how do I import a old .ost file

I just rebuilt my computer and I'm trying to restore my Outlook environment.  Can I import my old .ost file or does that get rebuilt when I first resync with Exchange?
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Wes MillerInfromation Technology SupportCommented:
What you have to do is RENAME the OLD OST to OutlookOLD.OST, Create the New Mailbox and start Outlook, Soon as it fully opens, Close it!

Go Back and Delete the OUTLOOK.OSt just created and the Rename the OUTLOOKOLD.OSt to OUTLOOK.OST again.

Start Outlook and you will again be using the Outook.ost you had prior to the rebuild.

And Yes, if you want you can just let Exchange rebuild it but if the OSt is large that could take some time. The above procedure saves you time as all the Emails you had prior to the rebuild won't have to be redownloaded from the exchange server.


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no you have to use a tool called ost2pst.exe from microsoft to recover it and import it as a personel folder
msschelpAuthor Commented:
Hey Wes, thanks for getting back to me.  Your procedure sounds familiar but I ended up letting Exchange do it for me.  Another seems as though it is updating my Outlook.pst file.  How does the .ost extension come about?  Is that when you set up for offline replication?
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Hello msschelp,

If you are using your Exchange, PST file should not be involved.

OST comes about with your select to view your Exchange emails offline.

Hope this helps!
msschelpAuthor Commented:
Thanks everyone, think I have all my data back and accessible.

Wes MillerInfromation Technology SupportCommented:
Yes, OST stands for Offline Storage Table, Where PST stands for Personal Storage Table.

A PST is usually created when everything is stored locally, where for OST the Email is stored on the Exchange Server keeps the Email and the OST just acts as a Storage center for you to work offline when the exchange server isn't available.
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