Microsoft Outlook mail management client uses OST files to store the data in the mailbox of users in an offline file, which enables users to access their emails even when they are not connected to the internet. The OST file is stored locally on user hard drive and is linked to a specific email account. It acts like a handy back-up for all the mails on users’ Outlook account. Sometime, a bug in the email client might corrupt the OST file, making it inaccessible. Here are some key tips that might help in fixing OST files, in order to recover lost emails.
Microsoft’s Outlook is a personal information management client that is used by individuals or organizations to store and manage email accounts, calender, contact list and tasks. Data belonging to a particular account is stored in OST offline storage files, that not only act as a back-up, but also helps in accessing emails and other information even when the user is not connected to the internet. OST recovery can be performed using Advance Exchange Recovery or by accessing the in-built Outlook repair utility. The Microsoft Outlook repair utility fixes the damaged OST files using the Outlook Integrity tool that scans and repairs the file. Before start repairing a damaged OST files, users will have to ensure that the Outlook application is not running. After shutting down the application, go to the Start Menu and access the My Computer page. Locate the C:\Program Files\Common Files\System\Mapi\1033 folder on the hard drive. It can be done by accessing the Program Files folder in My Computer. Navigate to ‘ScanOST.exe’ and double-click on it to initiate the Outlook recovery tool. Upon doing so, a pop-up window will open, which will contain tools that it will assist in OST recovery. Select the ‘Scan all folders’ options on the window to begin the scan process and remember to check the ‘Repair Errors’ box before beginning the scanning process. The tool will scan all the available OST files on the hard drive and repair those which are damaged or corrupted. All the recovered data is automatically placed in the user inbox. In some cases, when the file is corrupted beyond repair or only some of the data stored in an OST file is recovered, users are prompted to disable the damaged OST and replace it with a new one. In order to disable an existing OST file, users will have to access the Tools menu on Outlook and select the Email accounts tab. After selecting the email accounts tab, click on ‘View or change existing email accounts’ tab and click on Next, which will then present with a list. Select the Microsoft Exchange Server option and click on change. Locate and select the ‘More settings’ tab and then select ‘Offline folder settings’ in the ‘Advanced’ tab. In order to disable the file, select the ‘Disable Offline Use’ option. For creating an OST file, type the path where you want the new OST file to be created in the File box. The default name of the file you just created will be ‘outlook.ost’, however, if a file with similar name exists then users would be prompted to change its name. OST files store emails offline emails, and if they crash due to overloading of the server or get deleted for known or unknown reasons, it becomes important to restore the files so that no content is lost.