OST vs PST Changing to ost from a pst in outlook / exchange

Posted on 2005-05-05
Last Modified: 2007-12-19
At our company we have always used PST files in for our Outlook data storage.  This is mostly due to the fact that we didn't have exchange server the first few years we were in business.  We have had exchange 2000 for several years now and I haven't ever changed everyone over to an ost file.  What are the benifits of making that change?  What are the drawbacks?  What differences and I and the other clients going to notice on our machines?  My main reason for asking is I would like to be able to use Microsoft Web Acess to check mail from outside the office as I can't find any other way to check exchange mail from outside.

What is involved in making the change step by step instructions would be helpful?

What is involved in using Microsoft Web Acess and how do I set it up?

Client computers are running windows 2000 on newer dell machines.  The server is running windows 2000 server and exchange 2000.  
Most clients are running either Outlook 2000 and a few are running Outlook 2002.  
Question by:parinc
    LVL 39

    Expert Comment

    going from pst to ost is quite simple

    one way of doing it is to create a new mailbox for each user - get the user to log into this new mailbox (which will be empty) and then import the pst file into their account (file>import and export)

    once that is done, you can enable offline access (ost) by going to tools>synchronize>offline folder settings

    outlook web access is set up by default, here is a link to more information

    Author Comment

    thanks.....Well what are the pros and cons of changing one why or another?  Is ost or pst better and why?
    LVL 39

    Accepted Solution

    an ost file is a synchronized copy of the exchange server data

    a pst file IS the copy of the data

    i would recommend storing all data on the exchange server - that way you have a centralized store that you can backup, and you can share information that can't currently be shared (such as individuals contacts or calendars)

    pst files can only be opened by one person at a time - limiting sharing and backup abilities
    pst files stored on a server will be slower, and it is one of the only ways to get a good backup of it

    ost files are quite hard to extract data from, you can get inbox and sent items, but not subfolders (i challenge anyone on that :))

    the upsides
    i cant really think of an upside to a pst file

    ost files (meaning all info is on an exchange server) sharing data, backing up, simple restoring, etc

    to summarize the differences, it is like housing your own exchange server or using your ISPs POP3 email accounts - as you have your own exchange server, you are not really using it effectively.


    Author Comment

    Thanks I guess that is all I need to know for now.
    LVL 39

    Expert Comment

    thanks for the points

    good luck with the conversion!


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