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Summary: This comprehensive content emphasizes the criticality of OST file backups in professional settings and offers insights into manual backup methods and the advanced Kernel for OST to PST Converter tool, adept at overcoming inherent limitations for efficient data preservation.

When configuring a new Exchange Server account in the MS Outlook mail client, the application generates a data file with the .OST file extension. Given the significance of an Exchange account for professional purposes, the .OST file becomes crucial, and it is advisable to create a backup in another format. While Outlook does offer a basic built-in backup method to save the account as an offline .PST file, it does have some limitations. The Kernel for OST to PST Converter utility enhances the backup efficiency through its user-friendly features.

An OST (Offline Storage Table) file serves as a synchronized copy of a mailbox, preserving identical mailbox data on the local computer. Outlook establishes a default path for new data files

The offline Outlook Data File (.ost) resides at drive:\Users\user\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlooklocation. You can also change the location of the OST file in Outlook if there is a requirement.

Scenarios where OST file backup is needed

Now, let us head on to situations where the user has to take the backup of the Exchange OST file.

  • OST synchronization issues like data deletion from Exchange Serves would reflect on the OST file data (snow how to resolve synchronization issues with Exchange mailbox).
  • Configuring an Exchange account in Outlook requires complex settings and authentications, which calls for a backup for data security and accessibility
  • Corruption of OST files due to abrupt shutdown, malware, virus intrusions, hardware issues, bad sectors, software inflictions, etc.
  • Unavailability of Exchange Server- down, crashed, or under maintenance
  • Need to move OST mailboxes to Outlook application on another system
Challenges with manual ways

Now that users have a clear understanding of the common reasons for backing up OST files, it’s important to delve into the challenges and limitations associated with attempting manual OST file backups.

  • Cannot backup deleted OST mailbox items
  • Cannot backup orphaned OST files
  • Cannot backup corrupt or damaged OST files
  • Chances of incomplete backup with IMAP profile
  • Need to backup on the same system on which the OST file is created
  • Time-consuming methods
  • Need to perform carefully without errors
  • Compromise with data security and integrity
Manual ways to backup OST file

If, despite being aware of the limitations of native methods for OST file backup, you still wish to proceed, we will provide a detailed description of each method along with the necessary steps to back up the OST file.

  • Drop from OST File to PST

    In this method, users need to initiate the process by creating a new PST file within Outlook. After the file is successfully created, and the connection between Exchange Server and Outlook is established, users can conveniently transfer OST data to the newly created PST file by using the drag-and-drop feature.

    But, this method is quite slow, unsuitable for bulk data backup, and requires the Exchange Server connection.

  • Backup with the Import/Export Feature

    The Outlook Import/Export feature provides an option to back up an Exchange OST file to the PST file format through its Export feature. However, it’s essential to maintain a connection with the Exchange Server and ensure the OST file is in a healthy state. Here is the step-by-step backup process.

    1. Launch the Microsoft Outlook application.
    2. Go to File>Open & Export>Import/Export for Outlook 2013 and above versions.Import/ExportNote: In Outlook 2007, go to File>Import and Export and in Outlook 2010, go to File>Open>Import.
    3. From the opened Import and Export Wizard, select Export to a file option and click the Nextselect Export to a file
    4. From the next wizard, select Outlook Data File (.pst) option and click Outlook Data File
    5. From the Export Outlook Data File wizard, select the OST file root folder, select the Include subfolders checkbox and click Next.Export Outlook Data File
    6. Click Browse to change the default saving location, choose the option to manage duplicate items, and then clickchange the default saving location
    7. Wait for the export to get completed; after some time the OST file will be backed up to PST file format on the system.
  • Archive OST with the Archive Feature

    Outlook provides its users with the ability to archive files, including OST files, to a PST file saved at a specified location using the Archive feature within the Cleanup Tools. Let’s explore the archiving process with the following steps for easy OST file backup.

    1. Open your Outlook application. Click on the File menu and select the Archive option from the Cleanup ToolsCleanup Tools
    2. From the opened Archive wizard, select the second option Archive this folder and all subfolders, select the root folder of the OST file. Add date range if you want, select the checkbox as per the need and click the Browse option to provide the saving path for the archived PST file. Click OK.archive PST file
    3. The OST file archiving process will start, and the file will get saved at the specified location.

As we have already discussed, it is impossible to backup orphaned, corrupted, inaccessible OST files with deleted items. Let us know about a professional tool that can be helpful in this scenario to back up OST file.

Fix all OST Backup challenges with Kernel for OST to PST

This tool is an advanced solution designed to recover data from corrupt, orphaned, or inaccessible OST files, allowing users to save selective mailbox data to various destinations. It supports the recovery of multiple OST files, including deleted items, provides a comprehensive preview of selected mailbox items, and allows for restoration to PST, Exchange, Microsoft 365, as well as file formats like MSG, EML, PDF, DBX, MBOX, and more. For a complete list of features, please visit the official website of the OST to PST converter tool.

Steps to Backup OST file to PST via the software

So, how to backup Outlook OST file, follow these below steps and use this professional tool with ease.

  1. Install the tool on your system.
  2. Launch the software and click the Browse option to browse and add the OST file for backup.Launch the softwareNote: You can add multiple OST files also using the second option.
  3. Once the file is added, click Next.add the file
  4. The OST file mailboxes will get retrieved with complete content and original structure. Select any mailbox item and have its detailed preview.
  5. To backup OST data to a PST file, either click on the Save option or click on the PST file option from the left panel.backup OST data to a PST file
  6. Select the PST file (MS Outlook) option again and click the pst file
  7. Apply desired filters on the OST file for backup and click Next.Apply desired filters
  8. Choose Split PST as per size option if needed, add a prefix if needed, and then click Next to continue.
    Split PST
  9. Click Browse and select the saving path location for the backup file. Choose saving preference and click
    select the saving path location
  10. The OST backup will start and show in progress.OST backup  start
  11. The OST file data is successfully backed up in no time.


Backing up OST files becomes crucial in scenarios such as Exchange unavailability, synchronization issues, or the need to export OST data. This requirement can be addressed through manual methods OST to PST conversion. While manual methods come with several limitations, a professional OST conversion tool overcomes these shortcomings.

Kernel for OST to PST