How to Work Offline in Outlook 2016/2013/2010/2007/2003?

admin | May 6th, 2016 | Outlook

Offline folders in MS Outlook let Microsoft users to work offline in such a soft manner that users feel that they are connected to server. It makes end users life easy, generally who migrate from one place to another. However, these offline folders are nothing just a data file that stores Outlook data when it is synchronized with Exchange Server. This data file is known as Offline Storage Table (or OST) file that is a replica of data, stored on Exchange Server and provide offline availability of Outlook items.

Procedure to Switch to Offline Mode:

In status bar of MS Outlook window, if you find that you are working offline then it means that Outlook is disconnected and you cannot send or receive email until the connection is rebuilt. Moreover, to disconnect Outlook from mail server, follow the following procedure:

  1. Launch MS Outlook (if Outlook window is close).
  2. On the menu bar of Outlook window, Click on Send/Receive tab
  3. In Send/Receive tab, Click on Work Offline option
  4. Now your Outlook will get disconnected from mail server and you could work offline


A situation exist when user try to access Outlook in online mode, but every time when they are launching application it shows that Outlook is disconnected from Exchange server i.e. is in offline mode. In such scenarios, user feel difficulty in using Outlook because operation like sending & receiving of mail and many more, cannot be performed.


Such situation exists because OST data file of Outlook is corrupted due to one of the following reason:

  1. Improper synchronization between Exchange mail server and OST file
  2. Virus attack within machine which may occur in Outlook online mode
  3. Improper paging and fragmentation process at the time of memory management


To recover OST file, there are two techniques for fixing and restoring data from corrupted OST file. One is by using an inbuilt Microsoft tool named Scanpst.exe tool and another is by using external software.

Solution 1: Repairing Corrupted OST File Using Scanpst.exe

One of the measures is by using an inbuilt tool of Outlook developed by Microsoft, named Scanpst.exe. Using this tool, you will be able to fix the corrupt OST file and extract some information by first recovering data from corrupted OST file and then performing extraction.

Limitation of Using Scanpst.exe

The technique will only repair less corrupted OST file. The data integrity is not maintained because it will only recover some data & rest data will be deleted. Hence, this solution is not reliable and effective.

Solution 2: Repairing Corrupted OST File Using External Tools

It involves repairing of highly or less corrupted OST file and recovering data from it using third party (external) software that are easily available on web market. One such application is OST Recovery tool that is being initiated to repair corrupted OST files and recover data from it into some particular file format like PST, EML and MSG. Many other supportive features of the software repair and extract data from inaccessible OST Outlook file in flawless manner with attractive GUI.


Working offline in Outlook is a basic feature of MS Outlook that makes end users easy for accessing their data easily without any server connection. Hence, if Outlook OST files are inaccessible that user should prefer OST recovery tool for Convert OST File to PST format and recover their data with performing just few steps and without any trouble.