Import OST File into Outlook Quickly & Easily

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Microsoft Outlook uses OST (Offline Storage Table) files to store your mailbox data when you’re not connected to the internet. These files are created when Outlook is in Cached Exchange mode. They can be beneficial if your system crashes, gets corrupted, or if accidentally delete something. But what if you want to open an OST file on a different computer or use it with a different email client? In this article, we will show you, step by step, how to import OST file into Outlook so you can easily access your mailbox data. 

As we mentioned in the above section, the following blog will discuss various ways to upload the OST file using the OST to PST Converter. You just need to read the blog.

Why do Users want to Import OST files into Outlook?

You might need to import mail items from an OST file into Microsoft Outlook for several reasons. Here are some common ones:

  1. Migration to a New Computer: When you get a new computer or reinstall your operating system, you may need to import the OST file into Outlook to access your emails and other mailbox data.
  2. Exchange Server Crash: If the Exchange server crashes, Outlook can’t sync your mail items. You can load the OST file into Outlook to access your mailbox data.
  3. Recovery of Deleted Items: If you accidentally delete an email or other mailbox items, you can recover them by importing an old OST file. As a result, it can help you restore deleted items.
  4. Corruption of Mailbox: Sometimes, your mailbox data in Outlook can become corrupt due to hardware failure, software issues, or virus attacks. Outlook might show an error like ‘Outlook data file cannot be accessed’. In these cases, importing the OST file can help you recover your mailbox data.
  5. Switching to a Different Email Client: If you want to switch to a different email client, you can convert the OST file to PST format and import it into the new email program.

By understanding these scenarios, you can see why importing OST files into Microsoft Outlook might be necessary and how it can help you access your important mailbox data.

How to Import OST File into Outlook?

The upcoming section will discuss two ways, manual and automated. Follow each method very carefully. 

#1. Manual Approach to Open OST File in Outlook

First, you need to convert the OST file to PST format. You can do this using the Outlook Import/Export wizard.

Step 1: Open the Import/Export Wizard in Outlook

  • First, open Microsoft Outlook.
  • After that, click on the ‘File’ tab in the top left corner.
  • Then, select ‘Open & Export’ and ‘Import/Export’.

Step 2: Export to a PST File

  • In the Import/Export wizard, select ‘Export to a file’ and click ‘Next’.
  • Further, choose ‘Outlook Data File (.pst)’ and click ‘Next’.
  • Subsequently, select the folder or account you want to export from and click ‘Next’.
  • Now, choose where to save the new PST file and give it a name.

Step 3: Select Mailbox Items to Export

  • Then, choose ‘Include subfolders’ to export everything to the folder or account.
  • If you want to export specific items, click ‘Filter’ and choose your criteria.
  • Here, click ‘Next’ to proceed.

Step 4: Export the OST File Contents to PST

  • If you want to password-protect the PST file, enter a password and click ‘OK’.
  • Afterwards, click ‘Finish’ to start the export process.
  • Wait for the process to complete and click ‘OK’ when done.

Step 5: Import the PST File into Outlook

  • Further, open Microsoft Outlook and click on the ‘File’ tab.
  • Now, select ‘Open & Export’ and then ‘Import/Export’.
  • Then, choose ‘Import from another program or file’ and click ‘Next’.
  • Select ‘Outlook Data File (.pst)’ and click ‘Next’.
  • Subsequently, browse to where you saved the PST file and select it.
  • Now, choose ‘Replace duplicates with items imported’ to avoid duplicates.
  • At last, select the folder or account to import the data and click ‘Finish’.

By following these simple steps, you can easily import OST file into Outlook and access your mailbox data. Now, we will comprehend some limitations of this approach. 

Drawbacks of Performing it Manually

Here are some common challenges you might face when importing OST files into Outlook:

  • The Import/Export wizard might not export all data from an OST file, which can lead to data loss during the conversion process. 
  • If the OST file is bulky, the Import/Export wizard might blunder to complete the conversion, or it may take a long time.
  • If the OST file is corrupted or cannot be opened, the Import/Export wizard might not be able to convert it to PST format successfully.
  • The Import/Export wizard does not have an option to directly import emails and mailbox items from an OST file to Office 365.
  • If the OST file is password-protected, you required to enter the password during the conversion process. Without a password, you can’t use the Import/Export wizard to convert the file.

To overcome all the challenges, follow the subsequent section. 

#2. Professional Technique to Open OST File in Outlook

The free method mentioned above can be slow and challenging. As a result, it might not work in all situations. Instead, you can use the OST to PST Converter Tool. This top-rated software helps you easily restore emails from an OST file and convert them into an Outlook PST file, including emails, contacts, calendars, notes, and tasks. It allows you to see a detailed preview of your OST mailbox before saving it as a new PST file. In addition, this tool keeps your original OST data unchanged during the conversion.

Steps to Add OST File to Outlook:

  • First, download and install the OST to PST Converter Software on your computer.
  • After that, open the software and click the “Open” button to select an OST file.
  • Then, choose the OST file you want to convert into PST.
  • Further, preview the OST mailbox before importing it to Outlook.
  • From the drop-down list, select PST format.
  • Click the convert button to convert the OST file to a PST file.
  • At last, your OST file is now successfully converted, and import the resultant PST file into Outlook.

By following these simple steps, you can easily convert and import your OST files into Outlook. 

Also Read: Import Outlook OST To Office 365


Importing OST files into Microsoft Outlook can be challenging due to potential data loss, size limitations, corrupted files, and other issues. While the free Import/Export wizard can help in some cases, it may not always be reliable. For a more efficient and user-friendly solution, the Cigati OST to PST Converter Tool is highly recommended. This professional software ensures a smooth conversion process and allows users to effortlessly import OST file into Outlook.

About The Author:

Pradeep is a dedicated technical content writer who thrives on the intersection of technology and storytelling. With a background in engineering and a passion for writing, he brings a unique blend of technical expertise and creativity to his work. Pradeep’s articles not only educate but also entertain, making complex technical subjects approachable and intriguing for a broad audience. His work has been featured in numerous tech blogs, making him a trusted source for tech enthusiasts and novices alike.

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