Learn How to Convert OST to PST in Outlook 2016? – A DIY Guide

An OST file stands for Offline Storage Tables that is a file folder used by Microsoft Outlook. It makes it possible for the users to work offline and then synchronize changes with the exchange server the next time they get to connect. In simple words, It allows continuing with the Outlook mailbox functionality in offline mode i.e., without connecting to the Server. On the other hand, PST (Personal Storage File)  is an open file format used to store information like messages, calendar events, and other items within Microsoft Software such as Microsoft Exchange Client, Windows Messaging, and Microsoft Outlook.

Fastest Method – OST to PST Converter Software

When a few exchange mailbox gets deleted from the server. An exchange mailbox user wants to rebuild his OST file, but the user has some unsaved data in the OST file. When they want to back up a few exchange mailboxes. OST files are inaccessible due to Exchange corruption or maybe the server crashed and users want their emails urgently. So, we are offering you some easiest ways to fix all types of OST issues, irrespective of the extent of damage or loss is to know “How to convert the OST to PST file in Outlook 2016” without the best OST to PST Converter.

Also, Read – Split Large PST file

Key facts one should consider before conversion

  • You cannot import the OST file into PST directly. That means you need to sign-in with the original profile in order to export the OST file data to PST. For this, use the methods listed below.
  • OST files are a local copy of your mailbox, you can recreate them by synchronizing them with the mailbox.

How to convert OST to PST in Outlook 2016 Manually?

There are several ways to migrate OST to PST format, but every user would want to know the safest way to migrate OST file data to PST. To begin with, here are a few free safe, and secure solutions listed below:

Method#1: Use the Outlook Archive feature

Using the Archive feature in Outlook is the easiest way to copy or move mailbox items to PST. It can be used to convert all the items of the OST mailbox to PST format except Contacts. However, all other mailbox items can be moved. Follow the steps below:

  1. Open the OST file from which the data needs to be exported.
  2. Click on the File tab, click on Info, and then click on CleanUp Tools.
  3. Next, select Archive from the options.
  4. In the Archive dialog box that appears, ensure that Archive this folder and all subfolders option is selected (it is selected by default).
  5. After that, select the folder that you need to export to PST (e.g.: Inbox).
  6. In the Archive items older than the box, provide an appropriate date. All the items that were received earlier till the specified date will be archived.
  7. In the Archive file option, provide the location to store the new PST.
  8. Click on OK to accomplish the export process.

Method#2: Outlook Import & Export Wizard

Exporting OST data to PST files using Import Export Wizard is probably the most scalable method and serves as one of the preferred converting options. To use this method you need to follow the undermentioned process.

  1. Open Microsoft Outlook 2016.
  2. Now, from the File menu select ‘Import & Export
  3. Then you will encounter ‘Import and Export Wizard’, select ‘Export to a File
  4. After that, select ‘Outlook data file’(PST) format from the given storage options
  5. Make sure to select the checkbox associated with ‘Include subfolders
  6. Click on Finish.

As far as the Import and Export procedure is accomplished, Outlook will start converting all the components of the OST file to PST unless an existing password-protected PST is selected.

  • If the export is done to an existing password-protected file then enter the appropriate password to the dialogue box that says ‘Outlook data file password’ and click on the ‘OK’ button.
  • On the other hand, if you wish to provide a password to a PST file, type the password in the ‘Create Outlook data file’ box and then click on ‘OK’. The ‘Outlook data file password’ box will appear, type the password and click ‘OK’.

Now, once mailbox data is available in PST file format, it can be transferred or moved to a new location in your computer or external storage drive.

Method#3: Drag and Drop Mailbox Items

Dragging and dropping OST mailbox items to PST file format is also a simple way to migrate data from OST to PST. To accomplish this, 

  1. Users just need to make a blank PST file in MS Outlook. 
  2. Then click and drag the desired items from the OST mailbox to a newly created PST file.

Some users believe that manual methods are difficult and may result in data loss. But, the fact is, it totally depends on your specific situation  For example, if a user has the necessary technical skills and an accessible Outlook account, then he/she can safely choose manual methods like – Outlook Archive feature, Import-Export Wizard, or using Drag and Drop option to migrate OST file to PST.


In this article, we offered the best ways to resolve the issue “How to convert OST to PST in Outlook 2016”. I hope you find this article useful to solve your query. Thanks for Reading.

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