Summary: Taking Outlook OST file backup need not require a complex process of converting OST to PST. With this article you can take a backup of the OST file with all Outlook attributes intact including the Outlook profile settings in just three clicks. Know how Remo’s Backup and Migrate Tool for Outlook can help you take OST backup in no time.
Outlook is one of the most common ways to communicate when it comes to working emails or official notifications. Whether you are working from home or hustling at the office, Microsoft Outlook also helps organize the norms of everyday work.
OST and PST are two types of Outlook data files that hold all your precious emails, contacts, notes, and many more Outlook attributes in them. PST file is locally saved on your computer and can be moved across the devices and hence taking backup of PST and moving it is a pretty simple task.
Hence, the best way of backing up an OST file for Microsoft Outlook is to convert it to a PST file. You can use the Outlook Export Wizard for converting OST to PST. However, it is recommended to rely on a professional tool for the conversion as there are limitations to the manual method which you will get to know in this article.
There are two different methods of backing up Outlook OST files. One is by archiving and the other with the help of Export/Import wizard.
How to Manually Take OST Backup?
There are various workarounds with which you can manually take a backup of the OST file. The first method is to export Outlook data files and the second method is to create an archive folder to backup the OST file.
Method 1: Export Outlook data to backup OST file
- Launch Microsoft Outlook, Click on File
- Select Open & Export and click on Import or Export
- In the next window, select Export to a file and click on next
- In the next window, select Outlook data file (.pst) and click on next
- Check the folders you want to backup or check the include subfolders to take the entire OST back up and hit the Next button.
- Browse for a location and provide a name for your backup file and select do not export duplicate items to avoid duplicates before you click on Finish.
- Make sure you select the <Root> of the folder as the starting point and also check the ‘Include Subfolders’ checkbox.
Note: The exporting method to backup OST files will generate a PST file with all your Outlook data. If you want to know more about how to take Outlook PST file backup, you can check this link.
Method 2: Archive Outlook folders to backup OST
Archiving is not exactly backing up the OST file, it is more like moving your important data onto a separate folder in Outlook. Remember archiving doesn't backup Outlook contacts, know how to backup and move Outlook Contacts here.
Follow the below-mentioned steps to archive Outlook:
- Open Microsoft Outlook and click on File
- Click on Tools (or Cleanup Tools for Older Outlook versions)
- Select Set Archive Folders ( Archive for Outlook 2016 and previous versions)
- In the Setup, Archive Window click on new and name the archive folder and where you want to store it
- Click Ok to finish the Outlook archiving process.
Other than these two methods you can also create a new PST file. Know how to copy outlook structure to a new pst file and then copy the ost contents.
Limitations Of The Manual Method For Converting OST to PST:
After following these methods you will be able to backup an OST file data. However, there are certain limitations of these methods.
OST to PST File Conversion will be Incomplete In IMAP Outlook Profile
If you are using the IMAP settings for Microsoft Outlook, your data will be available in an OST file or a PST file, or in a combination of both. As the mailbox contains components like emails, contacts, calendars, tasks, and more in an IMAP account, thus it creates complexity in backing up the Outlook OST file.
All the emails and the other email components are stored on IMAP Server in the IMAP account which is then synced with Outlook. This process saves these components in a local cache file on the computer. Though for the latest Outlook versions such as Outlook 2013, Outlook 2016, Outlook 2019, and Office 365, the mail cache is available in an OST file format.
As a result, when you try to back up the OST file, you may not be successful if the OST file is corrupt.
A Corrupt OST File Cannot be Repaired Manually and Will not be Backed Up
If the OST files get corrupted due to various Outlook errors or virus attacks, then OST files cannot be repaired using Outlook utility ‘Scanpst.exe’ thus leading to inaccessible OST files. In such a situation the users will be unable to open their OST files, leaving the OSTs in an orphaned state.
What if I told you that you can take a backup of the OST file in less than 2 minutes without having to convert it to a PST file?
Don’t believe what you just read?
With an exclusive tool that is dedicated to Outlook backup and migration by your side, you have to believe that you can backup and transfer Outlook OST file to a new computer without needing to convert them into PST.
Remo Outlook Backup and Migrate software is an all-in-one tool that not only helps you to backup both OST and PST but also assists you in the migration of Outlook. The tool can backup your entire Outlook data including emails, contacts, notes, reminders, and most importantly your Outlook settings intact. Download the tool now for free and try backing up Outlook without any hassle.
Note: If you have lost or misplaced your Outlook contacts while backing up your OST file, read the mentioned article to recover lost contacts from Outlook. With the help of the given informative write-up, you can get back your contacts regardless of your Outlook version.
Backup Outlook OST file with Remo Outlook Backup and Migrate Tool:
To back up the OST file, download and install Remo Outlook Backup and Migrate software and follow the below-mentioned instructions:
- Launch the tool, select the Backup option
- On the next screen, you can choose between Smart Backup or Advanced Backup. Smart Backup- instantly takes the entire OST file backup. Advanced Backup- You can specify the contents of the OST file according to your need.
- After choosing either of the above options, click on next to start the OST backup process.
- Click on Finish and that’s it you have successfully taken a backup of the OST file.
Do I Need To Backup OST Files?
Here are a few reasons because of which you need to back up the OST File in Outlook 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019.
There can be numerous situations that result in creating an archive file of OST (Offline Storage Table) in Outlook.
- OST Synchronization Problem: you can work with OST files in the offline mode. But when Outlook is synchronized with the Exchange Server, it becomes difficult to work on the OST file. For this reason, it is needed to back up the OST file.
- Authentication Issue: To avoid all the complex procedures to access data from the Exchange Server, it is better to keep an archive of the OST file.
- Outlook Data Recovery: You can lose Outlook data because of various reasons like accidental file deletion, file corruption, highly damaged OST files, data cannot be accessed errors, etc. So to avoid loss of data permanently, it is recommended to keep a contingency plan and backup .ost files for the accounts.
- OST Data File Corruption: OST files can get damaged because of virus attacks, abrupt shutdown, and other software-related issues. As a result, the OST file becomes inaccessible. Hence, it is necessary to Backup the Offline OST files of Outlook 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010 & Exchange OST files.
Although the above-mentioned manual methods can help you to backup OST files, but they have their own disadvantages like converting into a PST file and not being able to archive a complete Outlook data file.
Moreover, the manual process is complex, and when you are dealing with a large amount of precious work-related data you cannot afford to take chances. Hence, it is recommended to make use of a completely automated and safe method to backup and migrate using Remo Outlook Backup and Migrate tool.
Tony Landry is a Web Content Editor at Remo Software. He loves to write, edit, and manage content for users trying to troubleshoot and fix problems on Windows, Outlook, storage drives and Cloud storage networks.
He has published more than 200 articles in Remo Software blog. He actively engages in research and problem-solving techniques to consistently generate great web content. Fixing various hardware problems on computer and storage devices along with a great knack for fixing Outlook errors, Tony is also the fun-time IT guy for all his work friends. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and enjoys cycling.