How to Import OST File into Outlook 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016

How to import OST file into Outlook? A big question but first of all, we need to understand that what is Offline Storage Table(OST) file and why it is needed.

When you are on a business trip or you are in a remote place where there is no internet connectivity and you are in a dire situation to use your webmail then what will you do? You need to check your emails offline hence in that situation you need an email client such as MS Outlook, Lotus Notes, Apple Thunderbird etc.

Here we are talking about Microsoft Outlook. One can use it offline also. For the offline support, Outlook has an OST file also known as Offline Storage Table(.ost) file that enables users to work with their emails and messages even when there is no access to mail servers. It is an offline Outlook Data file used by Microsoft Exchange Server. These files make users work with offline inbox and outbox and then make the concerned changes locally and afterward it is synchronized to the server when connected to the internet.

Recommended Read: “How to Convert OST to PST Manually

Why do you need to open or import OST file into Outlook 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016?

Sometimes it happens that people get disconnected from their current profile either accidentally or deliberately. Some people switch their job and try to take their professional emails with them but since the profile is changed they can’t import their OST files into Outlook. It also happens that a user’s ID is changed hence all his old emails get lost.

 So at that time, the only possible solution people search is to import OST files that are stored offline with them. Due to some security reasons, Outlook doesn’t support to open or import offline OST file into Outlook. But there are certain methods to import OST files. Read further to get the details to it.

Manual method to import OST file into Outlook

Method 1: By using “Use Cached Exchange Mode”

  • Open Control Panel
  • Go to Mail option and in the title bar of Mail Setup your current profile is being shown

Note: If you want to see other profile, then click Show Profiles and select other profile

  • Click Properties and then go to Email tab and select the Exchange account and click on Change
  • If “Use Cached Exchange Mode” checkbox is selected then uncheck it
  • Now click on More Settings and then go to Advanced tab, and click Offline Folder File Settings.
  • Select the Disable Offline Use check box and click on Yes
  • Again click Offline Folder File Settings, click OK and then Yes
  • Now in the Cached Exchange Mode Settings, select the Use Cached Exchange Mode check box.
  • Click on OK then Next and afterward Finished
  • Close the Account Settings and  Mail Setup windows

Method 2: Recreate an offline Outlook Data File(.ost)

  • Close Microsoft Outlook
  • Open Control Panel
  • Go to Mail option and in the title bar of Mail Setup your current profile is being shown

Note: If you want to see other profile, then click Show Profiles and select other profile

  • Go to the Properties
  • Then on the Mail Setup window, select E-mail Accounts
  • Now in the Data Files tab, select the Exchange Account
  • From the Toolbar, click open Folder Location
  • Account Settings and Mail Setup window should be closed
  • In the File Location window, right-click on the Data File and select the Delete

When you will open the MS Outlook again, new OST files will be created for your current account.


Since OST files are offline files so it’s pretty tough to open and import into outlook. Even if you take the help of manual methods, full importing of files is not guaranteed and on top of it, it is very time taking and tricky to fully implement it. Hence a much easier method is to take the help of the professional software like OST to PST Converter. This software doesn’t let the old OST files to become absurd. It opens those files very easily and also converts it to PST so that the user can easily open it in MS Outlook.

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