Top 6 Methods Free Methods for OST File Recovery in 2023

Synopsis: Let us discuss the free manual methods for OST File recovery in 2020/2019/2016/2013/2007

Many times when you are working with MS Outlook, the worst condition is when the user profile gets deleted or altered/changed. Sometimes it can be deleted unintentionally.

What are the OST Files?

Offline folder files also known as (OST) files acts as the replicas of server-based folders of your Exchange server Mailbox and allows you to work offline. In case your Exchange server mailbox gets deleted from the Server due to any possible reason then all your mailbox data is deleted.

And, what is left behind is your OST file that is located at the local client (MS Outlook) system. Now the main problem is to access your OST files.

In case a connection is disrupted between the Exchange server and MS Outlook, then the OST files will be orphaned. This can lead to inaccessible OST files. Corruption in OST files can also render them out of reach.

Possible Reasons for lost or corrupt Outlook OST files

There are two main categories of reasons for OST file Corruption, these are:

#Hardware Issues

#Software Issues

Hardware Issues

  • Power Failure

Your OST files can be lost due to sudden power failures. It may happen sometimes extra power supply enforced processor to shut down system abruptly

  • Storage Drive Contaminated with virus or Malware attack

This can happen when the storage drive in which you have the stored OST file is contaminated with these malicious programs.

  • Network Failure/ Internet Failure

This can happen due to network failure or lost internet connectivity. If this happens during the OST file synchronization with the Exchange server then it will cause inaccessible OST files.

Software Issues

Software problems comprise of viruses, malicious software, application download from an untrusted source, exceed in size limit of OST file, etc. Some of these problems are discussed below.

  • The Problem in Outlook Application

The internal Outlook codes may be the cause of frequent OST file corruption. Such kinds of problems cannot be detected by the user and you need the help of your developer.

  • Abrupt Outlook Program termination

If the Outlook program is closed accidentally without saving data results into the corruption of Outlook data. In most of the cases, the outlook application freezes or the files remain inaccessible.

  • Outlook Plug-ins installed in the system

Some of the installed plug-ins which affect the overall performance of Outlook application can result in the corruption of OST file in some cases.

Free manual methods for OST file recovery in 2019

This image describes the various ways and methods for MS Outlook OST file recovery in 2019

Method 1.Repair Outlook OST File Using Upload Folder

This method is a simple and easy way to recover corrupt OST files.

You can perform the given below steps:

  • Firstly, right-click on the OST file folder, and select the Properties option.
  • In the dialog box, hit on the ‘Clear Offline Items’ option under this dialog box.
  • Next, choose “OK”
  • In the Outlook ribbon, select Send/Receive option
  • Now click on “Update Folder” to save the changes made.

Now, you need to check whether your OST files are repaired and recovered by this process. If not, then move ahead to the next method

Method 2.Repair OST File With In-Built Tool Scanpst.exe

Ideally, Scanost.exe was the one option before Outlook 2010. But after the changes that were implemented in Outlook 2010, the same issues can be solved by ScanPST (scanpst.exe).

ScanPST can be used to repair both PST and OST Files.

scanpst will perform check for all the errors and attempts to repair corrupted OST files.

To know this method, follow my blog post: Learn How to Use Inbox Repair Tool to Repair PST File

Method 3.Repair Corrupt OST File by Recreating A New OST File

In this method, we will try to recreate the lost OST files. This process is applicable for Outlook 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010 and below versions of MS Outlook.

You should have to perform this process wisely, only if your OST file is not usable anymore. This method may help to repair the OST file but can cause some data loss. So, try using other methods.

Method 4.Disable Firewall & Anti-virus settings to Repair OST File

An enabled antivirus setting may block the normal working of the MS Outlook sometimes. In this case, so you may need to disable the settings and restart the system.

Sometimes this trick works to repair blocked OST files. If your issue is not resolved by using this method, then go ahead with the next method.

Method 5.Launch Outlook in Safe Mode to Repair Corrupted OST files

The main purpose to start MS Outlook in safe mode is to disable any add-ins that may have caused errors during the rebooting procedure.

This command will not do the repairing of OST files but provide access to inaccessible OST file. You can use this command to launch Outlook in safe mode:
“outlook.exe /safe.”


Disadvantages Of using manual methods for OST file recovery in 2019 are:

1. These are only capable of repairing only minor OST file corruption issues and are not capable of full repair and recovery of damaged OST files.
2. There is a minimum surety to recover data from OST file
3. No guarantee for data safety
4. These tricks are time-consuming.

5. Require technical expertise to implement.

Method 6. By using professional OST File Recovery Tool

If you are not able to recover OST files by using the above manual methods, then you can use SysInfo Tools OST file recovery Tool. It is a simple and convenient way to restore corrupt or damaged OST files and even a technical novice person can get back OST files easily.

This Tool has the following features:

  • Provides three recovery modes: Standard, Advanced & Deep
  • Smartly converts OST to PST, OST to DBX, OST to EML, OST to MSG, OST to MBOX
  • It provides support for Encryption & Compression of Outlook data to recover maximum and accurate data
  • Helps in recovering Outlook mail items like Email, Task, Calendar, Contacts and Distribution Group, etc.
  • Allows recovered data within the desired date range
  • Provides recovery of Non-English and right to left characters from corrupt OST file
  • It has the fastest scanning speed and saves a LOG file of the OST recovery process.
  • Compatible with MS Outlook 2016, Windows 10 and all the earlier versions of Windows Operating system
  • Provides user-friendly interface and can be used by a non-technical person

To Sum up

In this post, I have tried to explain the free manual methods for OST File recovery in 2020/2019/2016/2013/2007. You can easily use these methods to repair and restore lost OST files.

You can also read:

[Top 3 Methods] Free manual methods for NSF file recovery in 2019

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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