Email Timeline: Recovering Outlook 2013 OST and its Contents by Converting OST to PST

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Recovering Outlook 2013 OST and its Contents by Converting OST to PST

There are two kinds of files in Outlook that are used to hold all kinds of Outlook information, OST (Offline Storage Table) file and PST (Personal Storage Table) file. Of these two, the OST file is very helpful when the network connectivity in your area is very poor. You can create your work and later synchronize with the Exchange server when your connectivity is restored. However, at times the OST file gets corrupt thereby putting all the unsaved data at risk. In such cases, you should need an OST to PST Converter software to recover OST file by converting it as PST.

 So I’m assuming a scenario in which I am using MS Outlook 2013 with OST (because I’m connected to Exchange Server environment) as the background file. I have composed some emails and tried to synchronize the OST file with the Exchange Server to reflect the effect. However, the synchronization failed and the following error message is displayed:

“Unable to expand the folder. The set of folders could not be opened. Errors could have been detected in the file drive:\Documents and Settings\user\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\Outlook.ost. Quit all mail-enabled applications, and then use the Inbox Repair Tool.”

Why the Error Occurred?

Such problem during synchronization can occur when the OST file is damaged.


To recover the OST file, you should perform the following steps:

  • Make sure that your Outlook profile is closed.
  • Also check that ‘Show hidden files and folders’ option is not disabled.
  • Now Click Start and click Search
  • Search scanpst.exe to locate it, or you can do it manually-

For 64-bit Windows 8, 7, Vista

drive:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE15
drive:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE14
drive:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE12

For 32-bit Windows 8, 7, Vista

drive:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15
drive:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14
drive:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office12

  • Type the following path and press the 'Enter' key. You can find here Scanpst utility which you can use to repair OST file.
  • Provide the path and file name in the “Enter the name of the file you want to scan” text box.
  • Click 'Options' to modify the options to log errors while scanning the OST file. The log file will be saved to the same directory if you select 'Replace log' or the 'Append to log' option.
  • Click 'Start'.
  • To create a backup before the scanning, select the 'Make a backup of scanned file before repairing' check box.
  • Click 'Repair'.
The above-mentioned method works in most of the cases and you would be able to use the Outlook OST file items. In case it is not so, then you should use another tool to recover OST file and convert OST to PST file. Stellar OST to PST Converter tool is one of the best alternative to scanpst.exe. You can download the software by visiting the official website:

And the best thing the software does not modify the Outlook objects while recovering the OST file.

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