Repair corrupt OST File and Export OST to PST at the Same Time

Is your Offline folder file corrupted? Can’t you access the mailbox content stored in the OST files? Outlook mailbox corruption is very common these days. Due to corruption, the mailbox data becomes inaccessible. And if you don’t fix it in time, you may lose your invaluable mailbox data. In this article, I’ll help you learn how to repair OST file. Also, I’ll be discussing how to export OST to PST later in this article. Let us see how you can go about OST repair.

OST and PST Files

Microsoft Outlook is a popular email client, commonly used as a stand-alone application. Also, it can work with Microsoft Exchange Server for multiple users in an organization. You require a Windows Server operating system to use the Exchange Server. If you configure Microsoft Outlook with Exchange Server, it saves a local copy of the Exchange mailbox on your local system. It’s called OST file, aka offline storage table or offline folder file. PST aka personal storage table is another Outlook data file created by Microsoft Outlook. PST file is created by default on the local system where the MS Outlook client is installed. On the other hand, you must enable the cache mode in the user’s Exchange Account to create an OST file.

An OST file is just a copy of your Exchange mailbox content, created and saved on a local system. The best part of an OST file is that you can work with it even when there’s no connectivity between the client and the Exchange Server. And once the connection is available, you can synchronize the changes you make earlier. But sometimes you may face some serious problems while working with the OST files. Data deletion and corruption are the two most common issues computer users often face. Generally, data deletion is caused by human errors. On the other hand, corruption is inevitable. It can happen at any time due to any reason.

OST file error message

Corrupt OST File. Why?

Just like a PST file, an OST file is also prone to corruption. There are various reasons responsible for corruption in the OST files. I’ve categorized them below into two parts:

  • Hardware Related Issues include power failure, hard disk failure, HDD containing bad sectors, network issues or failure, etc.
  • Software Related Issues includes virus infection, abrupt cancellation of Outlook, errors during synchronization, software malfunction, etc.

Whenever corruption takes place in the OST files, you can’t open or access the mailbox content anyhow. To fix this problem, you should use the backup file to restore your data from it. But if you don’t have the backup or the backup file is itself corrupted, you’re left with only one option, repair OST file.

How to Repair OST File?

If you’re using Microsoft Outlook 2007 or any earlier version, you can use the Integrity check tool scanost exe utility, a built-in repair tool. But it has been discontinued in Microsoft Outlook 2010 and later versions. Therefore, OST recovery becomes a challenging task for Outlook users. In such a situation, you should try a few easy DIY tricks to repair OST file.

Rebuild OST File

The best way to handle a corrupt OST file is by rebuilding it. If the OST file is corrupt, you can get the fresh copy of your mailbox data by downloading it from the Exchange Server. You should delete the OST file. Make sure the Microsoft Outlook client is closed. First, go to the Outlook data file location.

Step 1: Click Start > go to Control Panel. On the Control Panel window, click Mail in the options.

Step 2: On the Mail Setup – Outlook dialog box, click the E-mail Accounts… tab.

Step 3: On the Account Settings dialog box, click the Data Files tab. Here select the OST file in the list, and click the Open File Location… tab.

Step 4: You can see the selected PST file in the File Explorer window. Right-click the OST file, and click Delete.

Note: Before you can delete the OST file, don’t forget to close the Account Settings and Mail Setup – Outlook dialog boxes.

Now you should start the Microsoft Outlook application that’ll create a new OST file for your account.

Update Folder

Also, you can try to repair OST file by updating the folder. Though it ain’t that much effective, there’s no harm in trying it. Follow these simple steps:

    • First, right-click the folder and click Properties.
    • A dialog box will appear where you need to click the Clear Offline Items option. Click OK.
  • Now go to the Send/Receive option on Outlook 2010 ribbon. Click Update Folder.

Run Inbox Repair Tool

Though the scanost exe utility ain’t available for Microsoft Outlook 2010 and later versions, you can still use the Inbox Repair tool scanpst exe utility for both PST and OST files. By using the scanpst exe utility, you can scan and repair OST file. If it fails, you can create a new OST file and then import the data back to the mailbox folder. If nothing works for you, maybe this time you should use a professional solution. There are many vendors in the online marketplace which provide 3rd party solutions to repair OST file.

OST Recovery Software

SysInfoTools OST Recovery software is an amazing solution that works as a recovery cum converter utility. It can repair OST file, recover its mailbox data, and save them into a new PST file. Other than converting OST to PST file format, you can save the OST file’s data into DBX, EML, MSG, and MBOX. In a case of a severe corruption, it ain’t easy to repair OST file. But there are three recovery modes in this OST Recovery tool, i.e. Standard, Advanced, and Deep, to handle the different level of corruption. The smart preview in this software allows you to check the preview of the recoverable data prior to saving.

Microsoft Outlook users might also be interested in How to Prevent Outlook Corruption and Recover Deleted Emails?


The article has explained the most common reasons for corruption in the OST files. Also, we’ve learned how to repair OST file by running the Inbox Repair tool and recreating it again. If the corruption can’t be fixed manually, it’s better to consider using a professional OST Recovery tool (mentioned in the article).

About The Author:

I'm a content writer in the field of Email Migration, Data Recovery, Email backup, and File Management. I started this writing career two years back. I think the vast range of information in this industry is the reason I am so fascinated to read about the newer techniques and technology.

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