Microsoft Exchange Server in conjunction with MS Outlook is responsible for email communication in most of the large organizations. One advantage of this server-client model is that it lets users work even when the server connectivity is not there. And MS Outlook, the email client of Exchange, uses OST files to facilitate offline working (working in Cached Exchange Mode).
The idea behind offline working is simple. While using an Exchange account, Outlook keeps a local copy of the Exchange user mailbox. Users can work on this local mailbox and can synchronize the offline mailbox with the Exchange mailbox when Exchange is available.
But where is the OST file located? Its location is different in different versions of Outlook. The steps given here will help to find the location of OST file.
Steps to view OST file data in MS Outlook 97 to 2003:
Step 1 → Open the Outlook application.
Step 2 → Go to Tools menu and select Email Accounts option.
Step 3 → Choose the MS Exchange email account, whose files you want to view.
Step 4 → Click the View button in order to proceed.
Step 5 → Select the MS Exchange Server button and consequently click Change button.
Step 6 → A new dialog box will appear on screen. Choose the More Settings option.
Step 7 → Another dialog box will appear. Click on the Advanced tab.
Step 8 → Select the Offline Folder File Settings option to view the location of your OST file.
Step 9 → Open Search bar from the Start menu and copy your OST file path or browse it manually.
Steps to view OST file data in MS Outlook 2007:
Step 1 → Access Outlook application.
Step 2 → Open Tools menu and click on Account Settings option.
Step 3 → Select the Email account, whose OST files you want to view.
Step 4 → Click on Microsoft Exchange Server button and select Change option.
Step 5 → A new dialog box will appear to change Email account, click on More Settings.
Step 6 → Click on the Advanced tab and then on Offline File Folder Settings option.
Step 7 → A dialog box will appear with OST file location on screen.
Step 8 → Copy the OST file path in Search bar or browse it manually.
Steps to view OST file data in MS Outlook 2010 and later versions:
Step 1 → Open MS Outlook application.
Step 2 → Access the File tab, and click on Accounts Settings button.
Step 3 → Select the Accounts Settings option from the menu.
Step 4 → A new dialog box will appear on screen. Click on Microsoft Exchange Server.
Step 5 → Now, select the Change button and then on More Settings.
Step 6 → A dialog box will flash on the screen. Click on Advanced tab.
Step 7 → Select Offline Folder File Settings option and dialog box with OST file location will flash on screen.
Step 8 → Copy and Paste the OST file location path in Search bar or open it manually.
Default location of OST file in different Windows Operating System’s versions:
|Windows OS Version||Default OST File Location|
|Windows XP||drive:\Documents and Settings\\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook|
|Windows 7 & Vista||drive:\Users\< Username >\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook|
|Windows 8 & 8.1||drive:\Users\< Username >\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook|
|Windows 10||drive:\Users\< Username >\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook|