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Summary: Importing OST files into Outlook is crucial, but we have covered all the free manual methods to import OST files into PST. However, manual methods are a little bit risky, and you can lose your data while importing it. Moreover, use Kernel for OST to PST tool to migrate your OST files quickly.

Importing an OST file into Outlook 365 may seem challenging, but there are effective methods available to make the process effortless. Microsoft explicitly states that it’s not possible to move OST files directly to Outlook. However, you can configure your account in Outlook, and an OST file will be created and available instantly. Moreover, manual and automated methods can be used to import OST files into Outlook 365 easily.

In this article, we will look at unavoidable reasons to import OST files into Outlook and methods for importing them. Finally, we will also talk about a professional OST to PST converter tool to effectively convert OST files to PST files and recover corrupt, damaged, and inaccessible OST files.

Instant Solution

Get your hands on the Kernel for OST to PST Converter tool and make the most of these features-

  • Assistance to Import OST file into Outlook through conversion
  • Recovery of corrupt, orphaned & inaccessible OST files.
  • Retrieval of all OST items.

It supports OST of all Outlook versions- Microsoft 365, 2021, 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007 & 2003.

But before moving further, let’s briefly discuss OST files.

What are OST files?

OST means Offline Storage table, also known as Offline Outlook Data File. It is automatically created by Outlook when you create an account on it and configure it with Exchange Server. It saves a synchronized copy of your mailbox to your local drive and allows you to access emails, contacts, calendars, notes, appointments, etc., even in offline mode.

Undoubtedly, OST files are crucial for Outlook users, but you need to import OST files into Outlook in a few instances. However, users cannot access their OST files from any remote location. To get seamless access to OST files, users must convert them into PST files and then synchronize those PST file to the MS Outlook account.Let’s have a look at why users have to import their OST files into Outlook:

Major reasons to import OST files into Outlook
  • Exchange Server downtime
  • Migrate data from one system to another
  • Exchange Server maintenance
  • Repairing Corrupt OST files

Before importing your OST files into Outlook, it is important to know where it is stored. Follow the below steps to locate your OST file:

Locate OST file location in your system
  1. Open Outlook, then click on the File tab.
  2. Click on Account Settings, then select Account Settings from the drop-down.
  3. Now, click on Data files, select your OST file account, and then click on Open file location.
  4. Now the new window will open with the default location of your OST with the default location
Methods to import OST files to Outlook

Before moving to the importing part on Outlook OST import, we need to understand that you can import the Exchange OST file using manual methods but can’t do so with the Orphaned OST file. Now, let’s discuss manual methods to import OST files.

Using the Archive feature

Outlook has many inbuilt features that give user- friendly access to its users. Archive feature is one of them that helps you to archive old mails from OST files into PST format quickly. Follow the below steps for OST import:

  1. Open Outlook, then click on the File tab.
  2. Select Options from the left panel.
  3. Select the Advanced option, then click on Auto Archive Settings.Auto Archive Settings
  4. Now, set up the auto archive settings as per your requirement. Set the day count to run auto archive and set a count to clear old mails.
  5. After that, click OK, and Outlook will create an archive of OST emails automatically.create an archive of OST emails automatically
  6. You can also ensure the working of the Archive utility by navigating the location you picked for saving the PST files.
Using the Import/Export method

It’s an in-built Outlook tool that migrates Outlook messages, items, tasks, notes, etc., from one system to another. Follow the below steps to import OST into Outlook:

  1. Open Outlook, then click on the File tab.
  2. Select Open & Export and then click on Import/Export.Import/Export
  3. Click Export to a file; then click on on next
  4. Now select Outlook data file .pst and click on Next.Click Next
  5. Now, select the folder you want to import into PST format and click on on Next
  6. Browse and select the folder to save your converted Exchange OST file and select appropriate Options for duplicate items, then click on Finish.Click on Finish

You can use both these manual methods to import OST files into Outlook but ensure the OST file is connected to an Exchange Server before doing so. Both these methods to import OST into Outlook are easy to use but have a few limitations because of which users rarely consider them.

Let’s have a look at a few limitations of the manual methods as you import OST into Outlook:

  • You can’t export the complete OST files using the Archive method.
  • It’s impossible to import multiple OST files into Outlook PST using these methods, and there is a possibility of data loss.
  • These manual methods need a tech expert who can handle technical things.
  • The manual import of OST files to Outlook process is too slow and time-taking.
  • You can’t import orphaned OST files into Outlook through these methods.

If you don’t want to take any risks and data loss. Then, it’s time to move to an automated professional tool recommended by Microsoft MVPs and IT administrators to efficiently import OST files into Outlook and fix issues like oversized OST file issue in Outlook.

A professional tool to import OST files

With too many limitations and the inability to repair corrupt OST files, we can’t rely on manual methods to import Outlook OST file. At this moment, we suggest you go with the best OST to PST converter tool Kernel for OST to PST Converter. It is a reliable, safe, and efficient tool to convert inaccessible or orphaned files, retrieve OST items like emails, attachments, calendars, contacts, tasks, etc., and save them to Outlook PST or Office 365/Exchange Server accounts. It comes with several advanced features; some of them are:

  • Convert OST file to PST and repair corrupted or inaccessible OST files
  • Converts large-sized OST files
  • Advanced filters for selective email migration
  • Supports conversion of IMAP OST files
  • Saves OST emails to multiple formats like PST, MSG, EML, HTML, AND PDF
  • Displays recovered mailbox items in preview section


This article provides valuable insights on OST files and efficient ways of importing them to Outlook. If your Outlook is connected to an Exchange Server, manual methods are sufficient. Otherwise, the automatic OST to PST converter tool discussed earlier is recommended for a quick and efficient solution. Take advantage of its free trial version to optimize your experience. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to import OST into Outlook with ease.

Q- Why convert OST to PST?

A- By converting the OST file into PST, all the valuable data can be safely secured in a PST file. The data remains accessible even if something goes wrong with the Exchange server.

Q- Can we recover OST emails?

A- If you use Outlook and have an OST file, you can use the ScanOST tool to retrieve and export any deleted emails from your Deleted Items folder. This can be a lifesaver if you accidentally deleted an important message or file.

Q- What happens if I delete the OST file?

A- If you do decide to delete the OST file, you won’t be losing any data. This is because files stored on the Exchange Server are easily accessible and can be re-downloaded at any time. 

Kernel for OST to PST