How to Open Outlook OST Files Without Exchange Server?

Siddharth Rawat
Siddharth Rawat

Updated On - October 19, 2022

“Due to some reason, I am unable to access my Exchange account. I need to access my OST files urgently. Is there any standalone way to open the OST files?”

OST or Outlook Storage Table files are native to MS Outlook & Exchange Server. OST files work in offline or cached mode with MS Exchange. When the server is not available, the new changes in mailboxes are stored in an OST file. Once the network connection is restored, these changes will be synchronized with the server. More importantly, unlike PST files, these OST files are profile specific and cannot be accessed without an original profile. OST files are not usually needed to be backed but having a backup copy can be helpful in the following scenarios:

  • An OST file can get orphaned if your exchange accounts get deleted. It is then required to convert OST to PST; later, this PST file can be used to restore the orphaned OST file.
  • A server crash, making the mailbox items inaccessible.
  • In an event when Exchange admins decide to close an Exchange account but want a copy of the mailbox for later review.

Other than the aforementioned scenarios, it is always a wise idea to back up your essential correspondences. Additionally, in this post, we will discuss methods to open and view OST files. Following are some of the prime causes making Exchange offline OST files inaccessible or orphaned:

  • An issue with the Storage Media
  • If the storage media containing the Exchange OST files gets corrupted or damaged, causing the OST file inaccessible.

  • Frequent Power Failure or Abrupt Server Shutdown
  • Sudden power failures can easily corrupt various files and can also affect OST files.

  • Accidental Deletion
  • Accidental deletion of the Exchange mailbox can orphan an OST file.

  • Malicious Attacks
  • This is one of the prime reasons behind the corruption of many files, including OST files, hence making them inaccessible.

How to Open and View OST Files?

As previously mentioned, OST files can only be opened when the Outlook is configured with the original Exchange profile. Otherwise, to view OST files, one has to look for OST viewer tools. One such competent tool is Recoveryfix for OST Viewer. It can easily open corrupt, damaged, or orphaned OST files. Using this tool, one does not need to establish a connection with the Exchange Server to view the OST file content. Using the OST viewer, you can also retrieve the items that were accidentally or intentionally deleted by the user. The tool is quite easy to operate; therefore, even a non-technical user can use the tool without any assistance. It is compatible with all versions of Exchange Server, MS Outlook and all Window platforms. Lastly, it can be downloaded for free. Let us now look at the working of this utility in detail.

  1. Install the tool and launch it. Click on the Browse button to upload the OST file. Next, select from the two available modes- Standard and Advanced — Hit Next to proceed.
  2. Select modes- Standard and Advanced — Hit Next to proceed.

  3. From the left pane, click on the folders that you would like to view. In the preview pane, the content of the mailbox items can be viewed.
  4. click on the folders that you would like to view
    Note: It is sometimes essential to restore an orphaned OST file, hence to do so, we highly recommend another professional OST to PST Converter tool from Recoveryfix. Later these PST files can be easily imported into Outlook desktop client.

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    OST files can get corrupted, inaccessible, or orphaned, making it impossible to view essential correspondences. It is a known fact that it is not possible to view OST files without Exchange server. But using a third-party OST viewer tool such as OST Viewer by Recoveryfix can help you overcome this issue. It is an excellent utility, which serves as a standalone utility to view OST files without an Exchange Server.

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