OST to PST Conversion – Manual Trick versus Professional Tool
Have you even been in a situation that requires OST to PST conversion? If you haven’t been so yet, you may need it sometimes in future. No doubt that Microsoft Outlook is the most popular and excessively used email client around the world. Millions of users use this email client for their personal, organizational as well as business purposes. Being the best communication medium, email plays an important role in business and enterprises. Other than providing email service, Outlook is also used as a personal information manager. It contains features like calendar, contact management, task management, note taking, journal creation, web browsing, etc. Outlook email client is a part of well-known software suite provided by Microsoft, called Microsoft Office. Also, it is available as a separate application. It can be either used as a stand-alone application, or can be configured with Microsoft Exchange Server.
Individual or home users use Outlook as a stand-alone application. But if we talk about an organization, the Outlook profiles of multiple users are connected with Exchange Server. Outlook stores all the mailbox data which include email messages, calendar, contacts, tasks, notes, journals, appointments as well as attachments into an Outlook data file, which is called PST aka personal storage table. PST file is saved in two different formats: ANSI PST for older versions and Unicode PST for newer versions. If you are using MS Outlook 2002 or any earlier version, your PST file is saved in ANSI format which has a maximum size limit of 2 GB. While using MS Outlook 2003 or later versions, the new Unicode format is used to save the PST file which has size limit of 20 to 50 GB.
If your Outlook profile is connected with Exchange Server, Outlook creates a copy of your mailbox data on your local system into a file, which is called OST aka offline storage table. Users are allowed to work in offline mode when they are not connected with Exchange Server. Changes can be done over the OST files and synchronization is performed easily when the connection is available.
Sometimes users get into a situation where they want to convert their OST files into PST format. Just think why OST to PST conversion becomes necessary. What are reasons behind OST to PST conversion? I have figured out few most common scenarios below:
- Microsoft Exchange Server needs regular maintenance. If it goes for maintenance, you can’t access your mailbox data until the process is successfully completed.
- Sometimes MS Exchange Server gets crashed down which creates inaccessibility of mailbox data. It takes enough time to repair an Exchange Server. The mailbox data will be inaccessible until the repairing process gets successfully completed.
- The most common scenario takes place when you are switching to a new organization. You can’t access or open the OST file on any other system as it can only be opened on the system which originally created it. If you want to take your mailbox data with you, you need to convert the OST file into PST format.
In all the above scenarios, OST to PST conversion becomes an essential task for users. But now the question is how to convert OST to PST format. Luckily there are two methods which can be used for OST to PST conversion. Some Outlook professionals suggest a few manual tricks which are helpful in OST to PST conversion. Though the manual tricks don’t convert the OST files into PST format, but still they can help you moving your mailbox data from OST to a new PST file. One of the most common and easiest manual tricks I can share here. It doesn’t require any other third-party application. It only requires MS Outlook email client and little knowledge. MS Outlook provides a built-in Import and Export feature which can help you export the mailbox data from OST file to a new PST file. Follow the steps given below:
Step 1: Launch Microsoft Outlook on your system.
Step 2: Click File tab > Open > Import.
Step 3: The Import and Export Wizard will appear. Choose the action “Export to a file” and click Next to continue the process.
Step 4: Now select Outlook Data File (.pst) in the list, and click Next.
Step 5: Select the folder to export from. If you have multiple PST files, you need to select the file and expand it to check the mailbox folder. Click Next.
Step 6: Click Browse to select a location for saving the new file. Click Finish.
You can check the new PST file now; the exported mailbox folder can be seen here. You can do the same for exporting other mailbox folders.
There are few limitations with the manual tricks:
- First make sure you are using the same computer system which originally created the OST file. Also, make sure that you are connected with your Exchange Server.
- It may take enough time if you have multiple folders to export. Also, bulk action is not possible with manual tricks.
- Manual tricks don’t work if the OST files are corrupt because corruption causes inaccessibility in files. If a file can’t be opened, you can perform the manual tricks.
In such situation, you can switch to a third-party professional solution for converting OST files to PST format. Get advanced OST to PST File Converter tool for safe and highly efficient results in a very quick time. If your OST files are corrupt, the tool magically works for them. It scans the corrupt file first, and then restores the mailbox data from it. Users can save the mailbox data into a new file of PST or any of these formats: DBX, EML, MSG, MBOX and archive (EML, ICS, VCF and text). The tool is highly recommended by Outlook professionals.