Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between OST and PST


Microsoft Corporation is an American company which provides computer products and services. Through its breakthrough products like the MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows, it has risen to become the most dominant computer applications provider in the world.

One of its very successful products is the Microsoft Office suite. It is a software with several office applications like Microsoft Word and Excel which are being used by most if not all computer users today.

One part of the Microsoft Office suite is the Microsoft Outlook which is a personal information manager designed for use in Microsoft Windows or Mac. It is originally intended as an email application but also has several other features such as task and contact manager, calendar, journal and note taking, and web browsing. It can be used together with several other applications like the Microsoft Exchange Server or SharePoint Server, or on its own by any individual, or shared by multiple users in an organization that needs to share files and documents.

There are two ways to save files in Microsoft Outlook: through the OST or the PST file folders. The OST file folder is a storage area which can be used offline. It is used in an exchange environment, that is, by using the Microsoft Exchange Server. It allows users to work when offline and is very useful in areas with unreliable or limited connections. Files that are stored and updated in OST will be updated and synchronized when the user goes online.

When Microsoft Outlook is configured to link with an Exchange environment, it enables users to read, reply, compose, edit, and delete emails even when he is offline. In a cached mode, Microsoft Outlook copies emails in the OST file.

The PST file folder, on the other hand, is a personal folder and is not recommended to use in an exchange setup. It is stored on the client hard disk and servers other than the Microsoft Exchange Server. HTTP and IMAP use the PST file folder. Emails and files that are attached to them can be delivered and stored in the PST file folder. Other information or data such as calendar, contacts, and tasks which are locally stored in the computer are placed in PST file folders.


1.The OST file folder is an offline data storage area which can be used when there is no Internet connection while the PST file folder is a personal data storage area which can be used for locally stored files.
2.While the PST file folder may be used with an Exchange setup, it is not recommended and is compatible only with other servers unlike the OST file folder which works only with the Microsoft Exchange Server.
3.The OST file folder allows users to work even when offline; letting them read, edit, compose, and delete messages and synchronizing changes made the moment they go online while the PST file folder does not have this feature.
4.Both are part of Microsoft Outlook. While the OST file folder is suited for use in areas with unreliable or limited Internet connections, the PST file folder is not.

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