With the release of Office 2013 and it's emphasis on OneDrive storage, I've had several people ask about moving their pst file to OneDrive, DropBox and similar services.
The answer: It won't work in most services and is not recommended in any service. Outlook puts a lock on the pst file when the pst file is open. OneDrive (and other cloud solutions) continually syncs the local folder. It won't be able to sync the pst because Outlook has a lock on it and as a result, the pst file could become corrupted and data loss occur.
DropBox does incremental backups (reducing the need to upload a large pst in full each time), however, you need to make sure you close Outlook and wait for all updates to be uploaded before shutting down the computer, otherwise accessing the pst from another computer could result in lost data or a corrupt message store. Always keep a backup copy of the pst. This is an unsupported scenario and Microsoft will not provide support for it.
While you could use OneDrive or another cloud service to store backup copies of your data files, its not recommended due to the large size of many pst files: uploading a large data file can take "forever". If you shut the computer down before its completely uploaded then try to open it from another computer, the pst may be corrupt.
There are online backup services that can backup pst files when Outlook is open and incrementally backup the pst, so only changes are saved. These are safe to use because they are designed to work with Outlook data files. However, unlike backing up a file to OneDrive or DropBox, you can't download the pst file to another computer or when needed. You need to restore it using the backup application.
When you use a backup service I highly recommend verifying the backup several days after setting it up, so your sure it's getting the pst files and also every few months to insure it's still working as expected.
Hi I uploaded my pst files to one drive, deleted them locally and then my outlook just stopped working and the emails were gone. When I tried restoring/repairing them with SCANPST on outlook it somehow doesn't work and it says the pst data set can't be found in the initial folder, although I put the one drive download of the pst again in the old folder. Please help!
Did you empty the Recycle bin? It might be better to get the pst files out of the recycle bin.
it says the pst data set can't be found in the initial folder
<< So it says the file can't be found even though you moved the file back from OneDrive? If so, the file may be seriously corrupted. Was it completely synced up to OneDrive before you moved it back? (Or did you make a copy to put in the old folder?)
I emptied the recycle bin. I downloaded then the file from one drive back to the computer (yes it synced completely before).
Did you log into onedrive.com and confirm the recycle bin was emptied?
Yes, unfortunately I emptied the recycle bin.The files synced completely to the cloud and after I noticed that outlook wasn't working, I downloaded the files back from the cloud to the pc and started the SCANPST repairing process that did not work. I don't know if a recovering process with some other software might work..or if there is any other way...
My harddrive is slow because of low disk space due to huge Outlook Data Files (.pst) from my mailarchive in outlook (2013/ WIN8.1/ POP mail). I moved other files, such as pictures, to OneDrive, but was not successful doing so for the .pst mailarchive (for which I created a seperate archive only, inactive mailaddress to which I moved the archived mailfolders in Outlook). It does not sync to online in OneDrive, so it still uses the same diskspace in the OneDrive folder it seems.
How could I best manage to keep my mailarchive and still free my harddrive space on C? A solution that costs some money, such as a OneDrive or Office upgrade, would be no problem for me, if this would solve this issue. I am unsure and any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks,
OneDrive will not sync due to a file named '.pst' being present in the documents.
Is the pst file open it outlook? It will error if it's open in outlook, but if its not open and is small enough to sync, it can be stored in onedrive as a backup.
I have removed .pst file from onedrive and I have copied to C: user profile. Does this make any issue further?
That should be fine - anywhere outside of a cloud sync will work.
Digging up this old one again! I would also like to store my Outlook files in a cloud. Particularly my settings, rules etc. Not particularly my messages because I'm using IMAP. I use Outlook 365 Windows client and I went looking for my PST file, but I found an OST file instead. Apparently, the OST file is "... used to save data for offline use and are stored in MS Exchange Server..." I found my OST file ( .ost) where I'd expect to find my PST file. Does this mean that my Outlook client automatically synchronises the offline data with the online Exchange Server? Perhaps I also need to move all my settings files (signatures, personal dictionary, fonts, colours, archives etc. to a cloud to make using Outlook from my laptop and desktop are truly synced? As an aside, I regularly use MS Access and my files are stored in Dropbox. I quickly discovered that Dropbox was updating whenever I added or changed some data. To get around this, I created a batch fie that I use to open access. - Firstly it stops the Dropbox service then opens Access. - There is another check to make sure I don't… Read more »
Does this mean that my Outlook client automatically synchronises the offline data with the online Exchange Server?
IMAP accounts now use an ost file, not a pst. This allows calendar and contacts in the data file. Because you using imap, you don't need to sync the datafile, but may want to export rules and make a copy of your signature and dictionary.
Perhaps I also need to move all my settings files (signatures, personal dictionary, fonts, colours, archives etc. to a cloud to make using Outlook from my laptop and desktop are truly synced?
I keep copies of some of those files in Dropbox so they are accessible but am not syncing the folders directly. I did that once and have over 200,000 copies of each signature file and folder.
The access tip is good - it won't work for outlook (at least for most people) because outlook is open when the computer is running.
I run a very small business that only nets a maximum of $10,000.00 per year. MS 365 Business is too expensive for me and I technically can't run MS 365 Home since I am running a small home-based business.
Since I periodically travel what would be the best way for me to carry my .pst on the road with me? Do I load it on a flash drive and bring it, or will any of the services work for me when I am travelling? I am the only user of these files so there would not be simultaneous openings and closings of documents or the .pst file.
Thank you again for your insightful and useful advice...
I have my old outlook pst file but it is very large. I'm instructed by some IT guys to not import but to connect to Outlook 365 and then validate and then move my old pst file to the OneDrive. I've googled how to connect and not import but can't find anything. Any suggestions on how to connect my pst file to my new Outlook 365 without importing the file? Thank You!!
Don't put it in onedrive. It can go anywhere on your hard drive - just open it in outlook using file, Open, outlook data file or file, account settings, data file tab - click New then select it.
Similar question. I use Outlook 2007 on my desktop (WIN 10). I would like to move the pst files (and any other needed files) to my personal cloud drive. Then I could access them from Outlook on my laptop also. Is that possible?
Using a pst file on a cloud drive is not supported - the cloud drive software will try to sync but can't because outlook has it locked. You would be better off importing it into Outlook.com (on the new server).