Finding OST File Location Easily

This essay explores methods to easily locate the OST file in Outlook, discussing its causes and providing effective solutions and software recommendations.

Nene Aly

By Nene Aly / Updated on March 1, 2024

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Locating the OST file in Outlook can sometimes be a challenging task. However, with the right knowledge and tools, finding the OST file location becomes a simple process. This essay will explore several methods to easily find the OST file location in Outlook, examine the causes of the problem, and offer effective solutions and software recommendations to ensure a seamless experience.

The Problem: Difficulty in Locating OST File in Outlook

When using Outlook, users often encounter difficulties in locating the OST file. This can be frustrating, especially when attempting to backup or migrate data. The causes of this problem can vary:

Cause 1: File Hidden by Default Settings

By default, Outlook hides certain files, including the OST file, to prevent accidental modification or deletion. This default setting can make it challenging for users to locate the OST file.

Cause 2: Multiple User Profiles

If there are multiple user profiles associated with the same Outlook installation, finding the correct OST file becomes more complicated. Each user profile creates a separate OST file, leading to confusion and difficulty in locating the right one.

Cause 3: Non-Standard Installation Paths

Outlook allows users to choose custom installation paths. As a result, the default OST file location can differ, depending on the user's installation preferences. This complicates the process of finding the OST file.

Solutions: How to Easily Locate the OST File in Outlook

Fortunately, there are several solutions to easily locate the OST file in Outlook. By following these step-by-step instructions, users can quickly find the OST file:

Solution 1: Unhide Hidden Files

To make the OST file visible, users can follow these steps:

  1. Open File Explorer by pressing the Windows key and E simultaneously.
  2. Click on the 'View' tab in the File Explorer toolbar.
  3. In the 'Show/hide' section, check the 'Hidden items' box.
  4. With hidden files now visible, navigate to the location where Outlook data is stored. The OST file will be present in the corresponding folder.
  5. Copy the file or note down the location for future reference.

Solution 2: Use the Outlook Command Line

An alternative method is to use the Outlook Command Line to find the OST file location:

  1. Open the 'Run' dialog by pressing the Windows key and R simultaneously.
  2. Type 'Outlook.exe /manageprofiles' in the 'Open' field and press Enter.
  3. The 'Mail Setup - Outlook' window will open. Click on 'Show Profiles'.
  4. Choose the Outlook profile you wish to view and click on 'Properties'.
  5. The OST file location will be displayed in the 'General' tab, under the 'Advanced' section.
  6. Note down the location or copy the file for further use.

Solution 3: Utilize Outlook Trust Center

The Outlook Trust Center provides another method for finding the OST file location:

  1. Open Outlook and go to 'File' in the top left corner.
  2. Click on 'Options' to open the Outlook Options window.
  3. Select 'Trust Center' in the left sidebar.
  4. Click on 'Trust Center Settings'.
  5. In the Trust Center window, select 'E-mail Security' and then click on 'Encryption'.
  6. Under 'Encrypted e-mail', click on 'Settings'.
  7. The OST file location will be displayed.

Software Recommendations

When dealing with OST files, certain software can assist in locating and managing them effectively. One recommended software is 'Kernel OST Viewer'.


  • Offers a user-friendly interface.
  • Allows easy viewing and access to OST file contents.
  • Enables exporting OST data to various formats.


  • Lacks advanced features for editing or modifying OST files.
  • Unable to repair damaged OST files.

How to Use Kernel OST Viewer:

  1. Download and install Kernel OST Viewer from the official website.
  2. Launch the software and click on the 'Open' button to browse and select the desired OST file.
  3. The OST file contents will be displayed on the interface, allowing easy access and exploration.
  4. To export data, click on the 'Export' button and select the desired format for exporting.
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the export process.

FAQ: Answering Relevant Questions

Q: Can I change the default location of the OST file in Outlook?

A: Yes, it is possible to change the default location of the OST file by modifying the Outlook profile settings and choosing a different folder location.

Q: How do I delete an OST file in Outlook?

A: To delete an OST file, close Outlook, navigate to the file location, and manually delete the corresponding OST file. Keep in mind that deleting the OST file will result in data loss.

Q: Can I access OST files without Outlook?

A: Yes, using a third-party OST viewer or converter software like Kernel OST Viewer allows users to access and explore OST files without the need for Outlook installation.

Q: What is the purpose of the OST file in Outlook?

A: The OST file in Outlook serves as a local cached copy of the mailbox data. It enables offline access to emails, contacts, and other Outlook items when the user is not connected to the server.

Q: How do I migrate OST files to a new computer?

A: To migrate OST files to a new computer, users can use Outlook's built-in import/export feature or rely on third-party software specifically designed for OST to PST conversion.

Q: Can I convert an OST file to a PST file?

A: Yes, converting OST files to PST files is possible with the help of third-party OST to PST conversion tools. One such recommended tool is Recovery Toolbox for Outlook.

Glossary of Related Terms

1. Outlook: Microsoft's email and personal information management application.

2. OST File: Offline Storage Table file, used by Outlook to store and access mailbox data offline.

3. File Explorer: A file management application in Windows used to navigate and access files and folders.

Tips to Remember

  • Regularly backup your OST file to prevent data loss.
  • Ensure you have administrative privileges to access hidden files and folders in Windows.
  • Keep track of the OST file location to easily locate it in the future.


Locating the OST file in Outlook is no longer an arduous task with the methods and solutions presented in this essay. By employing techniques such as unhiding files, utilizing the Outlook Command Line and Trust Center, users can easily find the OST file location. Additionally, software recommendations like Kernel OST Viewer provide valuable assistance in managing and exploring OST files efficiently. Understanding related terms, answering frequently asked questions, and following the provided tips further enhance the user's proficiency in locating OST files. With these tools and knowledge, users can overcome the challenges associated with finding the OST file location in Outlook and ensure a smooth experience with their data.

Nene Aly
Nene Aly · Editor