How to Change Outlook File Location (OST & PST)

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  • Published on
    December 24th, 2018
  • Updated on
    September 9, 2022
  • Read Time
    4 minutes
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Summary:-There are different locations of Outlook data files (.ost and .pst ) depending upon the different Outlook versions. In this blog, I’ll explain how to change Outlook file location i.e. OST and PST file, using a few manual techniques that work for all the versions of Outlook such as Outlook 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, and 2003. If you face any problems while moving OST or PST Files to another location then you can try the OST Recovery and PST Recovery Software to repair them and move them easily.
Download PST Recovery                       Download OST Recovery

The location at which Outlook data files i.e. OST and PST files are saved is on the C Disk by default, if you haven’t made any changes to it. If your Outlook data files have been accumulated by a large amount of data, it will occupy the space in the system drive and make it slower than usual. Due to this, you might wish to change the Outlook file location from the default C drive to another drive. So, without wasting any more time, let’s dig into the manual techniques to move PST and OST file locations in Outlook 2016 version. I’ll explain it in two parts:

Change Location of Outlook OST and PST

  • Part 1: Move the OST file to a new location
  • Part 2: Move PST file to a new location

Part 1: Change the Default Location of OST Files

Outlook OST data files are saved at “C:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook” by default. You can follow the below steps to change its default location to another location.

Step 1: Ensure that Outlook is closed and the OST files are not opened in any software or program.

Step 2: Now, open the Registry Editor. You can do so by running regedit in the Run dialogue box.

change outlook file location

Step 3: After that, navigate through the path: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Outlook. Further, hit a right click on a blank area anywhere on the right-side pane, then move to New → Expandable String Value.

move ost files

Step 4: A new expandable string value will be created. Name it ForceOSTPath and double-click on it. Now, in the “Edit String” dialogue box, enter the desired path under the “Value data” box and click on the OK option. Your old location of the OST file will be changed to the newly specified location.

change ost files

Step 5: At last, close the Registry Editor and restart your system so that the changes you have made will come into effect.

Note: The location of Outlook (.ost) data file is changed. The new OST files that would be created will be saved at the new location. But, note that the location of previously existing OST files will not be changed. You must also compare OST vs PST to understand the difference between them.

Part 2: Change the Default Location of PST Files

The PST files in Outlook 2016 are saved at “C: \Users\Username\Documents\Outlook Files”. Go through the below mentioned steps to change this location. The default Outlook File Location also differs from version to version.

Step 1: Again, be ensured that the Outlook is closed and the Outlook PST files are not opened anywhere in any program.

Step 2: Now, go to the “Documents\Outlook Files” folder and hit Ctrl + A to select all the PST files and move them to the desired location. After that, clear all the PST files in the “Documents\Outlook Files” folder.

Step 3: Launch the Outlook 2016. Here, you’ll get a warning message displaying “your .pst file can not be found”. Close this message by clicking on the OK button.

move pst files

Step 4: It will now display a “Create/Open Outlook Data File” dialog box. Using the dialogue box, move to the new path specified by you for the Outlook (.pst) 2016 data files. Select a random PST file and click Open. By doing this, Outlook will get to know that the saving location of the Outlook PST data files have been changed to a new location. Afterwards, any PST file in Outlook 2016 will automatically be saved at the new location.

move outlook data files


In the above article, all about the default location of OST and PST files have been explained. Also, the manual techniques to change Outlook file locations and move them to a new location have been elaborated. If you are facing any difficulty in changing the OST File Location then it means there is some problem with your OST file. Therefore, to try the OST File Recovery, you will have to use an automated solution.

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