OST VS PST File – Know The Major Difference Between OST and PST Files

OST vs PST: A Detailed Comparison of Outlook Data File

Cautious about:

The Major difference between OST and PST file of Outlook?

In this blog, a complete detailed comparison between the two is covered. How both Outlook data files are dissimilar? What is its purpose? All such type of queries will get resolved here.

Everybody knows Microsoft Outlook is one of the famous email clients among the users as it stores all mailbox data items in it. For example, emails, contacts, tasks, notes, etc. It stores all data in two file formats i.e., PST and OST. As Outlook creates two files to store data so, a user get confused, which file will store what type of data. Thus, in this blog, a detailed comparison of two different file formats is covered.

Have a Quick Look at.OST vs.PST File Difference

Introduction to OST File

OST file is the offline folder that is created by both Outlook and Exchange Server to maintain a replica of Exchange Server mailbox. This OST file is created when emails are delivered to Outlook mailbox and stores emails, contacts, notes, tasks, etc., in it. The main feature of OST file is it lets users work in offline mode also i.e., without an internet connection. As the connection is established again, the OST file gets synchronized with Exchange Server automatically.

Introduction to PST File

PST or Personal Storage Tables is the data file that stores data for POP3, IMAP, and web-based Outlook accounts. It includes all email folders and other mailbox data items like emails, tasks, appointments, contacts, etc. In addition, the PST file is created by every version of Microsoft Outlook. PST data files can be stored locally on any location on the system. Thus, it becomes easier for users to keep backup PST files. Hence, it becomes easy for users to transfer these files from one location to another.

Ever Noticed How OST and PST Files Different from Each Other?

After having a quick overview of OST and PST file format, let’s begin with the comparison of OST vs PST file.

In order to know the exact difference between the two, it needs to be done on some particular factors. All such factors with detailed comparison are discussed below:


#1: Storage Location of Outlook Data File

Default Location of OST File

In Windows 10/ 8/8.1/ 7/ Vista

C Drive: >> Users >> %user_name% >> AppData >> Local >> Microsoft >> Outlook (For MS Outlook 2010 or Above)

In Windows XP

C Drive: >> Documents and Settings >> %user_name% >> Local Settings >> Application Data >> Microsoft >> Outlook

Default Location of PST File

In Windows 10/ 8/8.1/ 7/ Vista
C: >> Users >> %user_name% >> AppData >> Local >> Microsoft >> Outlook

C: >> Users >> %user_name% >> Documents >> Outlook Files

In Windows XP or Below Versions

C: >> Documents and Settings >> %user_name% >> Local Settings>> Application Data >> Microsoft >> Outlook

C: >> Documents and Settings>> %user_name% >> My Documents >> Outlook Files


#2: Main Motive Of Outlook Data Files

The major difference between OST and PST files is behind their purpose only. Thus, here just clear out the same.

OST File: It is used to store the offline copies of Exchange Server mailbox data.

PST File: The main purpose of the PST file is to maintain a backup of Outlook mailboxes on the local machine.

#3: Dependency

OST: The OST file of Outlook is not allowed to be moved from Exchange Server separately. The reason behind it is that this file is created by the server.

PST: It is a separately generated Outlook database file that let users save complete mailbox data in a file with .pst file extension. In addition, a user is allowed to save this file at any desired location on the local machine.

#4: Portability & Mailbox Data Items

Whenever it comes OST vs PST comparison, what data they store and what about the portability of data are the questions come in the user’s mind.

Note: The user can also read this post to know how to convert OST to PST free

OST File: OST file is not a portable file format as it is dependent on the Exchange Server. However, whenever it comes to data items, it stores everything i.e., emails, calendar, contacts, notes, etc., in OST file. All such data get synchronized with Exchange Server as the connection is established again.

PST File: It is a portable file format, a user is allowed to carry it from one system to another without any hassle. It stores all data same as OST file in it but unlike OST file, PST file data can be transferred to other machines also irrespective of internet connection.

#5: Advantages of OST and PST File

During OST vs PST comparison, it is important to know the individual benefit of both files. The following section of the blog will discuss the same:

OST: It is multi-purpose Outlook data file that let users work in offline mode also even if there is a poor internet connection. It means a user can read, delete, compose, messages when Outlook is not connected with the internet.

PST: This file format came into account whenever there is a need to have a backup of Outlook data items. In addition, a user can transfer this data file to other machine and can easily be used in new environment without any hassle.

Note: Microsoft Outlook doesn’t provide the option to import the OST. Microsoft Outlook OST files can are tightly coupled to the account that they are configured with. But the user can import the PST file in Outlook application. In case if the user wants to import the OST file then the user has to take the help of OST to PST Extractor application. It will help you to convert Microsoft Outlook OST file to PST file format.

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Let’s Rewind

Microsoft Outlook is the proficient application popular among users. It usually stored all its mailbox data in PST file format on the local machine. If Outlook is used in connection with Exchange Server, then OST file is also created maintaining a copy of Exchange mailbox data. Thus, how Microsoft Outlook data stored, will depend on the configuration only. Most of the users want to compare OST vs PST file to know the exact difference between the two types of Outlook data files. This blog will help them out in the same by considering all major factors.

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