OST or Offline Folder File plays a very important role in the functioning of Outlook client by storing important information like emails, contacts, notes and calendar information in the computer hard drive. This allows users to access their emails while offline and also compose and send emails after being connected to the server. However, to prevent any data loss due in case of corruption it is extremely important to convert the file from OST to PST format.
There are instances where a user account gets removed from the exchange server by mistake or by an administrator due to security reasons. Due to this the information stored in the OST file in Outlook client becomes unstable or even get deleted and the only way to retrieve the data is through OST to PST conversion or taking the help of an external third party recovery software.
In many cases where an employee leave a certain place of employment or detect any security threat in their Outlook account they remove the account from the Microsoft Exchange Server which destroys the OST file where information’s are stored. It is only possible to open the OST files through the Exchange email account that was used to create it. This makes it nearly impossible to open the OST files and the only way remaining for the user is to salvage the data through OST to PST conversion.
Moreover, recovery of data from the OST files depends on the user’s accessibility to the computer used to create the user account and the restoration point set in the computer. If the user has no access to the computer used in creating the OST files or the restore point no longer exists, there remains no option for the user other than using a third party software like “DataNumen Exchange Recovery” to retrieve the lost data and convert it from OST to PST format.
Apart from this the user can also try to use the archive feature which allows the user to move or copy mailbox items to a new PST file. You can use the archive feature in Outlook 2003 and before by following the steps mentioned below:
- Select ‘Options’ from the ‘Tools’ menu in Outlook
- Click on ‘Other’ tab followed by ‘AutoArchive’
- Select the checkbox to enable Autoarchive (You can disable this feature by selecting ‘Archive’)
Archiving can move almost all items from OST file to a newly created PST file. However, it is not possible to archive the Contacts list which is the main disadvantage of this feature.
Exporting items is another good alternative to convert files from OST to PST format. However, this method in most of the cases is not recommended as the best way for OST to PST conversion. Still it is one of the easiest ways to move contents from the OST file to a PST file without facing much hassle. With this you can move all items including Contacts list which is not possible through Archiving.
If all the above methods fail to recover and convert your files from OST to PST format, you can always take the aid of third party software like “DataNumen Exchange Recovery” as mentioned earlier.