How to Convert Outlook OST to PST in Outlook 2016 for Free

convert ost to pst outlook 2016

Summary: The article explains all about the OST and PST files, and various ways to import Outlook OST to PST in Outlook 2016. It also describes how to open OST files in MS Outlook with all the possible approaches.

Microsoft Outlook categorized its data files into two types: OST and PST files. OST files contain data downloaded from offline Exchange Server, while PST files contain data stored in personal folders. If you want to copy your offline OST files data to another computer, you’ll have to either configure the email client to connect to the server and create a new OST file or convert the OST file to PST file format.

What is the difference between Outlook OST and PST file

OST or offline storage table (.ost) file, is an offline Outlook Data File that is used by Microsoft OST or offline storage table (.ost) file, is an offline Outlook Data File used by the Microsoft Exchange Server. It enables the users to work with the mail data, even when the mail server is inaccessible. Outlook OST file facilitates the users, with an option that allows a local copy of all the mail data to be stored on the user’s computer. So, these items automatically synced folders when access to the mail server is restored.

PST or personal storage table (.pst) file, is a Microsoft Outlook Data File that creates storage of user’s Outlook data for POP3, IMAP, and web-based mail accounts. These files include all the items within the folders, such as emails, email attachments, events, journals, contacts, and more. These Outlook PST files are supportable on all versions of MS Outlook. In earlier versions of Outlook, these files used to be stored in ANSI format, while later versions (Outlook 2003 onwards) save the PST file in Unicode format.

Why to Import Outlook OST to PST in Outlook 2016

Let us dig out some reasons that led the users to import Outlook OST to PST file format.

  • Sometimes, Exchange Server gets crashed unexpectedly displaying errors and make mail data inaccessible.
  • During server downtime and maintenance, users have to import OST file to Outlook to access it.
  • Recovery of all the mail data on the Exchange Server can be done using this process.
  • While syncing, OST files might get corrupted and .ost file become inaccessible.
  • While working, some frequent errors arise. To overcome that, this process is helpful.

How to Import Outlook OST to PST in Outlook 2016

To access the Outlook data files without any glitches, one must import Outlook OST to PST file format. You can take the help of the below-mentioned manual methods to convert multiple OST files.

Method 1-  Using the Import/Export Wizard

One of the most authentic methods is exporting OST files to PST files. It is one of the remarkable options to import Outlook OST to PST in Outlook 2016. You can follow these steps for this:

  1. Open MS Outlook 2016, 2013, 2010, or any other previous version
  2. Go to the ‘File’ menu in the menu bar and select the ‘Import & Export’option
  3. An ‘Import and Export Wizard’ will be opened, select ‘Export to a File’.
  4. After that, select ‘Outlook data file’(PST) format from the given options
  5. Ensure that you have selected the checkbox associated to ‘Include subfolders’ and Click on Finish.

Now, all your exchange OST mailboxes data will be transferred or moved to another location on your computer once it is available in the PST format.

Method 2-  Using the Archiving Method

Outlook facilitates the users to archive OST file data by moving the OST mailbox folders to PST file format. It also helps you to increase Outlook mailbox size. Follow the below steps to complete the process:

  1. Open MS Outlook application.
  2. Click on the ‘File’ menu and select ‘Archive
  3. Select the folder(s) or file(s) that needs to be archived
  4. Choose destination location for Archive storage on computer
  5. Now, Click on ‘Finish

Method 3-  Drag and Drop Mailbox Items

Using the method of Drag and Drop mailbox items from OST to PST file format is one of the best ways to move data from OST file to Outlook PST. To accomplish this, you’ll need to make a blank PST file in Outlook and then drag and drop the desired mail items from the OST mailbox to a new PST file.

But, there are certain limitations associated with the drag and drop method. You will have to repeat the process for every mail item that needs to be moved to the PST mailbox. This process is very time-consuming and has to be done with utmost care as a single mistake may lead to data corruption.

Limitations to Manual Methods

However, manual methods are useful to the users in many ways. But, at the same time, there are limitations with them which are:

  • Difficult to change inbox, contacts, and calendars to PST format.
  • Users may need to create a new Outlook data file to reorganize the data.
  • Individual OST file conversion may take a longer time for completion.
  • A small mistake may lead to data corruption and loss.

Convert OST File Using Trusted Solution

These manual methods might be effective for some users, but for some others, they may not be helpful. So, there is an alternative solution for them. In that scenario, they can use a professional Microsoft OST to PST Converter. This is one of the reliable and authentic methods to import Outlook OST to PST in Outlook 2016. Also, this software focuses on data integrity to prevent the loss of data. Some of the advanced features of this OST to PST Converter are:

  • Repairs and Restores all the Outlook mailbox data including emails, Calendars, Contacts, etc.
  • No size limitations for PST file recovery.
  • Saves output files into multiple formats such as PST, MBOX, MSG, DBX, and EML.
  • Supports both encrypted and password-protected Outlook PST files.
  • Fast scanning mode enables to scan files swiftly.
  • Intuitive GUI, which makes it easier to handle for novice users.
  • Strongly compatible with all the versions of MS Outlook 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, 2003, and 2002, etc.


The blog stated all the possible methods to import Outlook OST to PST in Outlook 2016 in the best possible way. There were manual methods that do not involve any cost but required utmost care and are time-consuming. Those, who do not have that sort of time can try a professional OST to PST Converter. Hope this article helps all the users seeking an effective method how to change OST to PST without deleting or rebuilding OST file. Thanks for visiting this blog.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

About The Author

    linkedin Image
As a Senior Technological Writer, I'm familiar with the technical challenges that both home users and business customers confront. As a result, I've decided to share all of my knowledge through this blog. I enjoy assisting you with problems involving technical jargon.

We're Online 24*7