How to Recover Lost or Deleted OST (Outlook) File

The file OST (which stands for Offline Storage Table) is a proprietary file of MS Outlook (one of the most popular email software) and is the file that contains all the client data so as to make them available even offline. The data in the OST file is automatically updated when you are connected to the network again. In this way, work is optimized and guaranteed even when you are not connected to the network or the connection quality is not optimal.

However, there are some cases in which the OST file is not found or is not loaded correctly in Outlook, creating quite a few problems. We have already seen how it is possible to convert OST files to PST (and why it is worth doing), but below we will deal with another problem: how to recover OST files if they are lost or accidentally deleted from the computer.

Where is the OST file located?

Before you panic and think that the OST file has disappeared or has been deleted, it is a good idea to check if this is indeed the case. Here are the steps to follow to access the folder where the OST file is (or should be) present.

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Step 1. Click on the Windows START button (bottom left of the toolbar) and then type ‘Run’ in the search bar. The following window will open.

Step 2. In the “Open” box, enter this path (replacing PCName with the name of your PC/account)


Steps to delete .ost file

Step 3. Once you click on ‘OK’, the folder will open in which you will find the OST file (see figure below):

If there is no OST file in that folder (or the Outlook folder is missing at all) then it is likely that the OST file has been deleted and you will need to proceed with the recovery solution recommended below.

How to Recover Deleted OST File

The OST file is a file that can really contain a lot of data (emails, attachments, contacts, etc…). Before the version of Microsoft Office 2007 this OST file could be up to 2GB in size, then (fortunately) it was expanded and now it can have a limit of up to 20GB. Deleting an OST file can mean losing thousands and thousands of data that are very important for your work or even private data.

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So how do you recover an accidentally deleted OST file? Is it possible to recover an OST file?

The answer to these questions can be given by the DATA RECOVERY program, a professional tool capable of searching in the most hidden cells of the hard disk for all deleted but still recoverable files. Even the deleted OST file may be recoverable, if it has not already been overwritten by other files.

To get started, download and install the program. Here is the download link for the “trial” version:


Main screen:

From the initial screen, click on the “E-mail” box which allows you to search for all those files related to email (ost, pst, dbe, etc…). Then click on NEXT and this new screen will open:


Select the drive to scan and on which the file was present OST. Usually the disk in question is C:\

Then click on the bottom right START to start scanning the disk. The program will perform a first “quick” scan which may not find the OST file. No problem, then click on “deep scan” and the program will surely find many more files and maybe even your precious OST file

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That’s all! These are the few simple steps you will need to take to try to recover OST file or recover deleted emails from Outlook.

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