How to delete OST files which are corrupted?

There is a situation experienced by several Outlook users when some of the OST files become corrupted and even repair tools also declared them irreparable. Also at times user himself does not want to repair that corrupted OST file and hence is looking for the way to permanently delete OST files. This article describes the steps to be followed to permanently delete OST files which are corrupted. Here are the steps:

  1. Close your Outlook application in case if it is running.
  2. Go to the Start option of Windows and select Run.
  3. A Run window will appear. In the ‘Open’ field type the following command – “%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Outlook\” and click OK.
  4. Explorer window will appear where you can locate the OST file which you want to delete.
  5. Select the OST file. Delete it by using Del button from keyboard or by left clicking on the tool which will show the delete option.


Note: The default location for OST files in Windows XP is drive:\Documents and Settings\user\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook. In Windows 7 and Vista this default location is drive:\Users\user\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook.

Process to create a new OST file:

After deleting OST files which are corrupted, it is required to create a new OST file to make Outlook function properly. Follow the steps to create a new OST file:

For Outlook 2010

  1. Close the Outlook application if it is running.
  2. Go to the Control Panel and double click on the Mail option.
  3. One Mail setup dialog box will appear, go to the Email tab of it, select the Exchange account, and then click on Change option.
  4. Clear the Use Cached Exchange mode check box.
  5. Go to the More Settings option.
  6. Click on Offline Folder File Settings under the Advanced tab of it.
  7. Click Disable Offline Use. A dialog box will appear, click on Yes in that dialog box.
  8. Again go to Offline Folder File Settings and click OK.
  9. One dialog box will again appear which says “abc” cannot be found. Would you like to create it? Click on Yes.
  10. Select the Use Cached Exchange Mode check box under the Cached Exchange Mode Settings.
  11. Click on OK and proceed further. Click Finish.
  12. Close all the other windows.

For Outlook 2003

  1. Quit MS Outlook.
  2. Each file should have a different name so rename the existing OST file.
  3. Again Start the MS Outlook in Online mode.
  4. Following error message will be received “The file “C:\Exchange directory\filename.ost could not be found”. Click on OK.
  5. Offline Folder File Settings dialog box will appear. Alter the path and file name of the OST file if you want to and then click OK.
  6. Following error message will be received “The file “C:\Exchange directory\filename.ost could not be found. Would you like to create it?” Click on Yes.
  7. Under the Tools menu, click on Synchronize all folders.

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