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Summary: Learn how to migrate IMAP OST data to Outlook 2016 PST for reasons like accidental deletions, server crashes, or changing file locations. Two methods, manual archiving and the Kernel OST to PST Converter tool, are discussed.

Microsoft Outlook 2016 is a popular email application capable of integrating webmail accounts using both IMAP and POP configurations. Many webmail users opt for the IMAP configuration in conjunction with MS Outlook. In this setup, emails processed in Outlook are stored on the IMAP server, with a copy saved in either OST or PST format.

In Outlook 2016, an IMAP account generates only an OST file, making it impossible to directly transfer IMAP OST data to Outlook PST. To migrate IMAP OST data to Outlook PST, you must perform the process manually, a method applicable to Outlook versions 2013 and newer.

In this article, we will clarify both manual and automated solutions to help you move IMAP OST data to Outlook 2016 PST.

Why Move IMAP OST to Outlook 2016 PST?

Several reasons may prompt users to migrate their IMAP OST data to Outlook 2016 PST. Users opt for this migration for any of the following reasons:

  • Accidental deletion of IMAP data or an inability to recover the data from the OST file.
  • Exchange server crashes resulting from software failures, virus attacks, or internet connectivity issues.
  • Requirement to change the OST data file location for the IMAP account.
  • Accessing IMAP on a different system without the IMAP configuration.

If you need to transfer your IMAP OST data to Outlook PST for any of the aforementioned reasons, follow the steps below for the migration process.

Methods to Migrate IMAP OST to Outlook 2016 PST

There are two procedures available to migrate the IMAP OST file to Outlook 2016 PST. The first approach entails converting the OST data to PST format using the archiving feature. Alternatively, you can utilize a third-party tool for a direct OST to PST migration.

  1. Archive IMAP OST Data to PST File
  2. Automated Solution

Archive IMAP OST Data to PST File

To convert your IMAP OST data to PST format, utilize Outlook’s archiving feature. Follow these steps to archive the OST file:

Note: You can only move IMAP OST file emails to PST with the archiving feature.

  1. Open MS Outlook on your system in offline mode to access the IMAP OST file.
  2. Click the File tab in the menu and then select Options in MS Outlook.
  3. From the Options window, go to the Advanced option and click on AutoArchive Settings.Click on AutoArchive
  4. The AutoArchive dialog box appears on the screen. Modify the settings as per requirements to get the recent data for archiving.Modify the settings as per requirements
  5. Select a destination path to save the archived PST file, and click OK.Select destination path

After saving the file on your system, copy and transfer it to the system where Outlook 2016 is installed. Once the PST file is in the desired location, employ Outlook 2016’s Import/Export functionality to transfer the OST file.

Import/Export PST to Outlook 2016

Follow the below steps to import PST files to Outlook 2016.

  1. Open MS Outlook 2016 on your system and go to the File tab.
  2. Select the Open & Export option and click Import/ Import Export option
  3. The Import/Export wizard will display on the screen. From the given options, select ‘Import from another program or file’ and click Next.Select Import from another program or file
  4. Now, select the Outlook data file (.pst) option and click Next.Select the Outlook data file
  5. Browse the archived PST file that we saved earlier, select the option ‘Replace duplicates with items imported’ and click Next to continue.Select Replace duplicates with items imported
  6. Once you select the OST file, it will display in the Import Outlook Data File section. Check the checkbox ‘Import items into the same folder in’ and click Finish.check Import items into the same folder in

Your IMAP OST file data can be transferred to Outlook 2016 relatively quickly with this manual approach. However, it does come with certain limitations, including constraints on data migration, time-consuming steps, and incomplete export of the entire IMAP OST data.

Automated Solution

For a speedy conversion of OST files to PST, consider employing the Kernel OST to PST Converter utility. It’s purpose-built to efficiently convert various OST file types to PST, offering specific filters and advanced algorithms for the task. You can conveniently convert 25 email items from each OST folder to PST using the tool. What’s more, it doesn’t require an Exchange profile or connectivity to an Exchange Server, making it a versatile choice. The tool also boasts a user-friendly interface, suitable for beginners looking to convert OST to PST files effortlessly.

  1. Download and configure the tool on your system.
  2. Once it is installed, launch the tool, and the Source File Selection wizard appears on the screen.
  3. From the wizard, click Browse to select the OST file for conversion and click the OST file for conversion
  4. The OST file content will display in the UI; you can view the content of each folder by clicking each folder.view the content of each folder by clicking each folder
  5. Now, to convert the OST file, click the Save option on the top-left corner of the tool.
  6. Multiple saving options will appear on the screen; select the PST file (MS Outlook) option and click Next.Multiple saving options
  7. Select the specific filters to apply on the file conversion from the filter section, such as From, To, Subject, Folder Name, Item Type, and Date Range.Select the specific filters
  8. It also gives you the option to split the PST file after a specific size. You can choose to split the file or skip this option.split the PST file after a specific size
  9. Now, select the ideal location by clicking Browse to save the PST file and click the ideal location
  10. After the conversion is complete, a confirmation message appears on the screen; click OK to end the process.OST to PST conversion is complete

After translating the OST file, you can use the Import/Export feature to move the IMAP OST file data to Outlook 2016.

Wrap Up

When utilizing IMAP email accounts with Outlook versions 2013 and newer, data is stored in the OST file format. Therefore, when you intend to transfer an Outlook OST file to a new computer or another Outlook account, you must convert it to PST format. In this article, we’ve explored two practical methods for migrating IMAP OST file data to Outlook 2016 PST.

Kernel for OST to PST