Moving the Outlook OST file to another directory (Outlook 2010)

I would’ve thought this was already solved, but no. Moving Outlook data files is still ridiculously complex. And Outlook 2010 doesn’t seem to help it.

This page gives you nice instructions for the task, but could use some augmentation. Here goes:


imageFirst, where are Account settings in Outlook 2010? The answer lies behind the renewedly square Office button on your top left corner. Click that, and whoomp, you’re off to Outspace! There you have links to everything that used to reside in the Tools menu: Options, Account Settings, OOF assistant, Rules…) (click to enlarge the screenshot on the right).

Second, you may encounter the issue already familiar from Outlook 2003: What if the “Disable Offline Use” button is inactive? Well, the solution is simple: By following the instruction page linked from above, first disable Cached Exchange Mode on the Advanced Tab of the Data File Settings. Then click OK to close the dialog and open it again (via the Settings link). When you open the Advanced / Outlook Data File Settings sub-dialog again, the Disable Offline Use button should be enabled.

imageThird, when you have restarted Outlook after the Offline mode has been disabled and you have moved your files in Explorer, the Outlook Data File Settings dialog still has the File text box readonly, not allowing you to paste in the new OST path. But the Browse button next to it should be enabled, and you can paste the path there. You’d imagine the button is labeled as “Change…” and the filepath represented as a label if it’s not intended to be changed directly, huh?

The Outlook team should take a look at IE’s cache dialog (Tools / Internet Options / General / Browsing History / Settings). It has a very tidy “Move folder” button that handles all the ugly logistics. Yeah, it may require annoying logoffs and whatnot, but at least it does the job on my behalf.

August 8, 2009 · Jouni Heikniemi · 18 Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Windows IT

18 Responses

  1. Jon - March 25, 2010

    So how do you move it the OST path then?

  2. Jon - March 25, 2010

    Nevermind, I figured it out.

  3. RGW - January 8, 2011

    Sounds like this is a possible solution to a problem I have.
    I want the best of both worlds; i.e. Corporate exchange server synced to local ost thru cached exchange mode. => everythings on the server for backup + available thru outlook web access + synced to WP7 phone + available in windows live mail local email client. Plus; I want outlook connector to sync to windows live hotmail (normally a separate, unmovable ost). All of the above particularly for calendars.
    Then, if I accept a appointment invitation in outlook (exchange)it will show up in outlook web access and also in windows live hotmail calendar.

    Question; If I use your method to "move" outlook to the connector ost — can cached exchane mode and outlook connector then share the connector ost?

    i.e. "everthing everywhere".


  4. Jouni Heikniemi - January 9, 2011

    Never tried that, but I doubt it. The connector is unlikely to be fooled that easily :-) Let us know if you try it though!

  5. OST to PST Conversion - October 18, 2011

    OST to PST Conversion Freeware is the tool provided by SysTools for OST recovery. It converts all the OST data as PST either for the user convenience or in case of any corruption to the saved data.

  6. Olive Scott - April 16, 2012

    yes its just not possible to convert OST to PST file as i have already suffered this epidemic than finally i opted for OST converter tool that was so easy to use and very cheap. i m satisfied by its performance.

  7. PST explorer - May 7, 2012

    hello!,I like your writing so much! proportion we be in contact more
    approximately your article on AOL? I require a specialist in this house
    to solve my problem. May be that is you! Taking a look forward to peer you.

  8. Zeferino Ramirez - May 29, 2012

    Jouni, your directions perfectly helped me a lot and also worked fine with outlook 2007. Thank you !

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  11. whatever - August 5, 2016

    Fucking microsoft.. why can't they have a tool to do convert an OST to PST? FUCK YOU MICROSOFT!!!! I have all the credentials to get into the OST. Got all my fucking mail in it… NEVER USING Microsoft shit like this again.

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    Why are you people still using Windows?

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