If you’re using Microsoft Outlook and you receive an error message that says “Cannot find OST file,” it means that Outlook cannot find the Offline Storage Table file. Outlook uses this file to store a copy of your mailbox data on your local computer. Without this file, Outlook cannot access your mailbox data offline.
Check Your Account Settings
If you can’t find your Outlook Data File, the file might have a different name, or you might have stored it in a location other than the default. Do the following to look for the file:
- Open Outlook and select File.
- Select Account Settings from the Info menu.
- Choose Change by clicking Account Settings.
- Under the Microsoft Exchange server, look for the path next to the Offline Folder File setting. If the file has a different name, look for the setting named as the path to your Offline Folder File.
After you locate the file, you can try to open it to see if your data is intact. If the file is damaged, you might not be able to open it or see a message that says that the file is not an Outlook Data File.
Run the Inbox Repair Tool
If you’re getting the error message “Outlook can’t find the OST file” when you try to open Outlook, it means the file that stores your data is corrupted.
Microsoft Office has a free tool called the Inbox Repair Tool. To run it, go to Start-> All Programs-> Microsoft Office-> Microsoft Office Tools-> Microsoft Office Diagnostics.
The Inbox Repair Tool will scan your computer for any problems with your OST file.
After the Inbox Repair Tool is done, restart Outlook and see if the error message is gone.
Convert Your OST File to PST
If you’re facing the issue of Outlook can’t find ost file, then the best solution is to convert your OST file to PST. For example, if you’re switching from one email account to another or upgrading from an older version of Outlook. There are several online OST to PST converter applications available, and the procedure is quite straightforward.
Once you’ve converted your OST file to PST, you can access it using Microsoft Outlook or any other email client that supports PST files.
Recreate Your Outlook Profile
If you’re having trouble with Outlook and you think it might be because of a corrupt OST file, you can try recreating your Outlook profile to fix the problem.
When you create a new Outlook profile, a new OST file is created and your mail is downloaded from the server again. This can fix problems with a corrupt or damaged OST file.
To recreate your Outlook profile:
- Close Outlook.
- Go to Control Panel > Mail.
- Select Show Profiles under Mail Setup in the dialog box.
- Select the Profiles button in the Mail dialog box.
- In the Profile Manager dialog box, click Add.
- In the New Profile dialog box, type a name for the new profile and click OK.
- In the Choose Service dialog box, click Microsoft Exchange Server or compatible service and click Next.
- If the name is resolved, click Next. If the name is not resolved, enter the name of your Exchange server in the format [email protected] and click Next.
If you see the “Cannot find .ost file” error message in Outlook, your Outlook profile points to an Outlook data file (.ost) that can’t be found. If you recently switched from using an Exchange account to a different type of account, such as POP3, IMAP, or Microsoft 365, your Outlook data file (.ost) was not converted, and you must recreate it.