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Thread: Change the default location for the Outlook .pst file

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Change the default location for the Outlook .pst file

    Hey people,
    Is there a way to change the default location for the Outlook .pst file? Anyone have any idea?

    Thank you all who reply.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008

    Re: Change the default location for the Outlook .pst file

    You can use the Custom Installation Wizard and Custom Maintenance Wizard tools from the Office 2003 Resource Kit to set the value of ForcePSTPath. The resource kit also contains the administrative template for Group Policy Editor (GPE), which you can use to mandate the value for ForcePSTPath as a policy setting in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\ Software\Policies\Microsoft\ Office\11.0\Outlook. The Microsoft article "You cannot specify a separate folder to store the .ost file when you use the ForcePSTPath value in Outlook 2003" ( explains how to get and use a hotfix that adds a new ForceOSTPath registry value to set the .ost file path separately from the .pst file path

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Re: Change the default location for the Outlook .pst file

    By default, Outlook places each Offline Folders (.ost) file and Personal Folders (.pst) file that it creates in the %userprofile%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook folder. This setting allows you to change the default behavior and store the files in any folder. Open Registry Editor from Start > Run > regedit > OK. And find the following key:
    Outlook 2003 - [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Outlook]
    Outlook XP - [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\10.0\Outlook]
    Outlook 2000 - [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\9.0\Outlook]
    Create a new REG_EXPAND_SZ (Expandable String) value called 'ForcePSTPath' and set it to equal the full path of the required personal folder directory (e.g. "C:\Mailbox"). Close the Registry Editor and restart Outlook.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Re: Change the default location for the Outlook .pst file

    Outlook defaults to typically lame Microsoft paths. If you want to keep your email off your primary data drive, this is how you change the paths:
    • Create a new delivery location for incoming mail.
    • Temporarily disable Send&Receive before doing this if you want to be able to delete the file in a few minutes. Otherwise your new emails will accumulate here.
    • Go to Tools > E-Mail Accounts… > View or change existing email accounts.
    • At the bottom of the dialogue, where it says “Deliver new email to the following location”
    • Click on “New Outlook Data File” and create a new delivery location. Name it whatever you want. I just used it as a temporary placeholder to make Outlook happy, so I named it “Temp Location”.
    • In the “Data Files…” dialogue (Tools > Options… > Mail Setup > Data Files…), select the original .pst file. Click “Open Folder” to view the file in Windows Explorer.
    • Leave the Windows Explorer window alone for now and click “Remove” in the Outlook Data Files window. This will take the .pst file off of Outlook’s list but will not delete the actual file.
    • Quit Outlook. In Windows Explorer, rename, move, or delete the old .pst file. Just rename it or move it if you want to save a copy. Delete it if you are sure you don’t want any of your old mail.
    • Restart outlook. It will warn you that your original .pst file could not be found. You will be provided with a dialogue window for locating or creating one. In that dialogue, browse to wherever you want to keep your .pst file and name it whatever you want.

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