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Delete OST vs. deleting Outlook profile

Posted on 2014-03-19
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Last Modified: 2014-03-19
I read that deleting the Outlook profile is not the same as deleting their "data file". If the author meant the "OST" Outlook data file, then what does deleting the Outlook profile do exactly? How is it different than deleting the OST file? Or was the author's statement inaccurate?
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Question by:jcb431
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piattnd earned 500 total points
ID: 39940720
Deleting the outlook profile removes all settings associated with that profile, but it does not delete the files associated with that profile.

For example, if you have an outlook profile that is attached to one OST and 2 PSTs, the OST and PSTs are NOT deleted when you delete the profile.  If you wish to delete them, you must do so manually.

The OST file is only used for outlook cached exchange mode and can be deleted at any time.  It will recreate itself when you launch an outlook profile that has cached exchange mode turned on.

The PST files you would need to confirm had no data in them that you wanted before you delete them.
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by:jcb431
ID: 39940783
Thank you for the clarification.
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by:Hypercat (Deb)
ID: 39940802
The Outlook profile and the OST are two very different things.  The profile consists of a number of physical files and registry entries that contain customization settings for the particular user.  For example, the profile contains the information about what server the user's mailbox is on and which mailbox(es) and data files are opened when the Outlook application opens, along with information about customized view settings and options settings that are created by that particular user.

The OST on the other hand is the physical data file that is created when an Outlook profile is set to connect to an Exchange mailbox in cached mode.  Essentially, the OST is a local copy of the contents of the user's Exchange mailbox.  As piattnd says above, because all of the data contained in the OST resides on the Exchange server also, you can delete an OST and it will be rebuilt automatically the next time the user opens Outlook.
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