Microsoft Outlook is a very convenient application that keeps most professionals on their toes when it comes to “work from home” or other such instances. Using Outlook, many are able to keep a tab on their work and receive important emails or documents at unexpected times. These files (that are worked on, offline) are saved as an OST file (Offline Storage Table). These OST files are later synchronized with other files on the Exchange Server once connected.
However, there are times during which these OST files can get corrupted or inaccessible to the user. This may lead to data loss from the OST file. As in all data management, it is always wise to keep backups or copies of the original files to save the trouble of losing crucial data. If you are thinking “Can I move my OST file to a new PC?” and keep a separate copy of your OST files, you can store them onto another system to ensure reliable security of your files.
Fortunately, Outlook has been implanted with a feature called “AutoArchive” that you can smartly use as an Auto-backup option to save your OST files, automatically. Apart from archiving emails, a backup of these emails are created. You can simply enable the AutoArchive option and set the time limit to regulate automatic archiving of your OST files.
How to Enable AutoArchive:
There are two simple methods to enable the AutoArchive option:
- Customize autoarchive for folders –
- Right-click on any folder in the OST file and select Properties
- Select the AutoArchive tab from the pop-up dialog box that appears
- Make the necessary changes as per your requirements
- Default Outlook data file –
- Go to File, select Account Settings, and select Account Settings (again)
- In the new window that appears, select Data Files tab (placed second from left)
- Select the required data file from the list and click on Set as Default
- Click on Close and navigate using the following options
File > Options > Advanced > Click on AutoArchive Settings
- Post making the necessary changes, click on OK to end the process
Now the AutoArchive option has been enabled. Old OST file items will now be regularly archived and the stored data can be referred to when and if you encounter data, loss from your OST files. However, whenever you are moving to new computer, Auto Archive function might not help you in moving OST file to another computer, as OST file cannot be moved directly. You will have to convert it to PST and then import the converted file to access your old OST file items.