Learn How To Locate And Move Your Outlook PST File

Microsoft Outlook without any doubt is the best e-mail clients and most of the businesses who uses Microsoft Exchange e-mail server opt for this by default. Over the years Outlook has progressed a lot and can be used with personal email account as well. It has been providing good support for IMPA and POP3 accounts and in the recent years, it is doing really well with e-mail services like Outlook.com and Gmail. Its Calendar and Reminder services are incorporated very well. We don’t bother most of the time, where our PST files are stored unless there is a need. Situations wherein you have to move your PST files to another hard disk or when you want to check if your data is being backed up or not. In this article, you’ll learn how to locate and move your PST file.

Let me give you a basic understanding on what a PST file is?

Each account that is set up in Outlook has its own database in the form of personal storage table – PST file. Here all your e-mails, contacts, calendar items, and reminders will be stored. You can also encrypt or compress the data in your PST file based on your settings. When the data stored in your PST file exceeds, the Outlook will slow down. To help you out with this problem, sometimes Outlook will suggest to archive your old e-mails so that there are less old items in your Outlook folder.

Along with PST file, there are files with .ost extension and is called OST file. OST file is basically used to temporarily store e-mails offline for the Exchange Servers and webhosts like Outlook.com and Gmail. Basically this is for you to access e-mails even when is a disconnection from the e-mail server. Like for example, there is no internet or when the e-mail server is reconnected again, the Outlook will sync up everything.

Summing up, if you are using standard IMAP or POP3 account or when offline storage in an Exchange account is not configured then, your data is stored in a PST file. Webhost like Outlook.com, Gmail and others will be stored on OST File. Exchange accounts might use both PST for data back-up and OST to access offline.

Where A PST File Is Saved?

Depending on what version of Outlook you use, the location to store PST file varies. In Outlook 2010 and 2007 by default, PST files are stored in APPData folder, at the path mentioned below:


OST files are also stored in the same location irrespective of what Outlook version you are using.

From Outlook 2013, the PST files are stored in the Document folder. The location of the Outlook 2013 and 2016 are as mentioned below:

C:\users\username\Documents\Outlook Files

The exact stored location of a PST file for an e-mail account can be searched within Outlook itself. In Outlook 2016, 2013 and 2010, click File tab, select the Account Settings from the drop-down menu of Account Settings. For Outlook 2007, go to Tools and click Account Settings.

One the Account Settings window opens, click Data File tab and choose desired e-mail account and click the Open File Location. The File Explorer window will open up showing you the location of the PST file or OST file, if that’s the account you have selected.

How To Move PST File?

If you want to move the PST files to a different location convenient to you, or you want to place them in another hard drive, well, you can very much do it. But, you cannot move them to a different location just by using File Explorer. If you do so, there are chances that you may not be able to access to some of the data. And in the default location, a new PST file will be created by the Outlook. To move the Outlook data file to a new location without losing access, you’ll have to make use Windows Registry.


While using Windows Registry, one has to be very careful. If misused, it will make your computer inoperable. If you follow the instructions carefully, there shouldn’t be any problem. So, before you start using Windows Registry, make sure you go through the instructions on how to use it. If there is any problem with your Outlook, you can use software to fix Outlook PST file. To avoid any issues, do backup your computer and Registry as well.

First, close Outlook if it is running, else make sure it is not open. Then, hit start button and type ‘regedit’ and press Enter. This will open the Registry Editor and agree to make changes to the computer. Navigate to one of the below-mentioned key based on the Outlook version you are using.

Outlook 2007: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Outlook\

Outlook 2010: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Outlook\

Outlook 2013: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Outlook\

Outlook 2016: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Outlook\

After selecting, you have to enter a new value to the Outlook Key. Right click Outlook button, and select ‘New > Expandable String Value’ and name it as “ForcePSTPath”. If you are using OST file, name it as “ForceOSTPath”.

Now, double click on the ‘ForcePSTPath’ or ‘ForceOSTPath’ to access the properties window. Then, type the new location (where you want to store the data file) into the Value Data box and click OK once done. Exit from the Registry Editor. A new PST/OST file will be created in the new location. Drag the Outlook PST file to the new location using File Editor. Your Outlook should work fine when you re-open it.

Learn How To Locate And Move Your Outlook PST File was last modified: December 6th, 2019 by John Harris

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