Steps to Reset OST File and Fix The Abnormal Working

Written By Andrew Jackson
Anuraag Singh
Approved By Anuraag Singh
Published On June 23rd, 2022
Reading Time 5 Minutes Reading

There are numerous reasons that can result in abnormal functionality of IMAP configured Outlook profile. In these cases resting the current OST file is the very first solution that users prefer. In this post, I will explain every aspect to reset the OST file.

Users always receive data items frequently so, their Outlook mailbox keeps on growing enormously. Microsoft Outlook keeps all mailbox data in two files one is .pst and the other is .ost. The OST file comprises everything users generate or receive since the creation of the Outlook account. The primary function of this offline folder file is to reduce the payload of the Exchange Server, cut down the network traffic, and allow users to work without Exchange availability.

However, there are several factors that may cause accidental OST file deletion, damage, and corruption. Also, sometimes Outlook.ost goes into an inconsistent state, and after that users become unable to access its content. In all these conditions, the Microsoft Outlook program starts behaving abnormally and generates several conflicts for users. In order to recreate the .ost file, one can reset OST file.

Tip: It is recommended that before deleting Outlook OST files, take updated backup of the database. It is so because once .ost file gets deleted then, all the changes done in offline mode will be lost and a new OST file will be recreated after that. For a secure OST backup, one can use the software to convert OST file to PST and archive the data of Offline Storage table.

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How to Reset OST File and Fix Issues

If your Outlook OST is behaving anomalously then, you need to delete it and recreate OST files to enhance the performance of your Outlook application. Steps to rebuild OST files depend upon the version of MS Outlook you are working with. Opt for the solution according to your Microsoft Outlook version.

Note: Resetting the OST files may take a longer time for the large-size mailbox. It also requires active Internet and IMAP/Exchange server connection.

Steps to Delete Existing OST File

Deleting OST File is very simple if you know where this file is saved. Just navigate to the location of OST and delete it. However, if you want to recreate the OST file after deletion but don’t know where the OST file is saved then, follow the down-mentioned steps:

Note: The default location of the OST file is different in all versions of Outlook.

  • Close Outlook (if open)
  • Open Run Window or simply press ‘Windows + R’ keys
  • In the Run window, type “%LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\Outlook\” and click on OK
  • This command will Automatically Detect the Location of the OST File from any version of Outlook
  • Choose the OST File and delete it via pressing the Delete key.

Rebuild OST File for Same Outlook Profile

  • If using Outlook 2010 then, click on the Tools menu. But, if you have Outlook 2013, 2016, and 2019 then, click on File >> Info
  • Click on Account Settings and hit a double click on Microsoft Exchange
  • In the Settings wizard, go to More Settings and click on the Advanced tab
  • Now, select Offline Folder File Setting (in MS Outlook 2013, hit a click on Offline Data File Setting)
  • Browse a Location to Save Outlook.ost File and click on the OK button
  • If you are getting the following error message then, click on OK
    .ost could not be found. Would you like to create it?
  • Eventually, to end the process click on OK >> Finish.

Reset OST File for The Outlook 2003, 2000

  • If using Outlook 2003 or 2000 then, go to the Tools menu and click on E-mail Account
  • Click on View or Change Existing Mail Account >> Next
  • Locate Outlook process email for those accounts in the following order wizard and hit a click on Microsoft Exchange Server >> Change
  • Next, click on More Settings and choose the Advanced tab
  • Click on Offline Folder File Settings
  • In the File section, select a location where you want to save the OST file and hit a click on OK
  • If the following error prompt occurs then, simply hit the OK button
    .ost could not be found. Would you like to create it?
  • Finally, click on Next >> Finish.

Make sure that Outlook is connected to Microsoft Exchange Server for synchronization of OST files.

Author’s Suggestion

As the manual method is a free solution, it includes some serious risks with it, such as permanent data loss. Therefore, we recommend always making a backup before rebuilding the OST file in Outlook 2010, 2013, 2016, and 2019. So, use OST Recovery Software to take a backup OST file’s items such as Emails, Contacts, Calendars, Tasks, Journals, etc., into PST format.

Concluding Lines

Today, several Microsoft Outlook users are searching the solution for the same query on how to reset OST files? Thus, to recreate the Outlook OST file, we are here with this technical paper. Here, we have disclosed some easy and actually working techniques to rebuild OST files.