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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    In Outlook, what is the difference in a pst file and an ost file?

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    One is a Personal Folders file (.pst) the other is an Offline Folder file (.ost). Both can be repaired if required, and should be maintained (compacted) on a regular basis.
    Phasr

    Sonoran Desert

  3. #3
    New Lounger
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    I need to convert an OST to PST, but really don't want to pay $200 plus for the software. Is there a way to do it without that expense?

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    OST is the file Outlook uses when you are normally connected to a mail server (Exchange), but want access to the files if the connection fails, or you have a laptop and want to work off-site. When you re-connect to the mail server Oultook sends mail that is stored in the OST and adds received mail to the OST.

    If you want to copy / move everything from the OST to a PST, create a new Outlook data file (PST) and drag everything from your Inbox / sent mail / folders to the PST. This is a manual operation, new mail and sent mail will continue to be added to your OST and will need to be copied to the PST.

    cheers, Paul

  5. #5
    New Lounger
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    Thanks, Guys. I appreciate your help.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kathryn Bohlin View Post
    In Outlook, what is the difference in a pst file and an ost file?
    One other note: an OST file is secured so that it can be opened only with the login to a particular mailbox. Outlook will use cached domain login credentials, e.g., on a company laptop to open it, but otherwise will not open it in the absence of a live connection to that mailbox. So if you happen to back up an OST to CD, DVD or flash drive, it probably cannot be read on another computer.

    You can spend hundreds of dollars on software to crack the encryption, but my own experience with a colleague who lost access to his OST when IT deleted and re-created his mailbox was that the recovery was partial, incomplete, and unreliable. (And took an interminably long time to run.)

  7. #7
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    Wow. Wouldn't it be great if Microsoft could make those two a little friendlier? I need to eliminate Exchange, and go straight e-mail on Outlook. Really don't want to lose all the emails and personal files -- calendar, address book, not to mention INBOX. At this point, I wish I had never gone with Exchange at all.

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    Exchange is a great tool, but it is normally only required in a corporate environment. Why/how did you choose Exchange?

    cheers, Paul

  9. #9
    Uranium Lounger
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    To add to PT's comments:

    1. If you have exchange through your employer, it's probably the server required to deliver your corporate messages and other items.
    2. Exchange and Outlook work very well together in a corporate envirnmont, for example certain client side rules are activated on the Exchange server so that out-of-office messages are sent even when the Outlook client is closed.
    3. You can use Rules to copy/move all Exchange-side items (Calendar, Messages, Tasks, Notes) to a PST if you wish. The PST will then contain all your data and be transportable. A bit of a pain to set up, but once done pretty maintenance free. I did this back when I had Inbox message limits - moved every received and sent massage to a duplicate Inbox or Sent box on my PST. Depending on your Outlook version Calendar & Task items should be copied rather than moved - prior to Outlook 2010, reminders did not fire outside the default mail service.
    -John ... I float in liquid gardens
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