Trying to view .ost files? Beware — Microsoft Outlook Exchange acts differently than Microsoft Outlook

I usually don’t leave notes about normal boring Windows PC issues, but if you are a company that backs up your users’ Outlook mailbox data, if you ever want to access these “.ost” files, you might be in for a surprise.  “.pst” files are easy, because in Outlook all you have to do is go into your account settings and select the new “.pst” file.  Not so for those using Outlook with Exchange.  No, thanks to Microsoft, that can’t be easy, so before I thought I had to set up a new email account on Exchange then copy the file to the appropriate /User/  folder on the Windows machine just to view these archived emails, I thought I’d look around online.

Sure enough, I found a few “Ost Viewers”, tried one, and it worked just fine.  One was free that allowed me to go in and browse the .ost as if I had already set up the mailbox in Outlook.  This took only a couple of minutes.  I don’t want to endorse any particular website but searching “ost viewers” did the trick.  I hope this helps someone save some time, it’s never pleasant when something that seems so simple turns into potentially a two hour fiasco!

Aaron Belchamber has written 243 articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *