Monday, 2 December 2013

How to resolve error: “Errors have been detected in the file xxx.ost” in Outlook 2010 ?

As we know that Outlook stores all its user mailbox data in Outlook data files i.e. OST and PST. Like other files, these files are also prone to corruption due to physical or logical errors or there could be many reasons. Any kind of corruption in these Outlook data files restricts the proper functioning of Outlook. Outlook provides two default utilities (scanost.exe and scanpst.exe) to deal with OST/PST corruption and synchronization issues. If your OST/PST File is corrupt then, you need to run these default repair utilities in order to resolve the issues.

I am writing this article specifically for the Outlook version 2010.

If you are using Outlook 2010 and your Outlook data files got corrupt, then you can have to face troubles and error messages while opening or working with Outlook.

One of the common error messages is: Errors have been detected in the file xxx.ost.

Solution to the above error: 

The first thing you need to do is to run the default OST/PST repair utilities. You can run scanpst.exe. But there is no guarantee that it will resolve your problem. If you are considering Outlook 2010 then, you will find the scanost.exe missing from there. What will you do then?

The next thing you can do is clear all offline folders. Later on, when the Outlook client will be synchronized with Exchange then, it will be recreated and synchronized with the data present on Exchange.
Resolve All Outlook Errors & Restore Mail Components with Outlook OST Converter

To do so follow given steps:

  • Go to the offline data folder, right click it and open properties.
  • After opening the properties, choose the option "Clear Offline Items" from the list of items given in the dialog box.
  • Click OK.
  • Click the Send/Receive tab from the Outlook 2010 ribbon. After that click "Update Folder".
If clearing the offline items doesn’t help you then, delete your OST file. Next time whenever Outlook will be synchronized with Exchange, it will automatically download the data. If you have some local data that is not present in the Exchange store, then first save it in a PST file after that delete the OST file. You can import the previously stored data from the PST file using the Outlook import wizard. But keep in mind that you select the ‘Do not import duplicates’ option while importing the PST file, Otherwise a duplicate copy of items may be created.

There is no guarantee that rebuilding the OST file will resolve your error or not.

If this also fails then follow the given steps:
  • Delete the old profile
  • Recreate a new profile.
  • After that, set up the account on the new profile.
The step by step procedure to create a new profile is given below. But before that I would like to give a brief introduction to the Outlook email profiles.

Outlook profile: An outlook profile is the place which stores all the information related to user account contacts, calendar, personal folders and its related settings.

A default Outlook profile gets automatically created when you run the Outlook for the first time. If a user requires having more than one profile then he can create other profiles too. He can manage separate profiles with different names, accounts and settings. You can have only one Exchange Server e-mail account per profile.

Outlook doesn’t provide you a way to switch between these profiles. If you are working with a profile and want to switch to another profile, then you require to exit the current profile, restart Outlook and after that select the required profile. There is no way to protect your Outlook profiles by using password, however you can apply passwords to individual folders of the PST file i.e. you can make your PST File password protected.

An Outlook profile stores the information related to username, display name, e-mail server name, ISP, the location where the data is delivered and stored.

All the Outlook email profiles are stored in Windows registry. Each time when Outlook is started, then it first retrieves the information from the Windows registry, after that it loads the profiles.

What is an Exchange Server e-mail account?

Exchange server is a business application that lets the user work in collaborative email environment. Outlook is a widely used email client that is used by home users as well as business users. The home users generally use a POP3 e-mail account or some Web-based e-mail client. If the user is using a POP3 e-mail account, then all the user information is provided to the user by the corresponding ISP.

The exchange Server e-mail account is applicable for only those who are using a Microsoft Exchange 2003 or later account. While using Outlook with Exchange you can work in Cached Exchange Mode.

If you want to know the type of email account for your Outlook profile then, you can do this by following the given steps: 
1. Go to Tools > E-mail Accounts.
2. Click the option ‘E-mail Accounts’ and Select View or change existing e-mail accounts
3. Click Next.
4. Check below ‘Outlook processes e-mail for the following accounts in the following order’, there will be two columns respective to the Name and type of accounts just like shown in the below figure:


Following are the entries of Type column lists:
  • Exchange (Default): While sending any email, this account will be used as the default account.
  • HTTP:It’s a HTTP account. For example hotmail
  • IMAP/SMTP: In the above figure ‘’ is an IMAP account. That’s why it is represented as the type IMAP/SMTP
  • POP/ SMTP: Here ‘’ is a POP3 account thus, its type is POP/ SMTP
Steps how to change and create profiles:

Outlook creates a default profile when it is run for the first time. If a user requires only single profile then he can work with this "Default Outlook Profile."
If you want to change a profile follow the given steps:
  • Go to Control Panel> User Accounts> Mail.
After double clicking Mail, the Mail Setup dialog box will open.
  • Click Show Profiles and open Properties.

If you want to add an email accounts then click E-mail Accounts. Otherwise click Data Files, if you require modifying Outlook data storage options.

If a user requires multiple profiles then he will need to create another profile (other than the default Outlook profile). This can be done by following method:

Steps to create a new Outlook profile:
  • Go to Control Panel> User Accounts> Mail.
After double clicking Mail, the Mail Setup dialog box will open.
  • Click Show Profiles and then click Add. Now you will be prompted to enter the profile name. Enter your desired name and click OK.

Once your profile got created, you can add email accounts to it. While configuring an email account with Outlook profile you have two choices: ‘Configure Outlook to always start with a specific profile’ or ‘Configure Outlook to prompt you for a specific profile when the program starts’.

Follow the given steps to ‘Configure Outlook to always start with a specific profile’: 
  • Open Mail Setup dialog box >Show Profiles.
  • Select the 2nd radio button ‘Always use this profile’ from the two options given under ‘When starting Microsoft Office Outlook, use this profile’.
  • Now select your desired profile from the dropdown list.
Follow the given steps to ‘Configure Outlook to prompt you for a specific profile when the program starts’.
  • Open Mail Setup dialog box >Show Profiles.
  • Select the 1st radio button ‘Prompt for a profile to be used’ from the two options given under ‘when starting Microsoft Office Outlook, use this profile’.
  • When Outlook will start, it will promt to enter the profile name. 

I hope the above methods will resolve your OST corruption issue. But if these fail to help you then you need to switch to some powerful OST recovery solution. For that you require OST repair tools that repair the corrupt OST file and restore the recovered items to PST file. You can import the PST file into Outlook and access the data within it.


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