How you can view the contents of the OST

OST file (Outlook Offline Storage Table) is a Microsoft Outlook data storage file used to store copies of emails and other mail items on a local computer. The primary function of OST files is to enable users to work with email even in situations where there is no connection to the network or the Microsoft Exchange server.

Key features and functions of OST files:

  1. Offline Mode: OST files are created when a user sets up offline mode in Outlook, which involves saving copies of emails and other items on the local computer.
  2. Synchronization with Exchange Server: When a user works in offline mode and makes changes to the data (creating new emails, editing contacts, etc.), these changes are synchronized with the Exchange server upon the next connection to the network.
  3. Convenience and Accessibility: OST files provide a convenient way to work with email even in cases of limited or no internet connectivity.

It’s important to note that OST files are tied to a specific Outlook profile and Exchange account, making it impossible to simply open or transfer them to another computer without using specific procedures, such as export or conversion to another file format (e.g., PST – Outlook Data File).

How to open an OST file:

  1. Microsoft Outlook with Exchange Server: If you have access to the original Exchange server, connect to the account using the Outlook working profile. This allows you to open and view the contents of the .ost file.
  2. OST Viewer: There are third-party tools like “OST Viewer” or “OST File Viewer” designed specifically for viewing the contents of .ost files. These tools allow you to view emails, contacts, and other elements without the need to connect to Exchange.
  3. OST to PST Converters: Some tools for converting .ost files to .pst, such as Kernel for OST to PST Converter or OST2PST Converter, also provide the ability to view the content of .ost before conversion.
  4. Outlook with Third-Party Utilities: Some third-party utilities for managing email data in Outlook have features for viewing .ost files. For example, the “Stellar Toolkit for Outlook” program allows you to view the content of .ost.

When using third-party tools, it’s always important to exercise caution and choose verified and secure solutions. Additionally, creating a backup of the .ost file before applying any tools is recommended to avoid data loss.