Where does Microsoft Outlook 2010 save my information and configurations?

The following is a list of locations where Microsoft Outlook 2010 information is saved.

Your configuration might not include all of the following files as some are created only when you customize Outlook features.

ShowI can't find the folders listed in this article

Some of the folders might be hidden folders. To display hidden folders in Windows, do the following:

  1. Click the Start button, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Open Folder Options.

To locate Folder Options, in the search box at the top of window, type Folder Options. In Control Panel for Windows XP, type Folder Options in the Address box.

  1. On the View tab, under Advanced settings, under Files and Folders, under Hidden files and folders, select Show hidden files and folders.

Outlook Data File (.pst)

Outlook Data Files (.pst) (Outlook Data File (.pst): Data file that saves your messages and other items on your computer. You can assign a .pst file to be the default delivery location for email messages. You can use a .pst to organize and back up items for safekeeping.) contain your e-mail messages, calendars, contacts, tasks, and notes. You must use Outlook to work with the items in a .pst file.

When you archive Outlook information, items are saved in a .pst files.

 Note   Microsoft Exchange Server accounts save your information on the mail server. To use Cached Exchange Mode (Cached Exchange Mode: A copy of your Exchange Server account mailbox is saved on your computer in an offline Outlook Data File (.ost). This copy provides quick access to data, including when you work offline, and is synchronized with the mail server.) or to work offline, copies of your items are saved in an offline Outlook Data File (.ost) (offline Outlook Data File (.ost): The file on your hard disk that contains a copy of mail messages and Outlook items. The file is synchronized with the information saved on a mail or Exchange server. The offline Outlook Data File has an .ost extension.). See the Outlook Data Files (.ost) section for more information. Also, some organizations allow you to export or archive your items to a .pst file.

The fastest way to open the folder where your Outlook Data File (.pst and .ost) is saved is to do the following:

  1. In Outlook 2010, click the File tab.
  2. Click Account Settings, and then click Account Settings.
  3. On the Data tab, click an entry, and then click Open Folder Location.

Outlook Data Files (.pst) created by using Outlook 2010 are saved on your computer in the Documents\Outlook Files folder. If you are using Windows XP, these files are created in the My Documents\Outlook Files folder.

If you upgraded to Outlook 2010 on a computer that already had data files created in previous versions of Outlook, these files are saved in a different location in a hidden folder.

Windows 7 and Windows Vista     drive:\Users\user\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook

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

 Tip    For information about hidden folders in Windows, see Windows Help and Support.

Outlook Data File (.ost)

The .ost file is synchronized with the items on the server that runs Exchange. Because your data remains on the Exchange server, you can re-create this .ost file on your new computer without having to back up the .ost file.

Windows 7 and Windows Vista     drive:\Users\user\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook

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

Personal Address Book (.pab)

Windows 7 and Windows Vista     drive:\Users\user\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook

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

 Note   Personal Address Books (.pab) are not supported in Outlook 2010. When you upgrade to Outlook 2010, you are prompted to import any .pab file into Contacts. If you choose not to import the .pab file when you first run Outlook 2010, you can import it later by using the Import command in the Microsoft Office Backstage view.

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) (Global Address List: The address book that contains all user, group, and distribution list e-mail addresses in your organization. The administrator creates and maintains this address book. It may also contain public folder e-mail addresses.) on the server that runs Exchange.

You do not have to back up or restore this file. This is file is created and updated automatically.

Windows 7 and Windows Vista     drive:\Users\user\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook

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

Navigation Pane settings (.xml)

This file includes information about the contents of the Navigation Pane (Navigation Pane: The column on the left side of the Outlook window that includes buttons for the Mail, Calendar, and Tasks views and the folders within each view. Click a folder to show the items in the folder.).

Windows 7 and Windows Vista     drive:\Users\user\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 7 and Windows Vista     drive:\Users\user\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook

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

Outlook Contacts Auto-Complete List

The Auto-Complete List is a feature which displays suggestions for names and e-mail addresses as you begin to type them. These suggestions are possible matches from a list of names and e-mail addresses from the e-mail messages that you have sent.

In Outlook 2010, the Auto-Complete List file (.nk2) is discontinued. The Auto-Complete List entries are now saved in your Microsoft Exchange Server mailbox or in the Outlook Data File (.pst) for your account.

Exchange Server accounts

If you are using an Exchange Server account, your Auto-Complete List is saved in your mailbox on the server that runs Exchange. This enables your Auto-Complete List to be used from any computer that you use Outlook with your Exchange account.

ShowHow can I tell if I have a Microsoft Exchange Server account?

Click the File tab. Click Account Settings, and then click Account Settings. On the E-mail tab, the list of accounts indicates the type of each account.

Example of an Exchange Account in the Account Settings dialog box


POP3 accounts

The Auto-Complete List is saved in the Outlook Data File (.pst). See the section Outlook Data File (.pst) for location information.

IMAP and Outlook.com accounts

The Auto-Complete List is saved in the Outlook Data File (.pst). The Outlook Data Files (.pst) for these account types differ from other Outlook Data Files (.pst) in Outlook. These files are used as copies of information on your mail server account and not intended to be moved or restored. A new Outlook Data File (.pst) is created when you configure an IMAP or an Outlook.com (formerly Hotmail) account in a different Outlook profile or on another computer. Your Auto-Complete List, therefore, is unique to the computer and profile where the account is set up and the entries do not appear in any other profile or computer that you use.

Rules (.rwz)

Windows 7 and Windows Vista     drive:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Outlook

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

 Note   If you upgraded to Outlook 2010 from a version of Outlook earlier than Microsoft Outlook 2002, you might have an .rwz file on your computer's hard disk drive. The .rwz file is no longer needed, and the information about rules is now kept on the server running Microsoft Exchange, and in the Outlook Data File (.pst) for POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3 (POP3): A common Internet protocol that is used to retrieve email messages from an Internet email server.) and IMAP (IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol): Unlike Internet email protocols such as POP3, IMAP creates folders on a server to store/organize messages for retrieval by other computers. You can read message headers only and select which messages to download.) e-mail accounts. You can delete the file.

If you use the Rules Import and Export feature, the default location for .rwz files is your Documents folder.

Print styles (Outlprnt with no extension)

Windows Vista     drive:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Outlook

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

Signatures (.rtf, .txt, .htm)

Windows 7 and Windows Vista     drive:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Signatures

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

Stationery (.htm)

Windows 7 and Windows Vista     drive:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Stationery

Windows 7 and Windows Vista 64-bit with Outlook 2010 32-bit     drive:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Stationery

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

Custom forms

Windows 7 and Windows Vista     drive:\Users\user\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Forms

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

Dictionary (.dic)

Windows 7 and Windows Vista     drive:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\UProof

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

Templates (.oft)

Windows 7 and Windows Vista     drive:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates

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

Send/Receive settings (.srs)

Windows 7 and Windows Vista     drive:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Outlook

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

Message (.msg, .htm, .rtf)

Windows 7 and Windows Vista     drive:\Users\user\Documents

Windows XP     drive:\Documents and Settings\user\My Documents

 
 
Applies to:
Outlook 2010