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Can I open an OST file on another computer?

While you can copy and move an OST Outlook Data File to another PC, you cannot open an OST directly on a different PC or import it into a different Outlook account.

ost file transfer to another pc

Offline Storage Table or OST is an Outlook Data File (.ost) created when you add an email account to Outlook. It stores a local copy of all your emails items and attachments stored in Microsoft Exchange Server Mailbox.

The Outlook Data File allows Outlook users to access their emails, attachments, notes, calendar, contacts, and draft messages or send them even when the system is offline. 

As soon as the system connects to the internet, the OST file gets synchronized with the Exchange server and all modifications made offline are updated on the Exchange server. The emails sent when the system was offline also get sync through the Exchange server and are delivered to the recipient(s).

How to Open or Import an OST File on another PC

An OST file is attached to the specific user account and binds to the PC that was used to create or add the Outlook account. Hence, you cannot open or import an OST file on another computer directly. 

To open and import an OST file on another PC, you need to convert it to Personal Storage Table or PST file format.

What is a PST File?

A PST file is also an Outlook Data File. But unlike OST, a PST can be easily exported and imported to any PC or Outlook profile by using Outlook Import/Export Wizard. This Outlook Data File (.pst) facilitates the migration of Outlook emails and mail items when someone wants to change or has already changed their organization or system. Users can import multiple PST files in their Outlook profile and IMAP, Exchange or Office 365 account.

Steps to Convert an OST file to PST

There are two methods to convert an OST file to PST. Follow these to convert your OST Outlook Data File and open it on any other PC

Method 1: Manually Export Outlook OST to PST File


To export OST file by using Outlook, follow these steps:

NOTE: This method works if you can log in and access your Exchange account. If an account is corrupt or deleted from the Exchange server, follow the second method to convert an orphaned OST file. 

  • Open Outlook
  • Go to ‘File>Open & Export>Import/Export’

  • Select ‘Export to a file’ and click ‘Next.

  • Select ‘Outlook Data File (.pst)’ and click ‘Next.

  • Select the mail account that you want to export. You may also choose specific mail items such as ‘Inbox’ or ‘Sent Items’ and export them (one item at a time)
    Select Outlook Mail items for export
  • Check ‘Include subfolders’ if you want to export everything or use ‘Filter…’ button to export items more specific email items
    Add Filter
  • Click ‘Next’ and then click ‘Browse’ to choose a save location
    Choose a save location
  • Here’ you can also choose to replace, allow, or avoid exporting or creating duplicate mail items  
  • Click ‘Finish
  • Enter a password to protect the PST file from unauthorized import. This step is optional.
    Enter password to protect the PST from unauthorized access
  • Click ‘OK’ to begin exporting your Outlook Data File.
    Exporting OST to PST
    NOTE: If you entered a password in the earlier step, you need to re-enter the password once again and then click ‘OK’ to export the Outlook Data File (see screenshot)

Enter Password to Export Password-protected PST

After export, follow the steps below to import PST file on another PC or Outlook account.

Method 2: Using Stellar Converter for OST

This is an easier and straightforward method to convert an OST Outlook Data File to PST file format. 

Stellar Converter for OST is an easy to use OST converter tool that lets you export any orphaned or offline OST files to corresponding PSTs. It also allows you to export an encrypted OST file directly to a different Outlook profile or Live Exchange and Office 365 accounts—requires Technician version of the software.

Steps to convert OST to PST by using Stellar Converter for OST:

  1. Download, install and run Stellar Converter for OST software
  2. Click on ‘Browse’ and choose the OST file. Alternatively, you may use the ‘Find’ option to locate all OST files that exist on your system 

  1. Click ‘Convert

  1. After conversion, a message box appears. Click ‘OK’ 

After the scan, you can see a preview of all the emails along with their original content and attachments in a three-pane window

Preview mail items after the scan

  1. Click ‘Save Converted File’ button under ‘Home’. A dialog box with multiple saving options appears
  2. Select ‘PST’ option from the ‘Save Options’. You may also select an option from ‘Advance Options’ to compact or split and save the PST file

pst

  1. Click ‘Browse’ to choose a location where you want to save the PST and click ‘OK.

Why choose Stellar Converter for OST ? 

steller converter

Steps to Import Converted Outlook Data File on another PC or Outlook Account

To open or Import the PST file on another computer, follow these steps:

  • On another PC, open Outlook and add a new account or sign in to your existing Exchange account
  • Go to ‘File>Open & Export>Import/Export’
  • Select ‘Import from another program or file’ and click ‘Next.
  • Select ‘Outlook Data File (.pst)’ and click ‘Next.
  • Browse and select the PST file. Again, choose if you want to import duplicate items or replace existing mail items with the duplicate items in PST 
  • Click ‘Next’ and select the email folder where you want to import the Outlook Data File
  • Click ‘Finish’. If the PST is password-protected, enter the password to begin importing mail items to your Outlook account folder

Conclusion

While you can copy and move an OST Outlook Data File to another PC, you cannot open an OST directly on a different PC or import it into a different Outlook account. To open or import an OST file on another PC or Outlook profile, the file must be converted to another Outlook Data File format, i.e. PST (Personal Storage Table).

For this, you can use Outlook Import/Export Wizard. But this works only if you can log in to your current Outlook or Exchange account. If your Exchange or Outlook profile is corrupt or deleted from the Mailbox server, use OST converter tool from Stellar to convert an orphaned OST file to PST.

The tool also lets you export OST files directly to Live Exchange, Office 365, or different Outlook accounts. It also converts and exports encrypted OSTs and supports batch OST file conversion. 

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