How to Access Exchange OST Files in Local Machine?

admin | August 6th, 2015 | Outlook

OST files are the Offline Storage Tables of Microsoft Exchange Server. The mailboxes of Exchange® are stored to .ost files with activation of the cached Exchange Mode. This enables users to work Offline with the Server. These OST files are the exact replica of the mailboxes at the Server which contains emails, calendars, journals, etc.

When you add an account to your system that accesses Exchange Server, the OST files are automatically downloaded from the Server to the local machine. You can manually move this OST file to desired location or to any other system.

By default, Outlook does not specify any manual method to open or import the OST files explicitly. However, we can access the OST files using Outlook by recreating the files. Let’s see how to recreate and access the OST files on a local machine.

Re-create an OST File
OST files are the carbon copy of the Exchange mailbox so that you can create its copy at any point of time. By recreating the OST files, you can access the files on your local computer. The following steps describes you how to create a copy of the OST files.

  1. First close the Outlook application from your system.
  2. Go to Control Panel and select Mail.
  3. On E-mail tab Select Exchange Account and then Change.
  4. Uncheck the box Use Cached Exchange Mode.
  5. Go to More Settings.
  6. Click Offline Folder File Settings from Advanced tab.
  7. Disable Offline Use and then click yes that is appearing on the dialog box.
  8. From Offline folder file settings, click OK.
  9. Then check Use Cached Exchange Mode check box.
  10. Click OK and then Finish.
  11. Click Close, In the Account Settings and Mail Setup dialog boxes.

The above mentioned method works only if the OST files are in healthy condition and the Exchange Server is active. The corrupted or Orphan OST files cannot be recreated using this manual method. This is a secured file format that can only be accessed using the Exchange Sever in Cache Enabled Mode. So, what are the other possible solutions to access an OST? One of the solutions I would like to suggest you is to take the help of a third party assistant.

Next Step: OST File Conversion
One of the solutions is to convert the unreliable OST to a more reliable file formats. Convert OST files to PST which is a much reliable and flexible file format. The migration of entire contents of ost file can be carried out using the third party commercial ware OST Converter Tool. The software enables you to transfer the contents from corrupted or orphan ost without any size limitations. You can try this tool to migrate the mails from OST files to your local machine.