OST files are the Offline Outlook data files that store a copy of Outlook emails on the local machine. An OST file has the benefit that you can access these emails without internet connectivity as a local copy of mailbox is there.
Introduction to Outlook Cached Mode
While configuring your MS Outlook with Exchange or Office 365 account, you have the option to enable Cached Exchange mode. When you enable Cached Exchange Mode, Outlook downloads a copy of mailbox items to the local system. And while enabling Cached Exchange mode, there is an option to select the synchronization time in months.
How to enable Cached Exchange Mode in MS Outlook?
The procedure of turning on Cached Exchange Mode is quite easy; you need to follow below mentioned steps (here I am using MS Outlook):
- Open MS Outlook and click File > Account Settings > Account Settings.
- Select the already configured account and then choose Change.
- In this wizard, you have the option to check or uncheck Cached Exchange Mode and choose the time (months) on the slider as per your requirement.
- Once you are done, then click the Finish button.
How can OST files be useful in restoring Exchange user mailboxes?
Apart from its use for offline working, the offline Outlook Data (OST) files are helpful in many ways. Exchange administrators can use them to restore deleted or missing user mailboxes. Also, some other situations in which they become useful are:
- Exchange Server has crashed
- The Exchange Server is under maintenance
In all these situations, Exchange administrators convert the OST files on the user systems to PST files to retrieve the user mailboxes.
If you are facing any of the above mention issues regarding Exchange, then you should use a third-party tool for converting OST files to PST. Kernel for OST to PST Converter is an amazing tool for converting even damaged OST files to PST. The OST to PST Converter software performs complete OST recovery without impacting the originality or the hierarchy of the mailbox data. If your OST file is oversized or damaged, then you can convert it to PST and split it into small and independent chunks of PST.