Have you ever received an email attachment with an OST file and wondered what it is? It’s not a rare occurrence so don’t worry! An OST file is an offline storage folder used by Microsoft Outlook 2013. It stores all the emails and data from an Exchange Server account as well as contacts and calendar entries. In this blog post we’ll be discussing how to open an OST file in Outlook 2013.

Identifying an OST file

An OST file is easily identifiable as it has the same icon as an Outlook data file. It is usually located in the same folder as the PST data file. The file has the same name as the Exchange Server account but with the extension .ost.

File Type Extension
Personal Storage Table (PST) .pst
Offline Storage Table (OST) .ost

Opening ost file in outlook 2013

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Configuring Outlook 2013 for an OST File

So you’ve decided to take the plunge and familiarize yourself with the intricacies of Outlook 2013 eh? A fantastic idea! We can safely guarantee you won’t regret it.

But first things first – let’s get that pesky OST configured and ready to go. Firstly you’ll need to locate the elusive OST file – depending on where you have stored it this may be an easy or a tricky task. If it’s stashed away on an external drive for example you may need to plug it in and do some hunting.

Once you’ve tracked down your OST you need to get Outlook 2013 in on the job. To get started open Outlook 2013 select File > Account Settings and choose “Data Files.” From here select “Add” and locate your .ost file. Once you’ve added it you can select “Close” and “OK” to complete the setup.

Voila! You’ll now be able to access the data within your OST file via Outlook 2013 and experience the amazing perks that come with the program. It’s all plain sailing from here.

Importing Data into an OST File

Got data chunks stored in a PST file? If you want them in your OST file no sweat! We’re here to walk you through the simple process of importing your Outlook data into an OST file. Whether you’re new to outlook or a pro read on for the snazziest way to shift your information to an OST file:

First off open your Outlook app. Create a blank OST file and setting aside for later. It’ll be waiting for your data. Now navigate to the spot where your PST file is located. Select it and open the archive. But be warned- this is leaving the comfortable confines of one file and diving into the world of importing data- so do not panic!

Once the PST file is open click the ‘Import’ button located at the top-left of the open file. This will bring up the ‘Import and Export Wizard.’ You’ll need to click the ‘Import from another program or file’ option. A window will open that allows you to select the file type you want to import.

Choose the ‘Outlook Data File (.pst)’ option. This brings the PST file into the mix. Now you’ll show Outlook where you want to move the data to- the blank OST file you set up earlier. Hit ‘Next.’ Time to choose the data you want to import. Make your selection- ‘Contacts’ ‘Calendar’ ‘Tasks’ or all of the above. Then hit ‘Finish.’

Voila! You’ve successfully imported your data from a PST file to an OST file. Not so scary after all was it? Time to take a break and watch those Outlook data files do their biz.

Notes on OST Files

It can be tricky deciphering the mysterious OST files – those sneaky Offline Storage Table files – and figuring out how to open them in Outlook 2013. But don’t despair – unlocking the secrets of an OST file is actually a no-fuss affair.

An OST file is created when you set the email client – such as Microsoft Outlook – to use ‘Cached Exchange Mode’. This mode allows for all messages contacts notes tasks and other items in a mailbox to be mirrored or stored on the local hard drive. This means that the most current version of the mail data is always available even when there’s no internet connection or when the Exchange Server is unavailable.

In short an OST file is an exact replica of your Outlook mailbox that’s stored on your computer or laptop. Everyone likes having a backup of their important data – so much better than writing contacts info on a sticky note and sticking it to the fridge – and an OST file provides exactly that!

When it’s time to open an OST file many think that this is the tall order… but again no worries! If you’ve set the account to Cached Exchange Mode in Outlook 2013 the OST file is accessed automatically. So you don’t actually have to open the OST file manually; when you open Outlook now the OST file is opened too.

And there you have it – a super-straightforward guide to opening an OST file in Outlook 2013. Don’t get intimidated by these funny-looking file types. You’ve got this!


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