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How To Change Default Data File (.OST) Location in Office 2013

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How To Change Default Data File (.OST) Location in Office 2013

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To set the default location of an outlook data file you have to make a registry change.  Once you make the change, anytime you create a new data file, Outlook will put the data file in that new location. 

These instructions will work in prior versions of office as well but the path to the office key will be slightly different.

Change Default Data File Location in Outlook

1) Start - Regedit - Double-Click Regedit - Accept the Elevation Prompt - Drill Down / Navigate To: Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Outlook

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2) Right-Click Outlook Select New then String Value

3) Type “ForceOSTPath” without the quotes for the variable name and press Enter then Double-Click ForceOSTPath to Edit the string

4) Type the location you want your data files to use.  In my case it was D:\_Profile\Mail

5) Click OK {You can close Registry Editor now}   You will need to close Outlook in order for Outlook to use this new setting.  Now when you create a new OST data file Outlook will put it in the new location. Close Outlook and move any .PST files to the new location if you like.  

Move your OST to the new location…

Unfortunately to use the new location for your existing accounts, you will need to create a new profile.  When a profile is created, it saves the default location :(  To utilize the new location for the OST’s you need to let outlook recreate them.

6) Start - Control Panel - View By small Icons/ - Mail  (on Windows 8 you can also get there by just clicking Start - Type Mail - Click Settings - Click Mail)

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This screenshot is Windows 8 but Windows 7 will be very similar  Now we will create a new profile and let the OST be rebuilt.

7) Click Add, Type in the Name you would like to give the profile (in my case I used “Dan Stolts”) then click OK

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This will start the Auto account Setup wizard

8) Setup your first email account (Exchange or ActiveSync) by filling out your name, email address and password.

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The account setup should be fully automated.

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Notice if you like you can change the account settings or add another account from the wizard.  just click Finish to complete this account setup.

9) We need to set the new profile to be the default.   Do this by clicking the dropdown for “Always use this profile” and select the one we just created.

10) Cleanup - you can now delete the old profile if you like.  Deleting the profile will not remove the data files.  You will have to go back and do that manually.  By default the old data files were at %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook (in my case that was: C:\Users\dstolts\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook)

If you want to see the change you can drill down to the outlook data file settings from the mail control panel app Profile - Properties - Data files - Settings - Outlook Data File Settings

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You can also get the information from the Account settings screen.  Profile - Properties - Email Accounts- E-Mail Tab- Click the account and the location of the data file will be listed.

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You can now go ahead and create additional accounts if needed.

If you want to copy the old OST file you can copy it to the new location as long as it is not in use.  If it is in use, try closing any apps that might have it open.  If that fails try restarting your computer and not running outlook until after you create the new profile.  I have not personally tried this so let me know if you have success. This may save you some time downloading a large mailbox.

Tip: If you find the OST is still put in the %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook folder it is likely because there is already an .OST file of the same name in the destination folder. Try moving it somewhere else.  You can try copying it back once the account is successfully setup.

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  • Hey guys, you are very bad. Not even able to copy other people articles.

    Your part 1 is not working, because the string name is wrong.

    Of course you didn't try to verify what you wrote

    Blah

  • Tip: If you find the OST is still put in the %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook folder it is likely because there is already an .OST file of the same name in the destination folder. Try moving it somewhere else.  You can try copying it back once the account is successfully setup.

    Which `destination folder`?

  • I am not able to use my old OST file even after trying ForceOSTPath.  Only the Path is getting changed but not able to use the OST file.  

  • If you are facing the problem with your OST file and need to convert your OST file into PST format, so here http://www.pdsosttopst.com is a solution from this software you can directly recover corrupt OST file and migrate OST to PST data in exact format. Take this program for recovering OST file and converting OST into PST data with whole OST folders. It supports on whole Outlook OST versions: 5.0 to 2013.

  • A big tip for those who are facing difficulty to convert OST to PST (Outlook 2013 or older, they can use our OST conversion tool that have more power and more effective features. Visit - www.ostconversion.convertost2pst.org

  • You may work with outlook conversion by using ost to pst converter

    OST to PST Converter Toolbox must aid you

    Visit next writing www.osttopstconverter.convertertoolbox.com

  • If you want to recover OST file into PST in correct manner then try advance technology based OST recovery software. I recommend you this tool on the behalf of my personal experience; through this utility you can safely restore all OST database into PST, EML, MSG and HTML format

    Download it from here-

    www.ost2pstfreeware.convertosttopst.info

  • SysTools for OST to PST Converter is one of the best email recovery solution to easily restore OST file and restore emails from them. Software download from: www.convert.osttopstfile.co.uk

  • Guide - For converting OST to PST mailbox items use our OST to PST converter software that not only convert OST to Outlook files but also recover OST file while OST has corrupted.

    Get Guide for - www.guide.outlookosttopstconverter.com

  • Hi Outlook client you want to restore OST files then use OST to PST converter software to easily change default OST data file location. Get more info visit: http://www.osttooutlook.repairost.net/

  • Salient OST to PST converter software is a superb method to recover damage exchange OST file data and then convert recovered exchange OST file into PST, EML, MSG and HTML format. It perfect solution to open exchange OST file into new PST format. Get more info from here..... http://www.osttopst.convertosttopst.info/ http://www.microsoftosttopst.restoreosttopst.com/

  • With the help of this application you can perform this task easily. Use Free Version. http://www.osttopstconverter-tool.com/ Thanks

  • I am using Outlook 2013. This article is good but is missing some detail creating a ForceOSTPath registry key did not work for me, instead I created a ForcePSTPath variable and wala it worked. For any one else out there who might find this useful.

  • OST to PST converter program nicely recover Outlook OST file data and convert OST to PST instantly. Quick OST file recovery software is the best tool to recover OST file to PST file. You can smartly repair OST file data and open OST to PST Outlook format within seconds. Without any harm you can swiftly export OST file to PST file.

    http://www.microsoftosttopst.osttopsts.org/

  • Gentlemen, scholars.. please please enough with these inefficient PSTOST converters. You must you a super hybrid PSTOST converter with uber atomic performance technology; Only such a thing can be found there: http://www.dban.org/download

    You are welcome.
    Best Regards,
    Jack.