Recover Permanently Deleted Emails from OST File

Written By Ashwani Tiwari
Anuraag Singh
Approved By Anuraag Singh
Published On January 16th, 2024
Reading Time 6 Minutes Reading

Emails deleted from OST file either accidently or intentionally. In both the cases recovery steps are same. It is quite easy to recover deleted emails from OST file without any limitation. Get complete guide for both Microsoft Exchange and IMAP users.

User Query!

Help! I accidentally deleted a few emails from Outlook offline folder that I need. I would like to know how to recover deleted emails from OST file? Is there any manual method available that can help me to restore deleted messages?”

This is a common situation when users delete emails from OST file and them realize that the mails were important. As we know, Outlook saves all the items such as contacts, and emails in a mailbox located on the server. The file saved on the hard drive is an Offline Data File (OST) and stores a copy of the account mailbox. It helps the users with quick data access in the offline environment, and it is always synchronized with the mail server.

Let us understand the solutions to recover deleted emails from OST file. All methods are verified and recommended by experts.

Look into Deleted Items Folder

At times, the users accidentally delete precious emails from OST file, that can be easily restored from the ‘Deleted Items’ folder. But what happens when the emails are deleted permanently and are not available in the Deleted Items folder? or, do users accidentally clean the folder?

Deleted Items is a folder that stores soft deleted mails and other attributes for certain period of time. User can restore deleted emails within that time period. Once file deleted from the deleted items folder then move for next steps.

Will Recreating OST File Help or Not?

Recreating or rebuilding scenario is different in case of Microsoft Exchange and IMAP profile. Let us understand both:

Microsoft Exchange User: OST file works in synchronization, So, if Outlook is set in offline mode then recreating method will work. But in case of connected account, it will not work. It is advised to rename the existing OST file and re-configure same account in Outlook. For larger size mailboxes, this is not the recommended way.

IMAP Outlook Users:  Re-configure same profile will not help in recovering deleted emails from OST file.

SysTools Software to Recover Permanently Deleted Emails from OST File

Using professional solution is always provides advance feature and maintains data integrity. Use this utility and get back all lost emails and other attributes of OST file.

Use SysTools OST Recovery Software to recover permanently deleted emails from OST file. It support OST file of Microsoft Outlook 2021, 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, 2003 versions. Also, it allows choose the resultant file formats form PST, EML, MSG, HTML, and Office 365.

Along with recovering emails from OST file it also allows users to repair corrupt OST file. The software is capable of recovering password protected, encrypted, and orphaned OST file emails.

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Steps to Recover Emails from OST File

Follow the instruction and get back all lost emails:

Step-1: Install and Launch the Application on your Machine and hit Add File.

recover emails from OST

Step-2: Click on Add File and add the OST file in Software.

browse ost file

Step-3: Here In this, Select the Scan Mode Option from Quick Scan or Advanced Scan.

select mode

Step-4: Preview the OST file mailbox items and Click on the Export button to recover emails from OST file.

recover deleted emails from OST

Step-5: Here in this, Choose the desired file format and browse its destination location to save recovered emails. It will help you to convert emails from OST to PST format.

save recovered emails

Note: You can follow these steps to open OST file in Outlook any version.

Recover Permanently Deleted Emails from OST File

Most recommended solution on internet. But performing these steps requires expertise and restrict user for limited options. This mentioned method is applicable to Microsoft Outlook:

    • Go to Windows Control Panel and open the Mail applet.
    • Select the email account from the list of configured accounts and click on the Change tab.
    • In Change Account Window, go to the More Settings option.
    • Select the Advanced tab and uncheck the ‘Use Cached Exchange Mode’ option. After that click on Apply button under the Microsoft Exchange window. Click on the Outlook Data File Settings button to continue the process.
    • As soon as you click the button, the Outlook Data File Settings window display on the screen. Now, select the Disable Offline Use button and click OK.
    •  A message pop-out ‘Outlook will not be able to work with your OST file’, click on Yes to continue. This will redirect you to the More Settings window.
    • Choose the Outlook Data File Settings option again. Doing this, activate the Browse tab. Then, open an old offline data file and click on OK from the same window.
    • In Change Account Window, check the checkbox corresponding to Use Cached Exchange Mode. Then, click on Next >> Finish.
    • Open the Outlook program, here you will see a message that ‘Outlook is using an old copy of your OST’. Click OK to message window and wait to launch Outlook properly. This will recover lost emails from the .ost file.

Note:- Do not try to again launch Microsoft Outlook because it will open with a new OST file.

  • Once Outlook opens completely, you can view your mail, contacts, and other data in the account.

After the completion of the steps, users can either make a PST file or import all the crucial data from an old OST file. Moreover, users can also archive all mail items from the offline folder to a new PST file.


The above-mentioned method is reliable in case of recovering permanently deleted emails from OST files in Outlook 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and 2021. But, in the case of large-sized OST files, it gets fails and sometimes leads to permanent data loss. Therefore, a most expert does not use this manual method to restore lost messages from OST file.

Bottom Line

Losing important data from any application is a nightmare. A similar case happens in Microsoft Outlook when the users accidentally deleted some of the crucial files from an OST file. Therefore, in this blog, we have provided a manual or automated way to recover deleted emails from OST files.

Considering the manual approach’s downside, it is suggested to use the automated solution. This program is devised to restore permanently deleted messages from OST files quickly and easily.

Note: If OST file deleted from its storage location, then close Outlook and launch again, it will be automatically created at default location. Apart from this user can use data recovery software and easily recover deleted OST file.