Creating a PST in Outlook 2010

Creating a PST in Outlook 2010

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I have a friend that is moving from Outlook 2003 to 2010, and who had trouble figuring out how to move their mail to a PST (offline mail store).  In case anyone else is looking to do this, here we go:

In the top left of Outlook, click on “File”.


Click on the Account Settings drop down, and then click “Account Settings…”


In the window that pops up, click the second tab “Data Files”


Click on the “Add…” icon, and then give your PST file a name (they call it “Outlook Data File, which makes much more sense to end users), choose where it goes, and then hit “OK”.  By default in Windows 7, it goes into your My Documents folder into a folder called “Outlook Files”. 

I’m not sure what Outlook 2010 does on earlier versions of Windows, but Outlook 2007 and earlier defaulted to C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook.  I know that because I used to have a job upgrading PC’s in a large enterprise to Windows XP, and I had to manually move over the PST files that people forgot to back up.  That path is burned into my brain :)


Close the Account Settings window, and you will be back to the main Outlook window.  Your new PST (Outlook Data File) will be over on the left, and you can create new folders and drag mail into them (or setup rules).


  • Awesome! Without these steps I would not have found it. Thanks

  • I perform the IT duties for a small technical office.  Outlook files have always been an issue for swapping users over to new machines, and performing backups.  As soon as I set-up a new machine for Outlook I move the PST file into a folder I created called Outlook Mail in My Documents either the public side or non-shared.  I create numerous PST files in this folder for customers, suppliers, etc.

    Because the PST file is now located in My Documents this makes backups easier, and when using Active Sync to back up it only has to copy 5 or 10 smaller PST files that have changed versus a humongous 10 GB file which would take a couple hours to transfer over.

    My problem now is that I can't find "Data File Management" in Outlook 2010.  I'll look in the area you illustrated above but it looks to take a few more steps to do so.

  • But when I do all this, and then drag any mail or folders into the new PST file, it disappears forever.  What am I doing wrong?

  • I deleted my outlook pst file by mistake. Then i remove Office 2010, but when i install again, Outlook always asks for the file i deleted. What should i do about it?

  • I like your blog very useful and very inspirational .Thanks a lot. It will help me a lot. By your inspiration even I have started blogging to share my work experience on sharepoint 2010 and  Microsoft outlook 2010.

  • And what does a person do when Outlook 2010 will not open, because the current  pst file (from outlook 2007) is corrupt. yes I ran a scanpst, no help.

  • Thanks Mate, was trying for a couple of days now, and now its working!:-)

  • Thank God for people like.-Great blog-

  • Thanks that helped....Its always been an issue for migrating Outlook. Anyways good info shared here.

  • thanks for the tip, saved time for me !

  • In oulook 2010 when i made my pst default then mail not able to download in my default Pst.Please help out.

  • Very helpful information... Thanks a lot !!!!

  • Thanks a lot !!!!

    Very helpful information.

  • This was the best ever.  I went to several other sites before finding this one, this was the easiest fix EVER!  

    Thanks for posting!

  • Great! it works and takes less than a minute ;)

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