How to Repair OST File – In today’s digital age, emails have become an integral part of our personal and professional lives. Many of us rely on email clients like Microsoft Outlook to manage our email communication efficiently. Outlook creates two types of files to store data: PST (Personal Storage Table) and OST (Offline Storage Table).
While PST files are commonly used for online mailbox access, OST files enable offline access to emails and other data. However, just like any other digital file, OST files are prone to corruption and can become inaccessible. In this article, we will explore the causes of OST file corruption and provide a step-by-step guide on how to repair OST files effectively.
Causes of OST File Corruption
OST file corruption can occur due to various reasons, including:
- Sudden termination of Outlook application or system shutdown.
- Virus or malware attacks that affect the integrity of the OST file.
- Oversized OST files that exceed the storage capacity.
- Network connectivity issues during synchronization.
- Hardware or software failures.
- Incorrect Outlook configuration settings.
Signs of a Corrupted OST File
Identifying a corrupted OST file is crucial to initiate the repair process. Some common signs of a corrupted OST file include:
- Inability to open or access the OST file.
- Error messages while synchronizing Outlook.
- Missing or deleted emails, contacts, or other mailbox items.
- Outlook crashes or freezes frequently.
- Slow performance of Outlook application.
Precautionary Measures to Prevent OST File Corruption
Taking proactive measures can help prevent OST file corruption and ensure the safety of your mailbox data. Here are some precautions to consider:
- Regularly backup your OST file to a secure location.
- Keep your Outlook application and operating system up to date.
- Use reliable antivirus software to protect against malware.
- Avoid abrupt termination of Outlook or system shutdown.
- Monitor and manage the size of your OST file.
- Maintain a stable and reliable network connection.
How to Repair a highly corrupted OST file?
Well, users who have come here for the solution for repairing the corrupted OST file will have two options: the free solution or a third-party OST repair tool. However, we have explained both methods to provide better clarity.
We have so far about the probable situation when the OST comes under the threat of corruption. In normal situations, when there is an availability of Exchange Server, users can form the new OST file and removes the old file. However, a few manual solutions enabling users to repair OST files have been discussed here.
Requires Updating the OST folder
If the issue detects in any particular OST folder, you need to make changes. If the Exchange Server is available, users must remove the affected item inside that folder. Follow the step shared below to update the folder:
- Kindly launch MS Outlook by clicking right on the required folder.
- Now it’s time to click on Properties.
- After that, the new dialogue box will appear where the user is required making a click on clear offline items. Click on it to move on.
- Now hit on the Send/Receive tab, where you need to press the update folder option.
This method is not considered suitable for those who are looking to repair OST files in multiple numbers. And the chances of removing corruption is also doesn’t higher.
ScanOST.exe is found on earlier versions of Outlook that allow users to remove corruption from their OST file. But now, with the new version, ScanPST.exe comes up. First, users need to find this tool; its location depends on the Outlook version. Once you succeed in the location of the ScanPST.exe, you need to start with running this utility. So to know how to repair an OST file using this method, kindly follow the given below procedure:
- Go to the location of the ScanPST.exe utility and double-click on it to start repairing the corrupted OST files.
- Now the inbox tool will pop up where you will see an option (browse) to add the OST file. Kindly click on it to add the required file.
- Click on the Start button to find out the corruption in the file.
- Before proceeding further, make sure to hold the backup of your data. Now click on the Repair button to initiate a process.
Now you have seen how this utility will help you repair OST files, but multiple shortcomings attached to it. It cannot repair the OST if the level of corruption is higher. It does not even promise to remove the corruption, which makes this method non-favourable for users.
So there is a need for the exchange OST recovery tool, which will outclass other available methods.
Manual Methods to Repair OST File
If you encounter a corrupted OST file, you can attempt to repair it using the following manual methods:
1. Repair using Scanpst.exe
Microsoft provides a built-in tool called Scanpst.exe (Inbox Repair Tool) to repair minor issues with OST files. Here’s how you can use it:
- Close Outlook and locate the Scanpst.exe tool on your computer.
- Run Scanpst.exe and browse to select the corrupted OST file.
- Click on the “Start” button to initiate the scanning and repair process.
- Once the repair process is complete, open Outlook and check if the OST file is accessible.
2. Recreate OST File
Another manual method to repair OST files is by recreating the OST file. Follow these steps to recreate the OST file:
- Close Outlook and navigate to the location of the OST file.
- Rename the existing OST file by adding “.old” as the file extension.
- Open Outlook, go to the Account Settings, and disable Cached Exchange Mode.
- Close and reopen Outlook to create a new OST file.
- Allow the synchronization process to complete, and check if the new OST file functions correctly.
Professional Methods to Repair OST File
If the manual methods fail to repair your OST file, you can consider professional methods that provide more advanced features. Two common methods are OST to PST Conversion and OST Recovery Tools.
1. OST to PST Conversion
OST to PST Conversion is a reliable method to repair OST files and recover mailbox data. It involves converting the OST file into a PST file format that can be accessed in Outlook. There are several third-party tools available that offer OST to PST conversion capabilities. Research and choose a reputable tool that suits your requirements.
2. OST Recovery Tools
OST recovery tools are specifically designed to repair and recover data from corrupted OST files. These tools utilize advanced algorithms to scan, repair, and extract mailbox items from the OST file. Similar to OST to PST conversion tools, there are various OST recovery tools available in the market. Evaluate their features, user reviews, and compatibility with your Outlook version before making a selection.
Choosing the Right OST File Repair Method
When deciding on the appropriate OST file repair method, consider the following factors:
- Severity of OST file corruption.
- Availability of backups or previous versions.
- Time and resources available for the repair process.
- Technical expertise and familiarity with the repair methods.
- Cost and compatibility of professional tools.
Evaluate these factors and choose the method that best suits your situation to effectively repair your OST file.
Repairing a corrupted OST file is essential to regain access to your mailbox data and ensure seamless email communication. In this article, we discussed the causes of OST file corruption and provided a comprehensive guide on how to repair OST files using both manual and professional methods.
Remember to take precautionary measures to prevent OST file corruption and regularly backup your data to avoid potential data loss. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can successfully repair your OST file and resume using Outlook without any hindrances.