Locating the Outlook data files

There may be times when you need to find your Outlook .pst file — for example, when you have a new computer and need to transfer your messages, calendars, contacts, tasks, or notes, or when your computer has crashed and you've lost some of your Outlook data. Here’s a list of places where Outlook 2013 saves backed-up information on your computer.

Backed-up emails, calendars, contacts, tasks, and notes (.pst)

An Outlook Data File (.pst) contains your backed-up email messages, calendars, contacts, tasks, and notes, and is stored in the following default locations, depending on your version of Microsoft Windows:

Windows 8

drive:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook

or

drive:\Users\<username>\Roaming\Local\Microsoft\Outlook

Windows 7 / Windows Vista

drive:\Users\<username>\Documents\Outlook Files

Windows XP

drive:\Users\<username>\My Documents\Outlook Files

If you had created data files on your computer in previous versions of Outlook, they'll be stored in the following default locations, depending on your operating system:

Windows 8 / Windows 7 / Windows Vista

drive:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook

Windows XP

drive:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

 Tip    Can't find a subfolder (such as AppData) mentioned below? It might be hidden by Windows. Learn how to unhide folders and file name extensions.

Offline or cached Outlook items (.ost)

Email accounts, such as Microsoft Exchange, Outlook.com, or IMAP, keep your mail on a server. The Offline Outlook Data File (.ost) is a synchronized copy of the account saved on your computer, and is stored in the following default locations, depending on your operating system:

Windows 8 / Windows 7 / Windows Vista

drive:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook

Windows XP

drive:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

 Note    All the data in the .ost file is kept on the server, so you don’t have to back it up. Your account server synchronizes the .ost file on your computer to keep your Outlook items current.

Personal Address Book (.pab)   

Personal Address Book (.pab) files are lists of names and distribution lists, used in Outlook 2003 and earlier versions. To use them in Outlook 2013, convert the files from the following default locations into a contacts folder by clicking File > Open & Export > Import.

Windows 8 / Windows 7 / Windows Vista

drive:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook

Windows XP

drive:\Documents and Settings

Offline Address Book (.oab)   

The Offline Address Book (.oab) is used by Microsoft Exchange Server accounts. It contains information, such as names, e-mail address, titles, and office locations, from the Global Address List (GAL) on an organization’s Exchange server.

You don't have to back up or restore this file as it is created and updated automatically by the server. It's stored in the following default locations, depending on your operating system.

Windows 8 / Windows 7 / Windows Vista

drive:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook

Windows XP

drive:\Documents and Settings\user\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

Other Outlook Data

This section shows file locations by file type, for the various Windows operating systems.

Navigation Pane settings (.xml)

Windows 8/ Windows 7/ Windows Vista

drive:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Outlook\profile name.xml

Windows XP

drive:\Documents and Settings\user\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\profile name.xml

Registered Microsoft Exchange extensions (.dat)

Windows 8/ Windows 7/ Windows Vista

drive:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook

Windows XP

drive:\Documents and Settings\user\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

Print styles (Outlprnt with no extension)

Windows 8/ Windows 7/ Windows Vista

drive:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Outlook

Windows XP

drive:\Documents and Settings\user\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

Signatures (.rtf, .txt, .htm)

Windows 8/ Windows 7/ Windows Vista

drive:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Signatures

Windows XP

drive:\Documents and Settings\user\Application Data\Microsoft\Signatures

Stationery (.htm)

Windows 8/ Windows 7/ Windows Vista

drive:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Stationery

Windows 8 (64-bit)/ Windows 7 (64-bit)/ Windows Vista (64-bit), with Outlook 2013 32-bit

drive:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\ Microsoft Shared\Stationery

Windows XP

drive:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Stationery

Custom forms

Windows 8/ Windows 7/ Windows Vista

drive:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Forms

Windows XP

drive:\Documents and Settings\user\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Forms

Dictionary (.dic)

Windows 8/ Windows 7/ Windows Vista

drive:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\UProof

Windows XP

drive:\Documents and Settings\user\Application Data\Microsoft\UProof

Templates (.oft)

Windows 8/ Windows 7/ Windows Vista

drive:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates

Windows XP

drive:\Documents and Settings\user\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates

Send/Receive settings (.srs)

Windows 8/ Windows 7/ Windows Vista

drive:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Outlook

Windows XP

drive:\Documents and Settings\user\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

Message (.msg, .htm, .rtf)

Windows 8/ Windows 7/ Windows Vista

drive:\Users\<username>\Documents

Windows XP

drive:\Documents and Settings\user\My Documents

How to unhide folders and file name extensions

Some of the folders might be hidden folders, and Windows might have file name extensions (such as .pst, .ost, .pab) turned off. To show hidden folders and file name extensions, do the following:

  1. Open Control Panel.
  • In Windows 8, press the Windows key + X, then click Control Panel.
  • In Windows 7, click Start > Control Panel.
  1. In the View by list, make sure either Large icons or Small icons is selected so that you can see all the icons in Control Panel.
  2. Click Folder Options.
  3. Click the View tab.
  4. In the Advanced settings box:
  1. Under Files and Folders, uncheck the Hide extensions for known file types box
  2. Under Hidden files and folders, click the Show hidden files, folders, and drives button.
  3. Click OK.

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Applies to:
Outlook 2013