As the title suggests, in this article, we are going to discuss the methods to export the contacts from Offline Storage Table (OST file) to Personal Storage Table file.
Both are Outlook database files with different objectives. OST file stores all the Exchange data on the user’s system location and make it available for users even if the Exchange Server is unavailable or Outlook is in offline mode. Thus, one can say it is an offline copy of the whole of Exchange data at the system drive i.e., OST file location. It contains all the user mailbox’s items including emails and contacts. One can always access a new updated OST file mailboxes in Outlook with configuration of the Exchange Server account in the Outlook application.
PST files, on the other hand, are the portable database files stored on the system drive location which contains complete data of the Outlook email client within it. It includes Outlook information like mailbox folder items (emails, contacts, calendars, notes, tasks, groups and more), structure properties, rules, etc.
But what is the need to export Contacts from OST file to PST file? This we are going to learn in our next section.
The Need for Conversion
When OST file has no connection with the Exchange Server due to some OST synchronization issue which means the Exchange Server is not available or down at the moment. Other reason may lie in the fact that the Exchange user is willing to take backup of the contacts permanently to the Outlook PST file which is a portable file format and can be used anytime or when he wants to migrate from Windows to Mac environment or from one Windows system to another. User can make a backup copy of PST file to use in data loss condition.
Then, to access the data like contacts from mailboxes in OST file, the user needs to export the contacts data to the PST file so that the users can access or view the contacts within the Outlook application. So, there is a need to convert OST data to PST file for its accessibility. But how we are going to export the data? Let us read further to get the answer.
Two Paths to Export OST Contacts to PST
The two ways to move OST contacts to Outlook PST file are as under.
- Manual way (Using Import/Export feature) to export OST Contacts to PST
- Professional way (Using a third-party tool) to export OST Contacts to PST
The users who like to try on their own are lucky to have a manual way to export OST contacts to PST file. The method is completely free and feasible. This method will only work if the Exchange Server and the Outlook application are working normally, i.e., the OST file is not corrupt.
Microsoft Outlook application integrates the Import and Export feature using which the user can transport contacts from OST file to PST location.
Note: The Outlook users must have connection with Exchange via respective Exchange profiles such that OST data is accessible.
Let us understand the procedure in detail with each step performed in sequence.
- Start the Outlook application, go to File tab, select the Open & Export option and then click on the Import /Export option.
- The Import and Export Wizard dialog box will get open. Select the option Import from another program or file and click on Next.
- Next, in the Import and Export Wizard dialog box, select the option Export to a file from the list and click on Next.
- It will open the Export to a file dialog box. Here, under the section ‘Create a file of type’, select the option Outlook Data File (.pst) and click on Next
Note: There is second option available to save the OST file contacts as Comma Separated Values i.e., CSV file which users can also choose based on the requirement.
- Within the opened Export Outlook Data File dialog box, under the section ‘Select the folder to export from’, choose the Contacts folder option from the list. Then, click on Next
- Now, under the section ‘Save exported file as’, browse and enter the saving path location for the converted PST file containing the contacts folder information. You can also make the choice out of the given three options as per your requirements for managing duplicate items. Once choice is made, click on Finish
- A dialogue box will get open asking to assign a password to the created PST file. Enter the password, confirm it and click on OK
Thus, the contacts data from the OST file is successfully exported to the PST file. You can open this PST file in your Outlook application and view the contacts data easily.
It is to be noted that using the Import/Export feature in Outlook, a copy of data (can include contacts, emails, attachments) is exported to the Outlook PST file without any meta data folder properties like message rules, AutoArchive settings, views, permissions, etc.
But hold on, there are some limitations with this manual solution. Let us have a look at the drawback points.
Limitations of Manual Method
- Does not work if OST file is corrupt or Exchange Server is down
- Orphaned OST files’ contacts cannot be exported
- Risk of data loss and damage
- Complexity is involved
- Difficult for new users
- Lengthy process
- Technical knowledge is required
- No security and success guarantee
- Exchange Server connection is essential
- Can lead to corruption or damage in OST files
So, keeping in track these limitations and to transfer contacts from corrupt OST file to PST mailbox, a trustable third-party tool is required.
Professional Method to Export OST Contacts to PST
We introduce and suggest our OST to PST Converter software that not only moves data from healthy OST files to PST location but also retrieves data from corrupt OST files easily and transfer it to the PST file. So, in case of server breakdown also, all OST data can be regained and accessible. The software holds a quite simple user-interface that converts OST data to PST file within 3-4 steps only and with full integrity. So, it is quite easy to export contacts from OST file to PST also using this advanced software. For any Outlook and Exchange versions, users can perform conversion or export whole mailbox data from OST file as well as other destinations too in a filtered way through the advanced integrated filter options. You should work on its free trial version first to get an idea about its efficiency and working.
When Exchange Server connection is unavailable and accessing data like contacts and emails is urgent, then exporting OST data to PST is required. We have a manual solution using Import/Export feature in Outlook but as it does not work for corrupt OST files, a third-party tool that repairs and export data to PST should be tried in such condition. Hope the users got to learn something useful from this article!