How to re-create and recover damaged OST files in Outlook 2013/2016?

Aftab Alam
Aftab Alam | Updated On - 20 Apr 2022 |

Read time 8 minutes

OST files are the offline replica of user mailboxes on the Exchange server. An OST file resides on the user system. So, it is vulnerable to many issues. The OST files can get damaged due to various reasons like virus attack, power failure, header corruption, etc. Such files cannot be accessed and result in data loss. However, don’t worry as there are ways to re-create and recover the damaged OST files in Outlook. In this blog post, we will be discussing the steps involved in the process and the use of an advanced third-party tool for such complex situations.

File Repair Options in Different Versions of Outlook

The OST file repair options are different in different versions of MS Outlook. In MS Outlook 2000 and 2003, Detect and Repair tool was embedded for the recovery of data files. In MS Outlook 2007 version, the Detect and Repair tool was replaced with an Office Diagnostics tool. In MS Outlook 2010 and 2013, although the Repair option was available, it was specifically designed for repairing the Outlook installation files and registry entries. However, in the latest versions like Outlook 2016 and 2019, there are easier ways to repair and recreate OST files.

Try expert recommended free methods to convert OST to PST file

  • Step 1: Export mailbox as a PST file
  • Step 2: Use ‘Archiving’ to save OST emails to PST

Instant Solution

Try an automated tool Kernel for OST to PST Converter to recover damaged OST files in Outlook 2013/2016 and convert OST File to PST, EML, MSG, Office 365, and Exchange.
Download now

Recreate the Offline Data File (OST)

  1. Deleting the Outlook Files

    OST file is an offline version of Exchange server files. If it gets deleted somehow, the user can get its fresh copy by downloading it from the server again. The process of recreating the OST file is given below:

    1. Close the Outlook application.
    2. Open Mail from the Control Panel.
      Recreated the OST file in Outlook 2016
    3. It will open a dialogue box named Mail Setup – Outlook. You need to click on Email Accounts.Recreated the OST file in Outlook 2016
    4. The newly opened dialogue box Account Settings will have all the Outlook accounts. Click on Data Files, choose the OST file, and then click Open File Location (to go to the location where a particular OST file is residing).Open File Location
    5. Right-click on the OST file and click Delete option to delete the file.Delete OST File
      Note: Before deleting the file, close the Account Settings and Mail Setup windows; otherwise, the system will give an error message.
    6. Start the Outlook application again. It will automatically create a new OST file for the account (downloading all the data from the Exchange server).
  2. Change the Extension of the File
    By editing the file extension of an OST file, you can recreate the OST file in a safe way. Here’s how:

    • Close the Outlook window. Enable the ‘File Name Extensions‘ option from the View menu in File Explorer.Enable File Name Extensions
    • To rename the OST file, right-click on it and tap on Rename.
    • OST files must end with .bak.
    • Launch Outlook now. Microsoft Outlook rebuilds the OST file and starts synchronizing messages from the server’s mailbox.

Repairing the OST file

The above method to recreate the OST file will work only when the Outlook account and Exchange server are in perfect sync. If the Exchange server is down or there are network issues, then the method may lead to permanent data loss. So, it is highly recommended that a competent third-party recovery tool must be used to handle the corrupt OST files. Kernel for OST to PST Converter is one of the most trusted and widely used data recovery tool that can retrieve data from any corrupted OST file and convert them in PST file.

Below is the process of restoring an OST file and converting it to the PST file using the tool.

  1. After you have installed the software, start it; the ‘Source File Selection’ window will open instantly. Here, you need to click the Browse button to add the OST file.add the OST file
  2. After selecting the OST file, click the Next button.Next to select OST file
  3. The Information window will tell you about the recovery process and various output formats available for saving the recovered data. Click Finish.Finish recovery process
  4. The tool scans the OST file and restores the data. Let the process finish.scans the OST file
  5. The OST to PST Converter tool has recovered all the data, and you can check all the folders in the exact hierarchy as they were in your Outlook mailbox. Check the items and see their preview also. Later, click the Save the data
  6. Choose PST File (MS Outlook) as the output format.choose PST file format
  7. Choose the various options for saving the file. Also, you can split the PST file after reaching a definite size and attach a prefix to the store name. Then click the Next button.choose various option to save
  8. Click the Browse button to select the location for saving the PST the location
  9. After saving the PST file, the tool will give you a message with the location of the PST file.find message with the location of the PST file

Final Say

Outlook has a nasty habit of corrupting OST files. If you’ve ever had the misfortune of experiencing this issue, you know how frustrating it can be trying to recover your data. Thankfully, there are a few methods you can try to get your Outlook back up and running again. We’ve outlined those methods in this post, so make sure to give them a read if you find yourself in this situation. But the best solution will be to use an advanced OST to PST converter tool. Kernel for OST to PST Converter is a reliable and user-friendly software that helps in the conversion of unusable or orphaned OST files into accessible Outlook PST files. You can try the free evaluation version of the software to get an idea about its features and performance.

Download now

Software Review by Noel Pulis, Microsoft MCSE

Rating by Allen Song, Microsoft
Rating by Allen Song
Read more :