Change the name of Personal Folders in the Navigation Pane

When you open more than one Personal Folders file (.pst) (Personal Folders file (.pst): Data file that stores your messages and other items on your computer. You can assign a .pst file to be the default delivery location for e-mail messages. You can use a .pst to organize and back up items for safekeeping.) simultaneously in Microsoft Outlook, it can be difficult to distinguish which set of folders belongs to a particular .pst file. This is because all .pst files, by default, are named and appear in the Navigation Pane (Navigation Pane: The column on the left side of the Outlook window that includes panes such as Shortcuts or Mail and the shortcuts or folders within each pane. Click a folder to show the items in the folder.) as Personal Folders.

To help distinguish the .pst files, you can change the default name of Personal Folders to something unique and recognizable to you. You can do this when you create a new .pst file or when the .pst file is open and displayed in the Outlook Navigation Pane.

In this article


Introduction to working with multiple .pst files

When you want to save Office Outlook items on your computer, a Personal Folders file (.pst) (Personal Folders file (.pst): Data file that stores your messages and other items on your computer. You can assign a .pst file to be the default delivery location for e-mail messages. You can use a .pst to organize and back up items for safekeeping.) file is used. You can open and display the items from one or more .pst files simultaneously.

Many people use only one .pst file, and the default name of the top-level folder that appears in the Navigation Pane, Personal Folders, works without any problems. However, if you create multiple .pst files and do not change the default name, you will see the same top-level folder name, Personal Folders, for each .pst file that is open. This can make it difficult to know what set of folders belongs to which data file.

Why would you need two .pst files? There are a number of scenarios, including archiving older items, moving items to a second .pst file to reduce the size of a file, archiving your Sent Items to a separate .pst file, or working with projects that generate large numbers of e-mail messages.

 Note   If you use the AutoArchive feature in Outlook, the additional .pst file that is created to store older items does not use the top-level folder name Personal Folders. It is named Archive Folders.

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Change the folder name Personal Folders when you create a new .pst data file

  1. On the File menu, point to New, and then click Outlook Data File.
  2. Click Office Outlook Personal Folders File (.pst), and then click OK.
  3. In the Create or Open Outlook Data File dialog box, in the File name box, type a name for the file, and then click OK.
  4. In the Create Microsoft Personal Folders dialog box, in the Name box, clear the Personal Folders text, and then type a display name for the .pst folder.

This is the name that will appear as the top folder name in the Outlook Navigation Pane. Specifying a display name helps you to distinguish between different Outlook data files when you work with more than one .pst file. We recommend that you type a name that is unique and meaningful to you.

  1. If you want to password-protect your data file, under Password, type your password in the Password and Verify Password text boxes.

 Note   For improved security, only dots appear when you type.


Create Microsoft Personal Folders dialog box

Callout 1 Type a name that is meaningful to you.
Callout 2 If you want, type a password for this data file.
Callout 3 Select the Save this password in your password list check box if you do not want to be prompted for the data file password each time that you open the file.

ShowPassword information

Your password can use up to 15 characters.

Use strong passwords that combine uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Weak passwords don't mix these elements. Strong password: Y6dh!et5. Weak password: House27. Passwords should be 8 or more characters in length. A pass phrase that uses 14 or more characters is better. For more information, see Help protect your personal information with strong passwords.

It is critical that you remember your password. If you forget your password, Microsoft cannot retrieve it. Store the passwords that you write down in a secure place away from the information that they help protect.

If you select the Save this password in your password list check box, make a note of the password in case that you need to open the .pst on another computer. Select this check box only if your Microsoft Windows user account is password-protected and no one else has access to your computer account. If you do not select the check box, and you specified a password, you will be prompted to type the password each time that you open Outlook and this data file is loaded.

 Important   Microsoft, your Internet service provider (ISP) (ISP: A business that provides access to the Internet for such things as electronic mail, chat rooms, or use of the World Wide Web. Some ISPs are multinational, offering access in many locations, while others are limited to a specific region.), nor your e-mail administrator can access your password, nor can they assist you with recovering the contents of the .pst file if you forget the password.

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Change the name of an existing Personal Folders folder in the Navigation Pane

  1. In the Navigation Pane (Navigation Pane: The column on the left side of the Outlook window that includes panes such as Shortcuts or Mail and the shortcuts or folders within each pane. Click a folder to show the items in the folder.), right-click Personal Folders, and then click Properties for Personal Folders on the shortcut menu.

 Note   This folder will always be a top-level folder in the Navigation Pane, in Mail.

  1. Click Advanced.
  2. In the Name text box, type a name that is meaningful to you, such as Greta's Outlook Data.

This is the name that will appear as the top folder name in the Outlook Navigation Pane. Specifying a display name helps you to distinguish between the Outlook data files when you work with more than one .pst file. We recommend that you type a name that is unique and meaningful to you.

  1. Click OK twice.

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Applies to:
Outlook 2007