Category - OST Recovery

How to Extract Contacts from an Outlook OST File?

Siddharth Rawat

Siddharth Rawat

August 27, 2019

In this blog post, we will be discussing two simple ways to extract contacts from Outlook OST files. So, without further ado, let’s delve right in.

What is an OST file?
OST is an abbreviation for Offline Storage Table files. Accounts such as Office 365, Exchange, and IMAP (like Outlook.com) use an offline Outlook Data file (.ost) to store a synchronized copy of your mailbox contents on your local machine. In a case your connection to the mail server is interrupted, for example, when you are offline, you can still access all your email messages and other items. However, your changes won’t be synchronized for obvious reasons. Once the connectivity is restored, all the changes made by you will be automatically synchronized; in laymen terms, the email contents on the server and your local machine will be identical.

Locate your Outlook data files
To locate your .ost on your local machine, follow the steps mentioned below:

  1. Go to the File tab > Account Settings > Account Settings.
  2. Now, select Data Files, and select an account and click Open File Location.

  3. For any Outlook version, the .ost file is saved here-

    C:\Users\user\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook

NB: Sometimes, the AppData folder might be hidden; hence, the user has to unhide it first. To do so click View tab > Options > Change folder and search options. Go to View tab. Now under Hidden files and folders, check Show hidden files, folders, and drives.

Labor-intensive method for extracting contacts from an OST file
To extract contacts from an OST file, there is a simple way. The contact details are saved in the Outlook address book. It is to note that, this method works only when you are connected to Exchange server using an Exchange profile. Please follow the steps outlined below:

  1. Go to File > Open & Export > Import/Export.
  2. Now select “Export to a File” and hit “Next.”
  3. From the two options, select the latter one. One can also select the former option if you want to save the contacts in a .csv file which can be opened in tools like MS Excel, Notepad, and Libre Office. Hit “Next.”
  4. Now, only select “Contacts” and proceed.
  5. Next, provide the location where you would like to save the PST file.
  6. Provide a password to protect your PST file.

Export Contacts with Recoveryfix for OST to PST Converter
As mentioned earlier, the major drawback of the previous method Is that it only works when the user is connected to the Exchange server, using an Exchange profile. So, the conversion is not possible when either the Exchange server is down, or the OST files are corrupt. It is therefore recommended to use a professional third-party tool for OST to PST conversion. One such tool is Recoveryfix for OST to PST Converter. This tool can efficiently convert inaccessible OST files to PST irrespective of the file size. There are two scanning modes to choose from – Standard and Advanced. This tool also lets you preview the converted files before saving. The original data hierarchy is preserved during the conversion process.

Most importantly one can also recover the permanently deleted items of an OST file. The user can choose from various saving options such as PST, MSG, DBX, and EML formats. This tool also provides you the option to split large files into smaller ones before saving.

Now we will be discussing the features of this extraordinary tool in detail. Now we will go step-by-step and extract the “Contacts” from an OST file.

  1. After the installation, open the program. Browse for the OST file from which you want to extract contacts from and then hit “Next.” One can also select between the two modes
  2. The retrieved files can be previewed in the right pane by clicking on the folders in the tree view. Select as many files that you would like to retrieve, then hit “Save.”
  3. Next, you will be prompted to choose between the two options to save your file. Further, you can select from the two formats to save the data. Next, browse for the destination folder where you would like to save your data. If you have a large data file, then you can choose to split your file into several smaller size PST files. Hit “Ok” to finish the Save process.

Conclusion
We have discussed one manual and one tool-based approach to extract contacts from an OST file. The manual method has a drawback as OST to PST format conversion works only when you are connected to Exchange server using an Exchange profile. We have also discussed the features of Recoveryfix for OST to PST tool, a professional tool. This tool is your one-stop solution when it comes to Convert OST to PST file format. Its rich features set it apart from its counterparts.

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