Fix Outlook is Using an Old Copy of Your (.ost) File

Summary: Sometimes, when the users try to open an Outlook data file OST file, some other files emerge on the screen. As a result, MS Outlook is unable to access the most recent Outlook OST files. This article will show you how to fix Outlook is using an old copy of your OST file.

Most organizations prefer Outlook for professional communication. So, it is a pathetic situation when you face an error while using Outlook. Due to the error, the mailbox items including emails, calendars, contacts, events, etc. become inaccessible to the users.

One such error that occurs most frequently is Outlook using an old copy of the data file. There might be some reasons why the OST files can not open or access and show an error. Some of the reasons are OS crash, improper upgrade of Outlook, virus infection, etc. The above OST error message is displayed on the screen:

“Outlook cannot open your default email folders. Outlook is using an old copy of OST. Exit Outlook, delete the .ost file and restart Outlook. A new file will be automatically created the next time you initiate a send/receive”.

Methods to fix Outlook Using Old OST File Error

The most feasible way to troubleshoot the error Outlook is using an old copy is to delete the old OST file. But, ensure that you have taken a backup of your OST file in the form of a PST file. But, if you don’t want to delete the older OST file, you need to fix the issue in the problematic OST file.

Method 1: Delete the OST file

In the first step, delete the damaged OST files. For doing this, unhide OST file first. Now, go through the below steps for deleting the old OST:

For Windows 7:
  • Click on Start Button.
  • Select the File option, followed by the alternate path Organize >> Folder and Search options.
  • Go to the View tab.
  • Choose the option Show hidden files, folders, and drivers.
  • Now, untick the Hide extensions for the known file types option.
  • Hit a click on OK.
For Windows 10:
  • Launch the File Explorer.
  • Now, select the View option.
  • After that, select the option File name extensions and Hidden Items.

In the above steps, your Offline Outlook OST files will become visible. Now, use the below explained steps to fix the Outlook is using an old copy of your Outlook data file (.ost). In this method, we used Appdata Local Microsoft Outlook settings. Exit Outlook deletes the file error.

  • Go to Computer or the File Explorer Window.
  • After that, navigate through C:/Users/(your login name)/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Outlook.
  • Now, delete the visible OST files with the .ost extension.
  • Ensure that you have not deleted any PST files.
  • Once done, restart the Outlook application.
  • Now, you need to recreate the OST file which has been deleted because of the occurrence of an error.

Method 2: Repair the OST file

If the above error message from Outlook 2016, 2013, 2010, and 2007 still continues, there are chances that the OST file is damaged or corrupted. You can repair the corrupted OST files by employing a Microsoft inbuilt inbox repair tool i.e. “scanpst.exe”.

It repairs the corruptions in the OST file and fixes the error Outlook is using an old copy of your OST. But the scanpst.exe is able to fix only minor corruptions. If your OST files have been severely damaged, you need to opt for a professional tool as an alternative.

Alternative Way to troubleshoot Outlook is using an old copy error

The manual approach to fix Outlook OST error might be suitable for individuals or small where there are a small no. of OST files that can be repaired. But, what about large organizations? It is not possible to repair each OST file manually as there are a large no. of OST files.

Here comes the need for a professional solution that involves the use of a Microsoft OST to PST File Converter tool to convert the inaccessible OST files to PST files. It can be done in a short span of time. It is one of the most feasible solutions to fix this particular Outlook OST error.

Final Words

Most small or large organizations, rely on Outlook for their professional and business communication. Even a small hindrance in the Outlook data can create hassles in the functioning of an organization. So, it is recommended to save the OST files in PST file format at some regular intervals to avoid defect Outlook OST files, and the occurrence of Outlook is using an old copy of Outlook data file (.ost) error. If you feel such a problem, you can go for the professional tool, and this tool scans inaccessible OST files. Hope it helps.

About The Author:

Mithilesh Tata is an Email Migration and Data Recovery Expert. He has a keen interest in Technology & Entrepreneurship. Also, he loves cricket, music, and books.


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