What Happens If I Delete An Outlook Data File?

Ashwani Tiwari | Modified: March 20th, 2021 | Data Recovery, MS Outlook, Software

Microsoft Outlook is a widely used email application for over a decade. Eventually, large files of data are collected on the system that makes Outlook application inaccessible, and in time it may lead to corruption. Most users who seek help for managing their bulky email mailboxes end up deleting Outlook data files to enhance the performance.

To get rid of troubles and to increase efficiency, users try to delete PST file and curiosity arise that, what happens if I delete an Outlook Data file? To avoid this whole risky situation we suggest you make use few reliable applications.

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Protect your Outlook Data File

These applications will provide options to save Outlook data files conveniently in various file formats e.g. PST, MSG, EML, PDF, HTML, and more at your desired location of the system. Software facilitates to restore a complete Outlook data mailbox along with each data item including emails with embedded attachments, calendars, contacts, tasks, etc. It guarantees no loss of data will occur to the files and also keep intact the format and header as the original.

What happens if I Delete an Outlook data file?” Is this concerning you? In simple words, the deleted file gets removed from your system and you won’t be able to access it ever again. In this blog, we will further discuss various viewpoints of the query. The major user concern which we try to explain a resolution in this blog is, what if the user needs the data file back.

Know Outlook OST & PST Files

  1. If the user is having an IMAP Outlook account, recreating the Outlook account will help the user to get access to emails, calendars, notes, tasks, etc. stored on the server.
  2. Outlook configured with Office 365, MS Exchange also saves OST (Offline Data File) and if the data file is deleted, the recreating account will automatically synchronize data with the server.
  3. If you have an Outlook POP account, deleting a PST file may lead to data loss.

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Similar queries asked by other users for this scenario

  • What happens if i delete my Outlook PST file?
  • Is it okay to delete OST file?
  • Is it safe to delete Outlook PST file?
  • What happens if i delete Outlook OST file?
  • Is it safe to delete Outlook OST file?
  • Can I delete Outlook PST file
  • Can I delete Outlook data file

Reasons to Delete Outlook Data Files

Because of many reasons, users would opt for deleting already existing Outlook data files. They are mentioned as below:

  • Large-sized Outlook files are more likely to be corrupted so users can decide to disable the current Outlook mailbox and create a new one. This will disable all the files of the older mailbox. But even after that, by default Outlook could load that file so its users don’t have an option other than removing Outlook data files manually.
  • In this league when a new mailbox is created, previous Outlook files need to be removed or deleted to avoid multiple displays of Outlook mailbox.
  • Also, synchronization errors make changes in the OST file while sharing and receiving of it. It happens because of changes done by the host computer in absence of the internet and when connection reestablishes those changes are addressed to the server. To deal with such synchronization errors users need to disable or remove those OST files so that new OST files can be stored in place of them.

Consequences of Deleting Outlook Files

If you directly delete Outlook data files from your local drive, this will cause an error in the Outlook account and the possibility of corrupting your mail account profile permanently.
So make sure to remove the file from the Outlook account before deleting it from the local device. But if you really want to unload the files from Outlook it is preferred to recreate another mail profile and then upload all of your important data. Here are the steps to create a backup of the whole Outlook mailbox in simple steps.

How to Backup Outlook Data?

Please make sure to backup up all Outlook data files before deleting the profile. SysTools Outlook PST Recovery (PST) and OST Recovery (OST) can help in backing up Outlook file data safely. It allows you to save your MS Outlook emails, contacts, calendars, and all necessary data items along with whole attachments in the desired file format. The SysTools utilities provide a wider range of options and many advanced facilities to store Outlook data locally without any damage.

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    1. Download the Outlook Backup Utility (PST / OST Recovery Tool) and Run on your desktop.
    2. Add files of Outlook from the location using the navigation pane.
    3. Once the files are loaded select the Data Items you want to export (save) and choose the File format those are PST / EML / MSG / PDF / HTML.
    4. Using Advanced Filter customize the backup for your Outlook data files. Make sure to hit the Start button to initiate the download process.

Highlight: This utility allows users to download files and folder in a selective manner which means you can choose the data accordingly and delete the unnecessary files.
After backup of your valuable Outlook data, you can freely delete your Outlook files from your computer.

Steps to Delete Data files of Outlook

      1. Open the Outlook account
      2. Go to the Info section and select Account Setting
      3. Right Click on Account setting > Add/Remove Account
      4. It will open a new window of Email Account > Data Files
      5. Then click on the Open File location tab to browse the OST file location.
      6. Before selecting the file to delete (Make sure to close the Outlook application)
      7. Select the OST file you want to delete then either hit on the Delete key or by right-clicking open choose the Delete option.
      8. This simple method will delete the selected OST file.

Reminder – Make sure to backup your complete Outlook mailbox because the deletion of the Outlook data file might cause issues in your account and make it inaccessible for further use. To avoid this disaster make another profile and transfer all of your backup data to a new Outlook profile.


We have discussed the most asked query: what happens if I delete an Outlook data file. Using Outlook application demands the saving and removal of irrelevant files to work smoothly. Otherwise, a large amount of data will gather up and that can interrupt processing. And it might corrupt not only data but cause inaccessibility to the account. Removing and deleting all unessential files is the best solution. See the blog to know, is it okay to delete Outlook OST / PST files. What are the solutions and precautions to be taken before an Outlook data file is deleted?