How to Restore Emails from OST file Outlook 2013?

MS Outlook 2013, like earlier Outlook versions, uses OST file to save a local replica of Exchange mailbox data. This file comes handy when user wishes to work on his mailbox even if Exchange isn’t available. But, it can’t be opened directly in Outlook if its parent account gets disconnected from Exchange. In such a case the OST file is called an ‘orphan’ file and extracting emails and other data from it can become a real pain.



Although Microsoft came up with the concept of using data files to save mailbox data locally in order to make backing up and archiving more convenient, OST and PST files have in some ways complicated mailbox management; and that holds especially true for OSTs. If you access an Exchange mailbox through Outlook, a local OST file is created to save a replica of mailbox data which the user can access and work with even if the mail server isn’t available. However, the basic nature of OST files makes managing mailbox data quite tricky for users.



The need to Restore mails from OST File

OST files have several shortcomings because of which, users often face the need to extract emails and other data stored within these files and save them in some other format:

  • OSTs cannot be transferred between different machines. If users need to access their mailbox data saved within OST files on another machine, it cannot be done directly through a simple copy-paste mechanism.
  • If the account that originally created an OST file gets deleted from the mail server, it cannot be opened directly from within Outlook.
  • In Outlook 2013 and 2016, data locally edited and saved within critical folders like Contacts, Calendars, Sent Items, etc. is not synced with the mail server and is thus not backed up there. In the event of damage to OST file, there’s no direct way to regain access to that local data since it doesn’t exist on the server.

Users who faced the need to extract OST file data because of any of the above-mentioned reasons make use of manual as well as automated ways to achieve it. For your reference, we’ve compiled a list of the most widely used and accepted techniques you can use to restore OST files if you’re sailing in the same boat.



Manual techniques to Restore OST files



In no specific order, these techniques can help you regain access to all your Exchange or other IMAP account data depending upon your exact problem scenario:



Scenario 1: If your Exchange account is intact but OST file gets corrupted



This is one of the most frequently encountered problems by Exchange users. OST files get damaged easily but if your Exchange profile is intact and you are in the habit of regularly syncing your local data with your server mailbox, regaining access to all your data should simply be a matter of manually creating a new OST file and downloading your mailbox data from the server again. Here are the steps:



  1. Quit all running instances of Outlook and open Control Panel
  2. Open the “Mail” option and in the ‘Mail Setup’ dialog box that opens, click on “Email Accounts”
  3. The next dialog that opens will display all your Outlook profiles / accounts. Here, click on the “Data Files” tab and choose the respective OST file from the list
  4. Now click on “Open File Location” to open the Windows Explorer window with the OST file’s location
  5. Close the ‘Account Settings’ and ‘Mail Setup’ windows
  6. In the Explorer window, create a copy (backup) of the OST file. Thereafter, right-click on it and click on “Delete”
  7. Start the Outlook application again to automatically create a new OST file for that account (doing so will download all the data from the Exchange server into the newly created OST file)

You should remember that if you’re using Outlook 2013 / 2016, only the data residing on the mail server will be downloaded into the new OST file. This will include your emails and the folders you have manually synced with the Exchange account. Any local data will not be downloaded since it doesn’t exist on the server. To get access to any such data you will need to convert the old OST to PST format and then open it directly within Outlook. You can either use the Outlook “Import & Export wizard” to convert OST to PST or take the help of reliable software Stellar OST to PST Converter to do so (skip to last section to discover how this product can help).



Scenario 2: If your Exchange account has been deleted or lost



If this happens, your “orphaned” OST file will most likely become useless since you won’t be able to open it directly unless you reconnect to Exchange and re-sync it. For this you will need a unique MAPI address to act as a bridge between Outlook and the Exchange server. However if this isn’t an option, the only way to access the data contained within the orphaned OST file is to convert it to PST format using Stellar OST to PST Converter. (Here you won’t have the option to use Outlook Import Export Wizard since you’ll need to open the OST file from within Outlook and without Exchange that won’t be possible).



Best Automated Solution to restore mails from OST file



If the manual technique doesn’t work or if you are dealing with an orphaned OST file, converting it to PST format is a task best handled by a professional product like Stellar OST to PST Converter. The advanced software is equipped with some very powerful algorithms that allow it to convert even the most severely damaged OST files to PST format files that can be used to access all mailbox contents including emails, attachments, contacts, calendars, notes, journals, etc. This software is your best bet if you wish to perform conversion of encrypted OST files or wish to extract only selected emails from within OST files and save them in MSG, EML, RTF, HTML, or PDF formats.



Final Thoughts…



So should a user completely shun the usage of OST files? Well obviously that isn’t an option since OST files are the Microsoft norm for saving Exchange data locally. What is needed is for users to stay aware of the techniques they can use to regain all their mailbox data if any disaster like virus infection or accidental deletion or severe corruption befalls their OST files. Converting OST files to PST format is the best way to salvage all the data stored within them and thus, having a product like Stellar OST to PST Converter handy goes a long way.

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Supported Operating Systems

Reflection 14.1 is supported on the following operating systems:

Microsoft Windows 8 (beginning with 14.1 SP3)

Microsoft Windows 7

Microsoft Windows Vista, SP2

Microsoft Windows Server 2012 * (beginning with 14.1 SP3)

Microsoft Windows Server 2008 (with Terminal Services)

Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 * (with Remote Desktop Services)
* only 64-bit support

Note: Reflection 14.1 continues to be supported on Windows 7 and 8, but Micro Focus has no plans to support Reflection 14.1 on Windows 10. For organizations moving to Windows 10 in production environments, we recommend upgrading from Reflection 14.1 to Reflection Desktop 16.

Supported Virtualization Products

Reflection 14.1 is supported on the following virtualization products:

Citrix XenApp (Presentation Server)

VMware

Microsoft Virtual PC

Support for 64-bit Windows

Where listed in the Supported Operating Systems section, 64-bit operating systems are supported by the 32-bit Reflection product.

Native 64-bit Support in Reflection X Products

A native 64-bit version of Reflection X for x64 Edition is also provided with Reflection X 14.x and Reflection Suite for X 14.x. See Technical Note 2686 for more information.

Using Reflection Help

To view the legacy Reflection Help on Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, or Windows Server 2008, you must install the Windows Help program (WinHlp32.exe), which is available for download from the Microsoft web site. For more information, see Technical Note 2294. Note: Beginning with Windows Server 2012, WinHlp32.exe is not available, so legacy Help is not supported.

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Solved : Errors have been detected in the file Outlook.pst

You can never really predict when something will go wrong with Outlook. The extremely user-friendly and efficient email client can easily get bogged down due to several reasons causing a complete halt to the mail send-receive operation. More often than not, the cause behind an ill-functioning Outlook application is a damaged PST file. Here in this article we will explain about the methods to solve the “error detected in Outlook PST file”.



As inconvenient as encountering an error like this is, what’s more unpleasant is the effect of such a happening. From a failed send-receive operation to an Outlook crash to complete mailbox inaccessibility, you could end up facing any depending upon how bad the situation is. And by “situation” here we mean damage in your Outlook PST file.



So why do PST files become corrupted?



There could be many reasons triggering PST file corruption:



  • Bad sectors on the hard drive on which the PST file is saved
  • Abrupt termination of Outlook
  • Virus infection in the file
  • Overload of data within a single PST
  • Botched system recovery operation

A quick look at the above causes is enough to understand that many of them are unpreventable. While a simple anti-virus update or procurement of a UPS may keep two triggers at bay, other unwanted situations might arise without any apparent doing of your own. That was probably why Microsoft decided to ship a default PST repair utility with its MS Office application suite.



ScanPST.exe and its usage

The Inbox Repair Utility or ScanPST.exe that Microsoft provides is a handy way to detect and fix minor damages and corruptions within Outlook PST files. This application is the simplest way to perform a basic recovery operation on PST files in order to revive a failing Outlook. Here’s how you can use this utility to fix a damaged PST:



1. Navigate to C:Program FilesMicrosoft OfficeOffice 12 and double-click on the file ScanPST.exe

2. Click on ‘Browse’ and select the PST file which is to be repaired

3. Click on ‘Start’ to instruct the tool to scan the file for damages. If any discrepancies are found, the tool will display a proper message indicating as much as well as a prompt to repair the file

4. Select the option to ‘Make a backup of scanned file before repairing’ and then click on ‘Repair’ button to fix the problems within the PST

5. When the operation completes, re-launch Outlook and verify if everything works as expected.



While this approach is extremely simple and of course free of cost, it suffers from a few limitations:



  • The tool needs you to know exactly where the damaged PST file is located. Some users might not be aware of it
  • It is a time-consuming process
  • ScanPST.exe cannot fix severe corruptions within PST files

A better approach



In order to overcome the limitations of ScanPST.exe and to make the repair operation much more efficient and easy, the usage of an advanced and sophisticated Outlook PST repair tool is recommended. Such a tool can not only simplify the process, it can ensure that your Outlook PST is rid of all problems in the most non-destructive way without causing any unintentional harm to the data contained within.



Among the wide variety of PST repair applications available online, the most reliable and proficient one is Stellar Phoenix Outlook PST Repair. This software is a competent and reliable way to rid a severely damaged PST file of errors and make Outlook function smoothly. The tool is backed by some very intricate algorithms that enable it to quickly scan corrupt PST files and repair them to restore all mailbox contents to a new blank PST in their original format. Additionally, the software comes with a ton of impressive features which make it a must-have for all Outlook users.



Conclusion



There can be multiple reasons for Outlook data file (PST) corruption which lead to Outlook crashing with the “error detected in Outlook PST file” message. While some underlying problems can be fixed by just upgrading your Outlook or antivirus version, others might need you to repair the damaged PST file with ScanPST.exe. But if that doesn’t work, without any hesitation you should entrust the job of accurately and safely repairing the file to Stellar Phoenix Outlook PST Repair software.



References:

Download Free ScanPST.exe Alternative for Outlook PST File



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