Convert OST to PST
There is a huge population of users relying on Microsoft Outlook for e-mail and personal information management at office, school, and home. Everyone uses it every day but not everyone knows how Outlook stores your information data behind the scene. Many people panic on how to when it comes to a hard disk crash, changing computer, leaving a job or graduating from school.
What are OST and PST?
You may consider OST (Offline Storage Table) and PST (Personal Storage Table) as containers that store all folders where your Outlook data are placed according to its types, such as mail, contact, calendar and task.
OST files are more like local cache associated with mail accounts that exist in Outlook such as Exchange account or Gmail account. If accounts are gone, then data in OST is not accessible.
PST files are local storage files on your computers that contain data you can readily access anytime and anywhere since they are not associated to any mail accounts.
How to backup OST and PST?
Since OST can only be accessed while mail accounts still exist in Outlook, you need to back it up somewhere before it gets deleted from Outlook. There are 2 methods:
- Export a part or all of OST to a file format recognizable and accessible, such as PST or CSV file, for future access.
- Copy OST content to folders within a new or existing PST file under Outlook. It is a lot easier to manage PST files because they are mail account-independent. All you need to do is close Outlook and copy .PST files to your backup location
Backing up somewhere
- Access to OST – Make sure you can access your OST under Outlook
a. If your account still exists on your computer, then simply copy OST content to a PST folder.
b. If you deleted your account, then restore window to when it was deleted and proceed to the copying step
- Export OST – Your can follow what How to backup OST and PST? says to export OST folders to two output file formats
a. CSV – you can only export folders rather than the whole account
b. PST – you can export the whole account
How to backup offline OST and PST files
OST and PST files are meant to be accessed within Outlook. However, there are circumstances where OST and PST files are no longer associated with your Outlook. What can you do to retrieve the data within? There are several Backup tools available dealing with offline OST and PST files such as 4Team’s OST PST Viewer, OST2, PST Merger as well as Kernel OST Viewer. These software applications are not cheap. Thus, it is better to use the copy, move, and export features in Outlook.