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Resolved "The file cannot be used because it was created for a different user"

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Sandeep Kumar
Exchange, Windows, Outlook, SQL server Solutions Analyst and Consultant.

As a Microsoft Exchange user, you must have known the importance of an Offline storage table (OST) file. It is nothing new for an Outlook user to be dependent on a .ost file during a server break down or a problematic Internet connection. In such a complicated situation, the OST file comes handy to work in an offline mode.


But a disadvantage that comes with these OST files is that they are very prone to corruption because they are available on a local machine. Following are the different reasons that can result in the corruption of an OST file:


  • Malfunctioning of software or hardware.
  • Synchronization issue between the client and the server.
  • Unexpected shut down of the MS Outlook app.
  • Abnormal or unexpected shutting down of the computer.


Due to such corruption, you may receive error messages saying "The file cannot be used because it was created for a different user".


When such an error occurs, it becomes nearly impossible for the user to access any file.


This error occurs when the OST file stored in your system has reached an unstable state, or you can say that it has been corrupted. The only solution to fix this problem is to export all data of the OST file into the PST format. You can convert OST into PST format manually, and procedure for the same is explained in the next section. This procedure works only when the OST is not corrupt. If it is corrupt, then you can repair the corrupt file with the help of a professional OST to PST tool.


How to convert OST into PST format?


Follow the step by step guide given below to convert OST into PST format, and you are good to go.


  • Step 1: Launch the MS Outlook application in your system.
  • Step 2: Now go to the Tools menu > Account Settings. And, now click Email account and select More settings.
  • Step 3: Now select the Advanced tab and then toggle the Use Cached Exchange Mode.
  • Step 4: Now click Offline Folder File Settings and then identify the location of the OST file.
  • Step 5: Restart MS Outlook.
  • Step 6: Now click File > Import and Export. After that click Export to a file and then finally select Personal Folder File (.pst).


Wrap Up


This step guide should enable you to convert the OST file into PST format manually. However, if the procedure mentioned above fails to perform the required conversion, then unfortunately, you are left with only one option, and that is to use a commercial OST to PST Converter tool.


There are plenty of such converter tools available in the market. On the basis of your requirement, you can choose any one of the software to convert the OST into PST. Make sure the software that you will be using is compatible with MS Outlook and Windows version that you are using. You can always try the free or demo version of that software before actually buying it to remove the corrupt OST files present in the system that is creating the inaccessibility error. 

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Expert Comment

by:Brian B
"The only solution to fix this problem is to export all data of the OST file into the PST format."

Why? An OST indicates you have an existing connection to the server. Just delete the OST file, open Outlook and let it resynch with the server. The manual steps you list aren't necessary and the last few aren't even related to rebuilding the OST.
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by:Sandeep Kumar
Hi Brain,

Using a commercial tool is a quick and reliable way to convert OST to PST file, in this scenario. The manual method is only workable when OST file is not corrupt, else there is not point to go for it. Also, manually exporting the file can be problematic if you've large-sized OST files for the conversion, as there can be data integrity issues at the end.
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LVL 26

Expert Comment

by:Brian B
Yes but this article is not about converting OST to PST, it's about recovering from a specific error by rebuilding OST.  Why would you pay for a tool to do that?
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