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OST vs. PST: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Published on January 21, 2024
OST (Offline Storage Table) stores an offline copy of mailbox items, allowing offline access. PST (Personal Storage Table) is a file format for storing personal information by Microsoft Outlook.
OST vs. PST

Key Differences

OST (Offline Storage Table) is used by Microsoft Exchange Server, allowing users to work with their messages and mailbox data even when access to the mail server isn't available. PST (Personal Storage Table), on the other hand, is a personal folder file in Microsoft Outlook used to store copies of messages, calendar events, and other items.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 21, 2024
OST files synchronize with the mail server once a connection is reestablished, ensuring that any changes made offline are updated. Conversely, PST files are used for storing data from Outlook for backup purposes, not relying on server connection for synchronization.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 21, 2024
OST files facilitate collaboration and server-based mailbox management, making them essential for enterprise environments. In contrast, PST files are more suited for individual use, providing a simple solution for data storage and backup.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 21, 2024
OST files tend to be more vulnerable to corruption due to their constant synchronization process. PST files, being used primarily for backup, are less prone to such issues but are not immune to corruption or data loss.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 21, 2024
OST files are inherently connected to the account configuration on the hosting server, making them less portable. PST files are standalone and can be transferred or opened by different Outlook profiles, offering greater flexibility.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 21, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Primary Use

Offline mailbox access
Personal data storage and backup
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Jan 21, 2024

Synchronization

Syncs with server when online
No synchronization with server
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Suitability

Ideal for enterprise use
Best for individual use
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Vulnerability to Issues

More prone to corruption due to syncing
Less prone, but not immune to issues
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Jan 21, 2024

Portability

Less portable, tied to account config
Highly portable across Outlook profiles
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OST and PST Definitions

OST

Osteopathy.
She's studying OST to become a therapist.
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Jan 03, 2024

PST

Pacific Standard Time.
The meeting is scheduled at 10 AM PST.
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Jan 03, 2024

OST

Off-Site Training.
Our team is going for an OST next week.
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Jan 03, 2024

PST

Psychological Survival Training.
PST is essential for astronauts.
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Jan 03, 2024

OST

Original Soundtrack.
The OST of that movie was mesmerizing.
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Jan 03, 2024
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PST

Pupil Saving Team.
The PST intervened to help the troubled student.
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Jan 03, 2024

OST

Operational Support Team.
The OST was crucial in managing the crisis.
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Jan 03, 2024

PST

Post Systems Therapy.
She's undergoing PST after her surgery.
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Jan 03, 2024

OST

Ocean Surface Temperature.
Researchers are analyzing OST data for climate studies.
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Jan 03, 2024

PST

Public Safety Telecommunicator.
He works as a PST in the emergency department.
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Jan 03, 2024

OST

Alternative form of oast
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Jan 02, 2024

PST

Alternative form of psst
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 02, 2024

OST

See Oast.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 02, 2024

PST

Standard time in the 8th time zone west of Greenwich, reckoned at the 120th meridian west; used in far western states of the United States
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 02, 2024

Repeatedly Asked Queries

What is an OST file?

An OST file is an Offline Storage Table used by Microsoft Exchange Server for offline mailbox access.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 21, 2024

Is OST used only in enterprise environments?

Primarily, OST is used in enterprise settings, but it can be used in any environment with Microsoft Exchange Server.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 21, 2024

How do I create a PST file in Outlook?

A PST file can be created in Outlook through the 'New Items' > 'More Items' > 'Outlook Data File' path.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 21, 2024

Can OST files be accessed without a connection to the server?

Yes, OST files can be accessed and used offline.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 21, 2024

Can OST files be converted to PST?

Yes, OST files can be converted to PST for different purposes like backup or migration.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 21, 2024

What's the maximum size of an OST file?

The maximum size of an OST file can vary but is typically set by the server or system admin.
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Jan 21, 2024

What does PST stand for?

PST stands for Personal Storage Table, a file format in Microsoft Outlook.
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Jan 21, 2024

Are PST files secure?

PST files can be password-protected, but they are not encrypted by default.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 21, 2024

How can I back up my PST file?

You can back up a PST file by copying it to another location or drive.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 21, 2024

Can I open a PST file in different Outlook profiles?

Yes, PST files are portable and can be opened in different Outlook profiles.
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Jan 21, 2024

Can I password protect my OST file?

OST files do not have an inherent password protection feature.
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Jan 21, 2024

How do I import data from a PST file?

Import data from a PST file using Outlook's 'Import and Export Wizard.'
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 21, 2024

What happens if an OST file gets corrupted?

If an OST file gets corrupted, it can often be repaired or re-synced with the server.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 21, 2024

What are the limitations of PST files?

PST files can become large and unwieldy, and they are also prone to corruption.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 21, 2024

Do OST files update in real-time?

OST files sync and update in real-time when connected to the server.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 21, 2024

Are there size limits for PST files?

Yes, the size limit for PST files depends on the Outlook version but typically ranges from 20 GB to 50 GB.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 21, 2024

Why would I use a PST file instead of OST?

Use a PST file for personal data backup or when not using Microsoft Exchange Server.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 21, 2024

What is the default location for OST files?

The default location varies but is usually in the 'Users' > 'AppData' > 'Local' > 'Microsoft' > 'Outlook' directory.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 21, 2024

Can I access a PST file from multiple devices?

Yes, if the PST file is stored in a shared location.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 21, 2024

How do I recover deleted items from an OST file?

Recover deleted items by syncing with the server or using specialized recovery tools.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 21, 2024

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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