Move IMAP OST File to Outlook 2016 & Later Versions: Top 2 Methods

Summary: The need to move IMAP OST files to Outlook is common, and the reasons are innumerable. Outlook, one of the most powerful software systems from Microsoft 365, only creates an OST file for an IMAP account, which cannot be exported to an Outlook account directly. This blog will explain the manual & automated solution that helps you move IMAP OST files to Outlook 2016, 2019, and later versions.

We all look for feasibility when using an email system, whether it’s for personal or professional work. It is why many Webmail users with IMAP access configure their accounts with MS Outlook. It lets them quickly & securely save the data file on the IMAP Server and a copy of the mailbox saved in an OST file at the computer location drive:\Users\user\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook. 

While IMAP OST files are easy to access on the computer, sometimes, due to uncertainties such as a limited amount of drive space, OST file corruption, the possibility of losing contacts & calendars, and more, the need to move IMAP OST files to Outlook profile arise. Explore various helpful methods with step-by-step instructions to convert IMAP OST files to PST format.

Top 5 Reasons for Moving IMAP OST File to Outlook Account

Multiple situations call for IMAP OST to Outlook conversion. Some of the most common are discussed below.

  • In MS Outlook 2013, or later editions, the common OST file error is file corruption; the cause can be a sudden power failure, anti-virus software failure, abnormal system termination when an OST file is open, and more.
  • Exchange Server is down or crashed due to anti-virus failure, internet issues, software crashes, etc.
  • Accidental deletion of or profile removal from IMAP/Exchange Server.
  • Not managing the OST file for long period results in corruption or vulnerability.
  • The abrupt connection loss during the Exchange Server synchronization process makes an OST file orphaned or damaged.

Best Methodologies to Move IMAP OST File to Outlook 2016 & Later Versions

Moving IMAP OST files to Outlook 2016, 2019, & later versions can accomplish in two ways. Below compare the manual & automatic methods to import IMAP OST files into Outlook.

Stepwise Manual Process 

In this process, we will use the Outlook archiving facility, and the steps are as follows:

  1. On your system, open MS Outlook.
  2. Navigate to the File option in the ribbon.
  3. Select Options from the left-side navigation panel.
  4. From the Outlook Options window, select Advanced functionality.
  5. Now, tap the Auto-archiving settings, and the box appears on the screen.
  6. Specify the number of days to run the auto archive every time.
  7. Click the browse option to save the archived PST file in a familiar location and hit OK.

We’ll now use the Outlook Import/Export functionality to move the PST file into Outlook. The steps are mentioned below.

  1. Open MS Outlook and click on the File option in the ribbon.
  2. Select the Open & Export option from the left-side navigation panel.
  3. Click on the Import/Export option, and the application will display on your screen.
  4. Choose the Import from another program or file option and click on Next.
  5. Select the Outlook data file (.pst) from the Import a File window and press the Next tab.
  6. Now, navigate to the achieved PST file saved in your system, check the option of ‘Replace duplicates with items imported’, and hit the Next button to continue.
  7. Select Import items into the same folder from the Import Outlook Data File section and then press Finish.

This marks the end of the manual Import of IMAP OST into Outlook 2016 and later editions. 

Since there are several limitations to the manual process, such as the fact that it is very time-consuming, difficult for novices to understand, doesn’t support heavy data files, and is incapable of processing IMAP OST files in its entirety, many of you find the automatic solution better.

A popular software application among Outlook professionals, Stellar Converter for OST allows you to move bulk or entire IMAP OST files into Outlook profiles.   A hassle-free tool that extracts all mailbox items from the OST file and saves them in PST format with 100% precision.

Automatic Method Tutorial 

Find out how you use this OST to PST Converter step-by-step to move IMAP OST files to an Outlook account.

First, the software is Windows compatible and requires high internet speed for download and installation. Once it’s open on your system, follow the tutorial.

  • Select the List of Profiles tab to add an Outlook OST file from the dialogue box. It will sync all Outlook profiles and list them. Choose your profile data to convert.

Please Note: The list profile option appears only once at launch.

  • To choose the OST mailbox manually, the software offers a browse & find the option in the select OST for the conversion dialogue box.

  • Click on the desired option to locate or find the OST files in your system and click on Convert to continue.

  • In a short time, OST files are converted, and you can preview the data.

  • Navigate to the Save Converted File option in the ribbon and select PST 

  • Click the Browse option to save the PST file at the desired location. Also, You can check or uncheck the Do not recover deleted items checkbox and hit OK.

  • Find the saved PST file at the designated location. To run the saved PST files in Outlook, import them into the MS Outlook profile with the help of the Outlook mentioned above Import/Export functionality.


After understanding both the manual and automated methods for moving IMAP OST files to Outlook 2016, 2019, & later versions, you can proceed hassle-free. A manual solution can be time-consuming, but an automated solution can quickly move bulk or even the entire IMAP OST mailbox into Outlook PST. Choose the solution that best meets your requirements.

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