How to Change the Location of Outlook OST file?

This blog focusses on educating users as of how to change the location of Outlook OST file. Read on to know the different ways in which you can do so. Also, in the end, it is recommended to users that they convert Outlook OST to PST file format for reasons that are quite convincing.

Changing the default location of Outlook OST file can be a dire need of users at times. And, there can be several reasons for the same. Well, OST to PST conversion can also be an alternative to this. Nonetheless, to change OST file location follow the methods that have been mentioned in the sections to come.

Changing the default location for Outlook OST files using manual methods

The following are the manual methods using which users can alter the default location of Outlook offline data (OST) files.

Method 1: Using Registry Trick – By using the Registry Trick method users can change the location of their OST file irrespective of the Outlook version, be it Outlook  2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, or 2003 all of which use a different location to store their OST files.

The steps to change the default location of OST files are as follows:

  1. Press both Windows and R key simultaneously so that the Run dialog box appears. In the Run box, type in regedit and click on the OK


Figure 1: Run dialog box

  1. The Registry Editor is launched. In it, use the appropriate keys that depend on the version of Outlook in use.
  • For Outlook 2016, the key is:


  • For Outlook 2013, the key is:


  • For Outlook 2010, the key is:


  • For Outlook 2007, the key is:


  1. In the right-hand-side pane of Registry Editor right-click on an empty area. Then, select New > Expandable String Value as shown in the figure below.

registry edit

Figure 2: Selection of Expandable String Value in the Registry Editor

  1. A new Value is created. In the Edit String dialog box, assign ForceOSTPath name to the Value and enter the new default location to save the OST file generated by Exchange account. Then, click on the OK


Figure 3: Edit String to enter value name and value data

  1. Close Registry Editor and restart MS Outlook.

Note – With this, whenever a new Exchange email account is set a new OST file will be created automatically in the new default location of OST file that is chosen.

Method 2: Using Outlook email client – In this method, users need to know the default location of OST files that depend on the version of Windows OS.  Also, this applies to Outlook 2013, 2010, 2007, and 2003.

In Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista the default location of the OST file is as follows:


In Windows XP, the default OST file location is as follows:

C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

  1. Open the Account Settings dialog box and select the Data Files
  2. Select Exchange Server account and then the Settings


Figure 4: Selecting Settings tab in Data Files section

  1. In Microsoft Exchange account, go to the Advanced section, uncheck the Use Cached Exchange Mode check box and then click on the OK

cache exchange mode

Figure 5: Actions in Advanced section of Microsoft Exchange account

  1. On the occasion of the prompt, click on the OK tab and then select Settings
  2. In the Advanced tab, choose Outlook Data File Settings > Disable Offline Use > Yes.

Note: If the Disable Offline Use option is unavailable, return to Step 3 and uncheck the Use Cached Exchange Mode check box.

  1. Choose Outlook Data File Settings and then select ‘I want to move the old file’ option. Here, select the Browse tab, then the offline Outlook Data (OST) file that was moved to a new folder at any location, and then the Open
  2. Click on the OK
  3. In the Advanced section of Microsoft Exchange account, place a check mark on the Use Cached Exchange Mode check box, click on the OK tab, and again click on the OK tab when it prompts to restart Outlook email client.
  4. Close both, the Account Settings and the Mail Setup dialog boxes.
  5. In the Mail dialog box click on the OK

Note: When a new offline Outlook Data (OST) File is created the old OST file is not deleted automatically. You can delete the old file manually.


  • Free of cost


  • Involves risk of data loss
  • Requires more time for completion
  • Involves risk of complete failure

The best way forward to change OST file location

As has been discussed above in the blog, the manual methods to change the location of OST file possesses a number of disadvantages. Therefore, considering all those, it is better to go for an alternate. Going forward, the best way to deal with this issue is to convert the OST files into PST format. With this, users would be able to access the stored Outlook data items in Outlook on any Windows system. Well, to do so, users can go for Stellar Converter for OST that has the capability to convert OST to PST files easily and quickly.

Free Download

Software Recommendations by Top Editors:

Above all, it can be brought in use even if the OST file is damaged or corrupt and is compatible with several versions of Microsoft Office, such as 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, 2003, 2002 (XP), and 2000.

Check out what MVP says about OST to PST Tool from Stellar.

  1. Jeana November 20, 2019
    • Eric Simson November 20, 2019
  2. Michelle May 8, 2019
  3. Scott Mitchem April 23, 2019
    • Eric Simson April 24, 2019
  4. Anderson April 22, 2019
    • Eric Simson April 23, 2019
  5. Ashley April 11, 2019
    • Eric Simson April 12, 2019
  6. Jojo June 27, 2018
    • Eric Simson June 29, 2018
  7. Bob Martin May 20, 2018
    • Eric Simson May 21, 2018
  8. Bob Martin March 27, 2018
    • Eric Simson March 27, 2018
  9. Lenny August 21, 2017
    • Eric Simson August 22, 2017
      • Brian August 28, 2017
      • Eric Simson August 28, 2017
  10. Ferry August 4, 2017

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