OST and PST Files:

How to Transfer OST File to Another Account?

5 minutes, 26 seconds Read

If you’re an avid user of Microsoft Outlook, you might have come across terms like OST and PST files. But what are they exactly, and how do they differ? In this user-friendly guide, we’ll break down the differences between OST and PST files in simple terms and how to transfer OST files into PST format to convert OST to PST, helping you grasp their purpose, functionality, and how they impact your Outlook experience.

What Are OST and PST Files?

Let’s start with the basics. OST stands for Offline Storage Table, while PST stands for Personal Storage Table. Both are file formats used by Outlook to store your emails, contacts, calendar events, and other data, but they serve different purposes and function in distinct ways.

Understanding OST Files:

Imagine you’re traveling, and you want to access your emails even without an internet connection. This is where OST files come into play. OST files are like a local cache of your Exchange mailbox data. They allow you to work with your Outlook data offline, syncing any changes you make with the Exchange server once you’re back online.

Here’s a breakdown of OST files:

  • Purpose: OST files are primarily used for offline access to Exchange mailbox data. They enable you to read, write, and manage your emails, even when you’re not connected to the Exchange server.
  • Functionality: When you’re offline, any changes you make to your emails, calendar, or other Outlook data are stored in the OST file. Once you reconnect to the Exchange server, these changes are synchronized, ensuring that your mailbox remains up-to-date.
  • Synchronization: OST files are closely tied to the Exchange server. They synchronize with the server to ensure that your offline changes are reflected in your online mailbox.
  • Accessibility: Since OST files are associated with a specific Exchange account, they are accessible only when connected to the corresponding Exchange server. You can’t simply copy an OST file to another computer and access its contents.

In essence, OST files provide you with the flexibility to work with your Exchange mailbox data offline, ensuring that you stay productive even when an internet connection is unavailable.

Understanding PST Files:

Now, let’s shift our focus to PST files. Unlike OST files, which are primarily used for offline access to Exchange mailbox data, PST files serve a different purpose.

  • Purpose: PST files act as a local repository for your Outlook data. They can contain emails, contacts, calendar events, tasks, and more. Think of PST files as your personal archive or backup of Outlook data.
  • Functionality: You have more control over PST files compared to OST files. You can create, open, and manage PST files independently of any server. This means you can store old emails, organize your data, or create backups without relying on an internet connection or Exchange server.
  • Synchronization: Unlike OST files, PST files are not synchronized with a server. Any changes you make to a PST file are local and do not affect your online mailbox. This gives you full control over your Outlook data without impacting server-side operations.
  • Accessibility: PST files are portable and can be moved or copied between computers. You can open a PST file on any computer with Outlook installed, making it easy to access your archived or backup data wherever you go.

In summary, PST files provide you with a convenient way to store and manage your Outlook data locally, offering flexibility and control over your email archives and backups.

Key Differences Between OST and PST Files:

Now that we’ve covered the basics of OST and PST files, let’s highlight the key differences between them:

  • Purpose: OST files are used for offline access to Exchange mailbox data, while PST files act as a local repository for Outlook data, including emails, contacts, and calendar events.
  • Functionality: OST files synchronize with the Exchange server to ensure offline changes are reflected online. PST files are not synchronized and offer greater control over your Outlook data.
  • Synchronization: OST files are closely tied to the Exchange server and require an internet connection for synchronization. PST files are standalone and do not rely on server synchronization.
  • Accessibility: OST files are accessible only when connected to the corresponding Exchange server. PST files are portable and can be accessed on any computer with Outlook installed.

In essence, while both OST and PST files store Outlook data, they serve different purposes and operate in distinct ways, catering to various user needs and scenarios.

How to Manage OST and PST Files in Outlook:

Now that you understand the differences between OST and PST files, let’s explore how you can manage them effectively in Outlook:

Managing OST Files:

  • Keep your Exchange account settings up-to-date to ensure seamless synchronization with the Exchange server.
  • Regularly back up your OST file to prevent data loss in case of unexpected events.
  • Monitor your mailbox size to avoid reaching the OST file size limit, which could impact performance.

Managing PST Files:

  • Organize your PST files into folders to maintain a structured archive of your Outlook data.
  • Periodically clean up and compact PST files to optimize storage space and improve performance.
  • Use PST files for archiving old emails, creating backups, or transferring Outlook data between computers.

How to Transfer Orphan OST Files?
If you disconnected the OST file from the account of Outlook then you can opt DataSkorpio OST Converter is the excellent solution and allows you to convert an OST file with a well maintained mailbox data structure. This application is completely designed with advanced algorithms to get accurate output without losing any information.


In this user-friendly guide, we’ve explored the differences between OST and PST files in Microsoft Outlook. OST files are used for offline access to Exchange mailbox data, while PST files serve as a local repository for Outlook data, including emails, contacts, and calendar events.

Understanding the purpose, functionality, and accessibility of OST and PST files is essential for managing your Outlook data effectively. Whether you’re traveling and need offline access to your emails or want to create backups of your Outlook data, knowing how to work with OST and PST files will help you stay organized and productive.

By following the tips provided in this guide, you can navigate OST and PST files with confidence, ensuring that your Outlook experience is seamless and hassle-free. Whether you’re a casual user or a seasoned Outlook pro, having a solid understanding of OST and PST files will empower you to make the most of Microsoft Outlook’s features and capabilities.

Also Read: Boosting Efficiency: Using EPR in Microsoft Dynamics 365

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