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Why is it necessary to convert an OST file to a PST and how can you do it?

The OST (Offline Storage Table) file holds a copy of mailbox data locally on the server and enables users to work without server or network connectivity. On the hard drive, the file contains all mailbox items, including emails, contacts, sent items, calendars, notes, and journals. Outlook allows users to compose, revise, save, and delete emails while offline. All of these modifications are synchronized with the Exchange Server whenever you connect to it. The OST file is associated with the account from which it was created and cannot be moved or copied to a different account.


The PST (Personal Storage Table) file, on the other hand, is an additional Outlook data file that is created with POP3 accounts and stores email messages, contacts, calendars, tasks, journals, and other mailbox items. The PST can be readily moved and transferred to a different Outlook profile. This file also serves as a duplicate copy.

Why must an OST file be converted to PST format?

In most cases, it is not necessary to convert OST files to PST format. However, certain circumstances can require you to convert OST files to PST format. Listed below are frequent instances in which it becomes necessary to convert OST to PST:

Exchange Server Crashes – Exchange Server can collapse as a result of a sudden power outage, a virus infection, internal bugs, etc. In such a scenario, you are unable to connect to the Exchange Server or access the mailbox data until connectivity is restored. In such situations, you can convert the OST file to PST format to access your mailbox’s contents.

Data Migration – If you are migrating Outlook mailbox data (OST) to a different account or system, you cannot do so directly because the OST file cannot be accessed in another account. Therefore, converting OST files to PST files becomes necessary.

Reduce the Size of the OST File – Large OST files are more susceptible to corruption. To reduce file size, you can migrate data from an OST file to a PST file.

Exchange Server Maintenance – During Exchange Server maintenance, you cannot access your mailbox data. When it becomes crucial to access the data during the maintenance phase, you can convert the OST file format to the PST file format.

Changing Organization – Even if you have the OST file, you cannot access the data if you transfer to a new organization. To access the mailbox data contained in an OST file, you must convert it to PST format.

Mailbox Corruption – When the OST file becomes corrupted or damaged, mailbox data becomes inaccessible. To acquire easy access to the data in this situation, you can convert the OST file to PST format.

OST File Becomes Inaccessible or Orphaned – If the Exchange profile is disabled or inactive, the synchronization process between the mailbox (OST) and the server can be disrupted. In this case, the OST file is regarded as an orphaned file. To access the information in an orphaned OST file, you must convert it to PST format.

How Do You Convert an OST File to a PST Format?

There are various methods for converting OST files to PST format. Below are several methods for converting OST to PST files.

Read More: Convert Export/Migrate inaccessible OST file

Method 1: Using the Outlook Import/Export Wizard.

Outlook’s Import and Export wizard can be used to convert OST files to PST format. Listed below are the steps:

Note: Ensure that your Outlook account is synchronized with your Exchange profile and that you have the correct authentication credentials.

  • Launch Microsoft Outlook and select ‘Import and Export’ from the File menu.
  • Select ‘Export to a file’ and then select ‘Next.’
  • Click and select Outlook Data File (.pst) in the third step.
  • Select the folder you wish to convert and then select “Next.”
  • Go to the location where you want to save the output file (a PST file) by clicking “Browse” and then selecting it.
  • Click ‘Finish.’

Method 2 – Use the Archive Option to Transfer Mailbox Information to PST

Outlook’s Archive feature can also be used to migrate ancient emails and other data from OST to PST. Follow the instructions below:

  1. Launch the Microsoft Outlook program.
  2. Select Archive from the Cleanup Tools menu under the File menu.
  3. Select the desired archive subdirectory.
  4. Navigate to the storage location for the archived file.
  5. Click ‘Finish.’

Note: With this method, all OST data except contacts can be converted to PST format.

Method 3 – Drag and Drop Method

Additionally, you can create a new PST file and drag and drop the products into it. Follow the instructions below:

  1. Launch Microsoft Outlook in the first step.
  2. Create a new PST file within your Outlook profile in the second step.
  3. Drag the required items/folders and place them into the newly created file.

Note: You cannot drag the Inbox, Contacts, and default folders into the PST file.

Utilize a Professional Application to Convert OST to PST

Although the manual methods described above are free to use, they are time-consuming and require technical knowledge. Additionally, they will only function if the Outlook profile and OST file are accessible. To avoid the inconveniences and restrictions of manual methods, you can use Mailvita OST to PST Converter, a professional OST to PST conversion tool. You may easily convert the OST file to PST format with this expert software while keeping the hierarchy and structure of your mail items, including messages, attachments, notes, calendars, contacts, journals, etc. In addition, it is possible to convert inaccessible OST files to PST format. The application is compatible with Microsoft Outlook 2021, 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, and earlier versions. This software is compatible with all versions of Mac and Windows OS.

Here are the steps for converting OST to PST file:

  • Download and install the OST to PST Converter software on your computer.
  • Launch the software and select the OST files you want to convert or click on the “Browse” button.


  • The software will scan the selected OST files and display a preview of the data contained within them.


  • Choose the files you wish to recover and select the export type option.
  • Set the output file format as PST and specify the location where you want to save the converted files by clicking on the browse button.
  • Finally, Click on the “Generate Now” button to begin the conversion process.



You can need to convert OST files to PST for a variety of reasons, including Exchange Server malfunction, large OST file size, server maintenance, and mailbox corruption. To convert an OST file to PST format in Outlook, you can utilize the aforementioned methods. Use an OST to PST converter tool, such as OST to PST Converter, if the OST file becomes deserted or inaccessible. It can convert the OST file to PST format in a few straightforward steps while preserving the mailbox’s hierarchy and structure.


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