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Top 4 Best Methods to Import OST to Outlook 2016, 2013 & 2010

Published By Ashwani
Tej Pratap Shukla
Approved By Tej Pratap Shukla
Published On November 22nd, 2018

Whenever Exchange, Office 365 or email id is configured with IMAP then OST file is created. Considering the case of Exchange Server, if the user wants to work offline then OST files are used. Basically, Outlook Data Files (.ost) are copies of the items that are saved on a mail server. Moreover, the OST file does not need to be backed up like PST file.

The major problem occurs when the user needs to import OST to Outlook. As Microsoft Outlook does not provide a solution to manually import OST file data items.

Why One Cannot Import Items from an Offline Outlook Data file (OST)?

By default, when the user adds an account that uses Offline Outlook Data File (OST) then the file is automatically created and the data from the server is downloaded. Moreover, a new file is automatically created, if the user specifies a new folder location for offline OST.

Some Scenarios to Understand the Need to Add OST file to Outlook

“I want to import OST to Outlook 2016, 2013, 2010 with all the data items such as email, calendar, contacts, notes etc. including all objects. Please suggest me a simple and reliable way to implement this task.”

“For one of my client’s work I need to move an IMAP OST file to another computer or profile using Outlook 2016 with complete data including contacts, emails, notes etc. present in it. Is it possible to import OST to Outlook? If Yes, then how can I move my IMAP OST file to Outlook 2016.”

Users face different situations in which they need to import IMAP OST/Office 365 OST/Exchange OST/Old OST data items to Outlook. In the above section, we have discussed two cases to make users understand the need to convert OST to Outlook data file.

Do Not Worry – Here’s The Solution to Import OST to Outlook!

Now, the question arises is there any possible way to add OST file to Outlook? Yes, there are different solutions using which the user can easily attach OST data items with Outlook 2016, 2013, 2010 & 2003.

Solution 1: Re-Import an Offline Outlook Data File (OST)

In case, if the user’s OST file is corrupt or other issues are associated with the OST then the user can re-import/recreate OST file. To re-import OST to Outlook the user has to follow the steps given below:

  1. First, you have to Exit Outlook
  2. In Control Panel, click or double-click Mail
  3. Now, on the Email tab, you need to select Exchange account and then click Change
  4. After that, clear the Use Cached Exchange Mode check box
  5. Click More Settings and then on Advanced tab you need to click on Offline Folder File Setting
  6. Now, click on Disable Offline Use, and then click on the Yes option in the dialog box
  7. Next, you have to click on Offline Folder File Settings and then click on OK >Yes
  8. Under the Cached Exchange Mode Settings, you have to select Use Cached Exchange Mode check box
  9. After that click on OK > Next > Finish

Solution 2: Create New Profile

  1. Launch Microsoft Outlook on your system
  2. Create a new Outlook data file (PST) in Outlook
  3. Now, copy data from the mailbox folder and paste it into the PST file

Note: In the next solutions, the user first needs to convert OST file to PST file format and then import PST file into Outlook.

Solution 3: Using Import – Export Wizard Feature

  1. First, you have to open Microsoft Outlook account and then click on File
  2. After that, click on Export to a file > Next
  3. Now, choose Personal File Folder > Next
  4. Select the folder which you want to export and also mark Include sub-folders option
  5. Browse the location where you want to store the data and click on Finish

Solution 4: Archive Method

  1. Open Microsoft Outlook > File > Archive
  2. Choose the file or folder which you want to archive
  3. Now, browse the location to store the archived file
  4. Click on OK button

The user can implement any method to convert the file into PST file format. Now, the user has to import the PST file. To import PST file into Microsoft Outlook, the user has to follow the step-by-step process explained below:

  1. Open Outlook > File > Open and Export
  2. Select Open and Export option on the Account Information page
  3. Now, select Import/Export option
  4. After that, you need to select Import from another program or file option and then click on the Next button
  5. In the Import a File window, you have to select Outlook Data File (.pst) and click Next
  6. After that, click on the Browse button and select the PST file which you want to import
  7. Now, select the desired option and click on Next
  8. After that, you need to select the location to import PST file by click on Import items into the same folder or Import items into the same folder in:
  9. Finally, click on the Finish button

Final Words

There are numerous users who search for a simple yet step-by-step process to import OST to Outlook. Thus, in the above section, we have explained different methods to add OST file to Outlook. Once the user has converted the OST data file items into PST, then he/she can easily export that file into Outlook without any hassle.


By Ashwani

I am an Expert Technical Analyst, specialized in assisting users with complex technological challenges. Through my blogs and articles, I offer expert guidance to help tackle these technical issues effectively. My true passion lies in providing valuable insights and simplifying complicated technicalities, enhancing user understanding and confidence.