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    Where does Outlook store the mail?


    I didnt know where else to post this on this forum, but does anyone know where outlook stores the emails? I know in Outlook Express you can find where it stores emails by going to Tools>Options>Maintenance>Store Folder. But what about Outlook.
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    My two cents


    Originally Posted by DKY
    I didnt know where else to post this on this forum, but does anyone know where outlook stores the emails? I know in Outlook Express you can find where it stores emails by going to Tools>Options>Maintenance>Store Folder. But what about Outlook.
    In my search for an answer to a related question, I came across this posting, so I thought I’d share what I’ve learned.

    The default location where Outlook 2003 stores your data is in Documents and Settings\<user>\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\outlook.pst

    To double check where Outlook is saving data, go to Tools > Options… > Mail Setup > Data Files… and you will see a listing of all of your data files (along with an interface for managing them).

    I was looking for a way to clear all of the mail and folders out of a user’s account in Outlook 2003. I wanted to keep her mail account settings but get rid off all of her mail and folders so that I could import everything again from Outlook Express.

    How I safely replaced my outlook.pst file with an empty one, while saving the original as a backup:

    1 Create a new delivery location for incoming mail. You have to do this in order to keep Outlook happy.
    • 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”.
    2 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.

    3 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.

    4 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. I just went to C:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\ (the location of the original file) and created a new file named outlook.pst. That way, except for the backup copy of my old .pst file, everything looks pretty much the same as it did before I tampered with it.

    5 (optional) Remove the temporary Delivery Location that you set up in Step 1.
    • 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”. Rather than creating a new file, browse to the .pst file that you just created, select it and click ok.
    • Now you can remove the temporary delivery location (follow steps 2 and 3)

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