Top 4 Methods to Convert OST to PST - A Complete Guide

Jan 20, 2024 | By Deepak Singh Bisht

If you've ever needed to convert OST file to PST but felt unsure about how to do it, you're in the right place. This task can seem tricky, especially if you're not too familiar with tech stuff. But don't worry, we're here to help you out.

In this post, we're going to explain everything about OST and PST files, including why and when you might need to convert OST to PST. We'll show you the easiest ways to do this, guiding you through different methods to convert, export, and migrate OST to PST. Also, we'll introduce you to a really useful OST File Converter tool - the SysCurve OST to PST Converter, which makes converting OST file to PST a lot simpler and more secure.

What is an OST file?

An OST file, or Offline Storage Table file, is an essential component in the world of Microsoft Outlook. It plays a significant role for users who need to manage their emails and other data offline. Let's break down what this means and why it's important.

Key features of OST files

Offline access: OST files are designed to enable you to access your emails, calendar entries, contacts, and tasks even when you're not connected to the internet. This is particularly useful for those who travel frequently or have limited internet access.

Synchronization: When you reconnect to the internet, the OST file automatically synchronizes with the Microsoft Exchange server. This means any changes you made while offline, like new emails you wrote or appointments you added to your calendar, get updated on the server.

Data integrity: In scenarios where your Exchange server might be undergoing maintenance or facing issues, the OST file ensures that you still have access to your data. It acts as a backup, safeguarding your information against server downtimes.

Use with Exchange accounts: OST files are commonly associated with Microsoft Exchange accounts. They are automatically created when you set up your Outlook with an Exchange account in cached mode.

Why are OST files important?

Convenience and flexibility: They allow you to work with your Outlook data even when you're offline, providing a seamless work experience.

Data security: OST files serve as a backup for your mailbox data on the server, adding an extra layer of security.

Efficiency: The synchronization feature ensures that your offline work gets reflected online without any extra effort on your part.

Why convert OST to PST?

Converting OST (Offline Storage Table) files to PST (Personal Storage Table) files in Microsoft Outlook is a common practice for several reasons. Understanding when you might need to migrate OST to PST can help you decide if this conversion is necessary for your situation. Here's why you might need to convert OST to PST:

Data backup and portability

  1. Backup: PST files serve as a reliable backup for your emails and other Outlook data. Converting OST to PST helps in creating a backup, especially if the Exchange server is unavailable or you are leaving a job and want to take your emails with you.
  2. Portability: PST files are more portable and can be easily transferred or accessed on different computers. This is useful if you need to move data from one place to another or wish to access it on a different machine.

Corruption and accessibility issues

  1. Repairing corruption: OST files can become corrupted due to various reasons like software issues, abrupt shutdowns, or virus attacks. Converting them to PST can sometimes bypass these corruptions, allowing access to your data.
  2. Access without Exchange server: In cases where the Exchange server is down or you're no longer connected to the Exchange account (e.g., after leaving a job), converting OST to PST allows you to access your emails and other data.

Organizational and legal compliance

  1. Data management: Organizations may require data to be stored in a specific format for consistency, making PST a preferred choice.
  2. Legal and compliance needs: For legal discovery or compliance purposes, converting OST files to PST makes it easier to archive and retrieve specific data as needed.

Simplified Data management and migration

  1. Easier to manage: PST files are simpler to manage, especially for archiving purposes. They can be easily imported or exported through Outlook.
  2. Migration to different Email clients: If you're switching to a different email client or a newer version of Outlook, converting OST to PST can facilitate smoother data migration.

In summary, converting OST to PST is often about gaining more control and flexibility over your email data. Whether it's for backup, recovery, or simplifying data management, this conversion process can be a critical step in ensuring your important emails and calendar information are accessible and secure.

How to convert OST to PST?

You can convert OST to PST manually in Microsoft Outlook through various methods, or you can use specialized software like an OST to PST converter for a more automated approach. Each method has its unique steps and benefits. Let's explore how you can accomplish this task using both approaches.

Note: Before you begin the process to convert OST file to PST, it's highly recommended to create a backup copy of your original OST file. This precautionary step ensures that your data remains safe and secure throughout the conversion process.


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Method 1: Convert OST to PST by exporting your mailbox

Learn how to convert OST to PST manually using a straightforward method to export your mailbox in Microsoft Outlook. This method is especially useful if you need to create a backup of your mailbox data or if you are transitioning to a different email client. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you through the process:

1. Open Microsoft Outlook on your computer. Make sure you are logged in with the MS Exchange account associated with the OST file you want to convert.

Opening Outlook for OST conversion

2. Click on the File menu, then select 'Open & Export' and choose 'Import & Export'.

Accessing Outlook's Import & Export menu

3. In the Import and Export Wizard, click on 'Export to a file' and then click the 'Next' button.

Selecting Export to a file in Outlook

4. Choose 'Outlook data file (.pst)' and then click the 'Next' button.

Choosing PST format in Export Wizard

5. Now, select the folder or folders that you want to export from your OST file. You can choose your entire mailbox or specific folders, depending on your need. Then click the 'Next' button.

Selecting folders in OST for export

6. Specify where you want to save the new PST file on your computer. Choose a location that's easy to remember and accessible, as you will need this file later.

Setting save location for PST file

7. Select 'Do not export duplicate items' to ensure that your PST file does not contain any duplicate information from your OST file. Then click the 'Finish' button to start the exporting process.

Excluding duplicates in PST export

Once the process is completed, you'll have a PST file with all the data from your OST file. This file can be imported into another Outlook profile, used as a backup, or transferred to another computer as needed.

Method 2: Convert OST to PST using the archive function

Another way to convert OST to PST manually is by using the Archive function in Microsoft Outlook. This method is particularly useful for organizing older items that you want to store separately from your main OST file. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to use the Archive function for converting OST to PST:

1. Launch Microsoft Outlook on your computer.

Launching Microsoft Outlook on computer

2. Click on the 'File' menu at the top-left corner of the Outlook window. From the File menu, choose 'Options'.

Accessing Options from File menu in Outlook

3. In the Options window, navigate to the 'Advanced' tab.

Navigating to Advanced tab in Outlook Options

4. Within the Advanced tab, find and click on the 'Auto Archive Settings' button.

Selecting Auto Archive Settings in Outlook

5. In the Auto Archive settings, decide how often you want the function to run (e.g., every few days, weeks, or months) and set other preferences as needed.

Configuring Auto Archive frequency in Outlook

6. Specify a destination path for the new PST file. After configuring all settings, click 'OK' to save these settings and initiate the archiving process.

Setting destination for PST file in Outlook Archive

By using the Archive function, you can effectively convert portions of your OST file into a PST format. This method is particularly handy for managing older emails and data that you don't need immediate access to but still want to keep.

Method 3: Convert OST to PST using drag and drop

This method is ideal for transferring specific emails or folders from an OST file to a PST file. It's particularly useful when you only need to move a few items rather than converting an entire OST file, as it can be quite time-consuming for large volumes of data. Here's how you can use the drag and drop method:

Step 1: Create a new PST file in Outlook

1. Launch the Outlook application on your computer.

Launching Outlook application on computer

2. Go to the 'Home' tab on the Outlook ribbon. Click on 'New Items', then select 'More Items', and choose 'Outlook Data File' from the dropdown menu.

Navigating Home tab in Outlook to create Data File

3. Decide where you want to save the new PST file on your computer, navigate to that location, assign the file a name, and then click 'OK' to create the new PST file.

Saving new PST file in Outlook

Step 2: Drag and Drop Emails/Folders

1. In the Outlook navigation pane, find the PST file you created.

Locating created PST file in Outlook

2. Right-click on the PST file you created and select the 'New Folder' option.

Creating new folder in PST file in Outlook

3. Give the new folder a name and press the Enter key.

Naming new folder in Outlook PST file

4. In the OST file, select the specific emails or folders you wish to transfer. Hold down the 'Ctrl' key while clicking to select multiple items.

Selecting emails for transfer in Outlook OST

5. While holding the 'Ctrl' key, drag the selected items from the OST file and drop them into the newly created folder in the PST file.

Dragging items to PST folder in Outlook

6. After completing the drag-and-drop process, navigate to the new PST file to verify that the emails and folders have been correctly transferred.

Verifying transferred emails in Outlook PST

Using the Drag and Drop method, you can selectively move items from your OST file to a PST file. While it's a simple and effective method for transferring specific data, it's important to note that it might not be practical for large data transfers due to the time and effort involved. However, for smaller data migrations or specific item transfers, this method can be quite efficient and user-friendly.

Method 4: Export OST to PST using OST to PST Converter

If manual methods for converting OST to PST seem too complex or time-consuming for your needs, or if you're looking for an easier way to export OST to PST, the SysCurve OST to PST Converter tool can be an excellent alternative. This tool not only simplifies the conversion process but also provides additional functionalities such as repairing corrupted OST files and offering multiple export options. It's an effective solution for those who need a more straightforward and reliable way to handle their OST files.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Use the SysCurve OST File Converter

1. Begin by downloading and installing the SysCurve OST to PST Converter tool on your computer. Launch the tool and click on the 'Add file' option to browse for and select the OST file you wish to convert.

Downloading and installing SysCurve OST to PST Converter

2. After locating and selecting the file, click 'OK' to start the process of loading it into the software.

Selecting OST file in SysCurve OST Converter

3. Once the OST file is loaded, the software will display a preview of its contents, allowing you to review the data before proceeding. Click on the 'Export' option to continue.

Previewing OST file

4. In the Export window, select the 'Export All Folders' option and choose 'PST (Outlook Data File (.pst))' as the export format. Specify the destination on your computer where you want to save the new PST file, then click on the 'Next' button.

Setting export options in SysCurve OST File Converter

5. The software will then process and convert the selected data from the OST file into PST format. Once the conversion is complete, you can find the newly created PST files at the designated location.

Conversion to PST format in SysCurve OST Converter

The SysCurve OST to PST Converter tool is a comprehensive solution that not only facilitates easy conversion of OST files into PST format but also extends its capabilities to formats like MSG, EML, MBOX, RTF, HTML, and even migration to Office 365. This makes it a versatile tool for various data management needs, especially for those who require a more efficient and less technical approach to convert their OST files.

Other helpful features

  1. Convert OST to PST, MBOX, EML, MSG, HTML, and RTF.
  2. Preview OST file data.
  3. Perform selective conversion based on To, Cc, Bcc, From, Date, etc.
  4. Save individual emails in various formats.
  5. Migrate OST to Office 365 and Live Exchange.
  6. Free OST to PST conversion for the first 20 items per folder.
  7. Support all versions of MS Outlook.
  8. Compatible with Windows OS.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of using SysCurve OST to PST Converter over manual methods?

SysCurve OST to PST Converter simplifies the process of converting OST files to PST, making it more efficient than manual methods. It's an effective OST file converter tool that can handle large files, repair corrupted OST files, and is accessible even for users with limited technical expertise.

Is it possible to convert OST file to PST without an Exchange account using the SysCurve tool?

Yes, with the SysCurve OST File Converter tool, you can convert OST files to PST without needing access to the original Exchange account. This feature is particularly beneficial for handling OST files from inactive or closed Exchange accounts.

How does the SysCurve tool ensure the security of my data during the convert OST to PST process?

During the convert OST file to PST process, SysCurve ensures data security by processing the conversion locally on your computer, safeguarding your sensitive information from external servers or online threats.

Is the manual method of converting OST to PST reliable for large files?

While manual methods to export OST to PST are feasible, they may not be the most reliable for very large files or when dealing with corrupted OST files. For large-scale conversions or to repair damaged files, a specialized tool like SysCurve OST to PST Converter is often more effective.

Can I select specific emails to convert when using manual methods?

Yes, when using manual methods such as the 'Drag and Drop' technique, you can select specific emails or folders from your OST file and manually drag them into a new PST file. This method provides flexibility but can be time-consuming for large volumes of data.

Is it possible to migrate OST to Office 365 using the SysCurve OST to PST Converter?

Yes, the SysCurve OST File Converter tool provides functionality to migrate OST to Office 365. With this tool, you can also import OST to Live Exchange.

Can I use SysCurve to convert OST files to PST for free?

SysCurve offers a demo version that allows free conversion of the first 20 items per folder from an OST file to PST. This demo version is a great opportunity to evaluate the capabilities of the OST to PST Converter before purchasing the full version.

What should I do if my OST file is large? Can SysCurve handle it?

SysCurve is designed to efficiently manage and convert large OST files to PST. Its robust processing capability ensures smooth conversion, even for substantial OST files, though the time taken may increase with the file size.

Will my folder structure be preserved after using SysCurve to export OST to PST?

Yes, when you export OST to PST using SysCurve, the integrity of your folder structure and hierarchy is preserved, ensuring that the PST file accurately reflects the organization of the original OST file.

If my OST file is corrupted, can SysCurve still convert it to PST?

Absolutely. The SysCurve OST File Converter tool is equipped with advanced algorithms capable of repairing and converting corrupted OST files, making it a reliable solution for damaged or inaccessible OST files.

Do I need to have Microsoft Outlook installed to use SysCurve for OST to PST conversion?

No, you do not need to have Microsoft Outlook installed on your computer to use the SysCurve OST to PST Converter. This tool operates independently, facilitating the conversion of OST files to PST without the need for Outlook.

Can the converted PST files be used with older versions of Outlook?

Generally, the PST files created using SysCurve are compatible with various versions of Microsoft Outlook, including older ones. However, it's advisable to verify compatibility with the specific version of Outlook you intend to use.

Does the demo version of the SysCurve OST File Converter tool include all features of the full version?

The demo version of SysCurve OST File Converter tool includes many of the same features as the full version, such as the ability to preview OST file data and perform selective conversion. However, the conversion limit of 20 items per folder is the primary restriction of the demo version.

The final word

When it comes to managing your Outlook data, the ability to efficiently convert OST to PST is crucial. Whether you're looking to export OST to PST for backup purposes, migrate your data to a new system, or simply convert an OST file to PST for easier access, having the right tools and knowledge is key.

For those who prefer manual methods, options like exporting your mailbox directly through Outlook offer a straightforward way to convert OST to PST. This approach is great for those who need a quick solution for smaller files or are comfortable navigating Outlook's settings.

However, if you're dealing with a larger OST file or encountering issues like data corruption, a dedicated OST file converter tool like the SysCurve OST to PST Converter becomes invaluable. This tool simplifies the process, making it easy to convert and export OST to PST without the risk of losing important data.

The Author

Deepak Singh Bisht

Deepak Singh Bisht

Content Lead |

Deepak Singh Bisht is a dedicated IT professional with over 9 years of experience, is a key member at SysCurve Software for the last 5 years. His expertise lies in email migration and data recovery, with a focus on technologies like MS Outlook and Office 365. Deepak, who also delves into front-end technology and software development, holds a Bachelor's degree in Computer Applications.

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