • Reconfigure mail profile
  • Ensure Outlook version compatibility
Troubleshooting and FAQs
Troubleshooting and FAQs

FAQs about Stellar Converter for OST

Q1: Can it handle large OST files?
A: Yes, it can manage and convert large OST files efficiently.

Q2: How to exclude deleted items during conversion?
A: Use the “Do not convert Deleted Items” checkbox option.

Q3: How to view a log report?
A: Go to the ‘View’ ribbon and select ‘View Log Report’.

Q4: Does it offer split PST file options?
A: Yes, it includes an auto-split feature for managing larger PST files.

Q5: How does it handle deleted emails?
A: It can recover deleted emails, which are displayed in red in the preview pane.

Q6: Is Microsoft Outlook required for conversion?
A: Not for converting and previewing, but needed for save options and importing PST files.

Q7: Can it convert encrypted OST files?
A: Yes, it can handle and convert encrypted OST files.

Q8: How long does conversion take?
A: Depends on file size and number of items.

Q9: How to find OST files if location is unknown?
A: Use the ‘Find’ function to search for OST files on your system.

Q10: Can converted files be previewed before saving?
A: Yes, a detailed preview of all mailbox items is provided after conversion.

In Summary

Converting OST files to PST is crucial for maintaining data integrity and accessibility. The right tools can ensure seamless communication and effective data management. Studies have shown that efficient email management can increase productivity by up to 21%.

When manual methods fall short in converting OST to PST, Stellar Converter for OST steps in as a powerful alternative. This tool handles large, encrypted, or corrupted OST files, ensuring data integrity and accessibility.

By using Stellar Converter for OST, you can bypass the limitations of manual methods and ensure a seamless conversion process, making it an essential tool for both individual users and enterprises.

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-Charbel Nemnom-

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About the Author:
Charbel Nemnom
Charbel Nemnom is a Senior Cloud Architect with 21+ years of IT experience. As a Swiss Certified Information Security Manager (ISM), CCSP, CISM, Microsoft MVP, and MCT, he excels in optimizing mission-critical enterprise systems. His extensive practical knowledge spans complex system design, network architecture, business continuity, and cloud security, establishing him as an authoritative and trustworthy expert in the field. Charbel frequently writes about Cloud, Cybersecurity, and IT Certifications.
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