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How to Extract Contacts From OST File?

In this article, you'll find various methods to Extract Contacts from the OST files, with the help of the Outlook Export/Import feature and also an exclusively designed Remo Outlook Backup and Migrate tool. Choose wisely and export Outlook contacts effortlessly.!

In Outlook, OST files are created on the local storage of the system as a replica of the Exchange mailbox. Outlook storage table (OST) files store all the Outlook data including the contacts. Thus when the Exchange server is not available or is offline, OST files allow you to have access to all data stored in the mailbox. So you can work in Outlook even if you are offline and it automatically synchronizes the data when you connect back to the internet.

Whenever you create a contact in Outlook, the Exchange Server saves it in the OST file. To extract those contacts from the OST file it needs to be converted to a portable file format. The reason is, that an OST file can only be read through the Outlook application and hence needs conversion before it can be read elsewhere.

User Query: “I recently made changes to my contacts in Outlook and I need to undo the changes now. But, I didn't create a pst file before making the changes. I do hourly backups of my Outlook files to an external hard drive. Is there any way to retrieve the contacts from Outlook data files and restore them?”

If you are also curious to know about how to extract the contacts from an OST file just like the above Outlook user, continue reading the article. This article will assist you in exporting Outlook contacts from OST to PST file effortlessly.

Can you Extract Contacts From an OST File?

There are three different methods to retrieve contacts from an Outlook data file.

  1. Use Outlook Import/Export Wizard to extract contacts from an OST file
  2. Extract Contacts from corrupt or inaccessible OST files.
  3. Quick Method to Extract contacts from OST file using Remo Outlook Backup and Migrate tool

Note: Any information on the OST file can only be extracted onto a PST file. Hence the above methods involve taking contacts from an OST and exporting or converting them into a PST file.

1. Use Outlook Export/Import Wizard to Retrieve Contacts from OST file:

Outlook provides an in-built Export/Import feature using which you can effortlessly extract contacts from the OST file. The below-mentioned method is suitable for Outlook 2016, 2013, and 2010 users.

  • First, open Outlook and then click on the File tab.

Click on File tab to extract contacts from OST

  • Now, on the left side, you will see the Open & Export option click on it.

Click on Import/Export to extract contacts from OST

  • Then, click on the Import/Export. The Import/Export Wizard will open.
  • After that, select the Export to a file option and then click on Next.

Click on Export to a file option to export contacts

  • The Export dialog box will appear on your screen. Create a file type option, you have to select Outlook Data File(.pst) and then click on Next. You can also select the Comma Separated Values to export the Outlook contacts in a CSV file.

Browse Outlook data file and Name it.

  • Now, in Select the folder to export from the list, you have to select the Contacts folder and then click on the Next button.

Select Contact you want to export. Click on Next.

  • Then in the next window, click on the Browse button, and choose the desired location where you want to save the file.

Click on Browse to extract contacts

  • After that, you can select Replace duplicates with items exported, Allow duplicate items to be created, or Do not export duplicate items according to your requirements and click on Finish.

Browse Outlook data file and Name it.

Hopefully, after following the above-mentioned steps you were able to export contacts from an OST file. However, there are certain drawbacks that come along with the manual method.

Note: Want to backup the OST file? Know-how to take backup of OST files.  

Drawbacks of the Manual Method

  1. You must be connected to the Exchange Server while you export contacts from the OST file. If the OST file is corrupted or the exchange server goes down, important Outlook data can be lost.
  2. You may end up corrupting the OST file if you do not strictly follow the procedure and anything goes wrong
  3. Manual conversion requires a lot of time and can be cumbersome.

Note: If your OST file is showcasing an error message stating “Errors have been detected in the file .ost”, then your data file is damaged and needs to be repaired.

Moreover, the Outlook inbuilt Import/Export feature won’t be successful in extracting contacts from the OST file if the OST file is orphaned or becomes inaccessible. If you are stuck with a damaged OST file and were unable to export contacts from the OST file using the manual method; do not worry.

Go through the next segment, which will help you retrieve contacts from the OST file even if it is inaccessible with an automated tool.

2. How to Export Contacts from a Corrupt/Inaccessible OST file?

It can be overwhelming to understand the number of factors that can cause damage or corruption to an OST file. Moreover, Outlook will not allow you to access any Outlook data if your OST file is severely damaged, and this can seem to be a major hurdle to extracting contacts from the OST file.

To quickly repair the OST file corruption you can make use of the Outlook Inbox Repair Tool also known as the ScanPST tool. However, if the corruption is in Outlook’s PST file and this is causing the hindrance in extracting the contacts from OST, then make use of the Remo Repair Outlook PST tool and easily extract contacts from corrupt Outlook data files without any concern.

If you are unable to repair the OST file using the Outlook ScanPST tool then the only way to fix the OST file without any risk is to convert it to the PST file format. This you can do using the Remo Convert OST to PST software and finally can recover all your Outlook items including the folder structure.

If the Outlook OST file is not corrupt and is working fine. Try a quick and hassle-free method to export contacts from an OST file. The below section will brief you on how to extract contacts from an OST file in a quick and effective method.

3. How to Export and Backup Contacts from the OST file?

Remo Outlook Backup and Migrate tool is a safe and secure utility to backup, restore and migrate data without any limitations in a quick and hassle-free way.

By using this tool you’ll overcome the limitations associated with the tedious Outlook Import/Export process and will be able to successfully extract your contacts from the OST file. Along with contacts you can also backup all other attributes of the mailbox including emails, attachments, notes, calendars, etc.

Extract Contacts from OST File with Remo Backup and Migrate tool

  • Download and Install Remo Outlook Backup and Migrate tool.

  • Launch the tool and click on Backup.

  • Choose between Smart Backup and Advanced Backup on the next screen.

Smart Backup provides a complete backup of Outlook that includes all the Outlook attributes like emails, journals, contacts, notes, etc. with Outlook rules and settings.

And with the Advanced Backup option, you can choose the Outlook attributes that are important to you and take a backup of them safely.

choose between smart or advance option

  • If you choose Smart Backup, then just click on Next to start the process. If you choose Advanced Backup then you need to select the attributes you want (in this case contacts) to backup and then click on Next.

  • When the backup is completed, select View Report and extract contacts from the report.

Note: If you want to transfer or migrate Outlook to a new computer you can use the above-mentioned tool exclusively designed to migrate all attributes of Outlook effectively.

Once you back up all the attributes from Outlook; you can find the contacts in the report and export the contacts easily from here to your selected destination.

Remo Outlook Backup and Migrate tool not only allows you to backup, restore and migrate Outlook data files, but it also has 25GB of free cloud storage to store your Outlook data files as well as personal files. It also comes with the option of automated backup where you can easily set time and date to automatically back up your files and even set password protection on data files to maintain them securely.

Quick Question: Can you extract emails from OST File? You can extract or export emails from OST files with all attributes intact as stated above with the help of the Remo Outlook Backup and Migrate tool.

You can also import the contacts of Outlook on your new computer, new Outlook version, new Outlook Profile, or even to a new Outlook account using the migrate option provided in the Remo Outlook Backup and Migrate tool.

Let us know if this article has helped you extract the contacts from the OST file easily in the comment section below.

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Tony Landry

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.

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