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I'm trying to retrieve my outlook emails saved on my local machine because I can't access them anymore. I used them with outlook at work which required me to log in to their domain. However now that I have a new job, I forgot to back up those emails up and cannot access the old domain.

I'm wondering if there's anyway I can retrieve those emails because I think they are still saved on the harddrive right?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

The answer depends on whether you were connected to Exchange and stored your mail on Exchange, or whether you used a local PST file to store your mail.

If it is the first there is no way to retrieve them, as only the headers are stored in an OST file on your local machine, and can only be accessed when authenticated against that domain.

If it is the latter the process is fairly simple. In Outlook you can open the PST file directly.

  • Click on File
  • Click on Open - Outlook Data File
  • Browse for the PST - Normally under %ApplicationData%\Microsoft\Outlook\
  • Click on Open

It may prompt you for a password, which should be your old network password if at all.

There is also a nice How To on this available here

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Hello, I was able to get the PST file. However, I really need to get back my address book (which the PST file didn't give). I also see a 600MB OST file which I don't know how to open. Thanks for your help! – Dave Sep 5 '09 at 21:26
Everything should be stored in the PST. Unfortunately without a connection to the original Exchange there is no way to open the OST. – BinaryMisfit Sep 5 '09 at 21:30
Ah, so the address book should also be stored in the PST file? I'll have another go at it. – Dave Sep 5 '09 at 21:34
Correction No. The Address Book is actually stored in Exchange, however your Contact should exists in the PST. If not this was also stored on the Exchange. – BinaryMisfit Sep 5 '09 at 21:42
Ahh okay. Thanks! – Dave Sep 5 '09 at 22:01

One more note (and I'm clearly not a Super User because I can't figure out how to reply to a threaded answer on this thing.)

  1. If your computer still has the old domain credentials cached, and you can log onto the computer but not the domain (and hence the Exchange server) AND if you had Outlook set up to work in cached mode (which I think you did because of the OST file) you can simply log into your computer using your old domain account, fire up Exchange while you're NOT connected to the internet, and export the emails.
  2. If you can't log in using your old credentials, there are programs that will convert OST to PST files (usually called OST2PST.) I remember finding a free one once, but now Google is only giving me $100-$600 options.
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There is no such thing as a threaded answer on SU. Single Question, Single Answer. Review the FAQ for further important information regarding the platform. Welcome to SU! – BinaryMisfit Sep 6 '09 at 0:07

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