How to open an OST file in Outlook 2016 PST file?

Ashish Singh
Ashish Singh

Updated On - February 9, 2024

Summary: OST file is an Outlook data file that contains mailbox items. You can access and open it only when you convert your OST file into PST format. This article will help you to view OST mailbox data in different versions of Outlook either manually or using Recoveryfix OST viewer automated tool.

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Outlook is one of the most prevalent platforms to conduct daily email interactions. Over the years, Microsoft Outlook has launched different versions, such as 2021, 2019, 2016, and 2013, to become more user-specific with their advanced features.

OST and PST files are Outlook data files used to store mailboxes such as emails, notes, contacts, attachments, tasks, and others. OST and PST files are both meant to store mailbox data. But they have a few crucial differences like PST can be accessed directly, whereas OST cannot.
Benefits of OST file

Recover lost mailboxes: OST files enable you to recover the lost mailboxes (in case of any damage that might have occurred to the Exchange Server or in case the server is down).

Automatic synchronization: If there is a connection issue between the user and the email server, Outlook creates a copy of their mailbox as an OST file. It will sync automatically as the connection is stored.

Stored in secondary storage: The OST file is a replica of the mailbox of the Exchange account. This OST File is stored on your computer’s hard drive. Consequently, the damage done to the Exchange Server has no adverse effects on an OST file, which is saved on the hard drive.

Access without Internet connection: You might have certain emails that are of great importance to you, but you can only access them if you have a network connection. Again, in this case, these files come in handy.

Security and Reliability: With your OST file, you can keep your email data safe even if the server crashes or there’s some problem with the Exchange Server.

These are the primary advantages of OST files. But you can’t access OST format files directly as they only open in PST file format. So, let’s discuss the manual method to access the OST files.

Note: Microsoft Outlook 2010 doesn’t support opening or importing items from an offline Outlook Data File (.ost) manually.

Manual method to open the OST file in Outlook
  1. Open Microsoft Outlook and click on File.pen Microsoft Outlook
  2. Click on Open & Export and choose Import/Export.Click on Open & Export and choose Import/Export
  3. From the mentioned list, select Export to a file; Click Export to a file
  4. Create File Type by selecting Outlook Data File (.pst); Click Next.Create File Type by selecting Outlook
  5. Select the folder to export from; Click Next.Select the folder
  6. Click Browse to select a saving location on your PC or external media, followed by the given Options. After choosing the folder location, click Finish.Click Browse to select a saving location
  7. Note: As an optional step, enter a password to protect the exported PST file. Click OK.enter a password to protect the exported PST file

  8. Exporting OST mailbox items to PST.Exporting OST mailbox items to PST

To begin exporting the PST file, re-enter the password.

To import a PST file

After exporting, follow the simple steps to open the PST file on different Outlook versions.

  1. Open Microsoft Outlook.
  2. Go to File option > Open & Export > Import/Export.
  3. Choose Import from another program or file. Click Next.Choose Import from another program or file
  4. Select file type to import from. Click Next.Select file type to import
  5. Click Browse to select File to Import. Click Finish.Click Browse to select File to Import
Automated tool to open OST file

Through the above process, you can access the OST file, but along with that, you may face the following issues, which hamper your performance and efficiency.

  1. If your OST file gets corrupted, then that file will not open through the manual method.
  2. It is not easy to understand the filter option in the Export Outlook Data File wizard.
  3. Regular conversion of OST files is cumbersome and time-consuming.
  4. The manual method doesn’t provide the facility to retrieve your lost item.

So, to open OST files in any of the Outlook versions without any restraints, you can prefer automated tools. Recoveryfix OST viewer is one of the most recommended tools, which makes you comfortable with all your worries about OST files. It overcomes all the fixes discussed above. Additionally, it provides you with the facility to open your OST file in different Outlook versions.


This article gave you valuable information on OST files and convenient methods to open them. We have discussed a manual approach to view your OST file. However, the manual method is time-consuming and complex. To make the process simpler and faster, you can rely on Recoveryfix OST viewer tool to view your healthy, inaccessible, or corrupted OST file easily.

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