Find Out Where Outlook Stores Your Mail, Calendar, and Other Data

The location of your Personal Folder File depends on the Outlook version

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Microsoft Outlook stores all your email messages, contacts, calendars, and other data in Personal Folder Files that have a .pst extension.

Rather than use one Personal Folder File for all your Outlook data, you can opt to use multiple smaller PST files to prevent slow access times.

These files are proprietary and complicated, and it's a good idea to back them up occasionally. First, you need to find the location where Outlook keeps your .pst files, however.

Find the .PST Files Where Outlook Stores Your Data

To locate the .pst files in recent versions of Outlook:

  1. Click File in Outlook.
  2. Open the Info category.
  3. Click Account Settings under Account Information.
  4. Select Account Settings from the menu that appears.
  5. Open the Data Files tab to locate the .pst files.

Note: If you use Outlook in Office 365 or on the web, you won't have a .pst file on your computer.

To identify the folder where Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007 store your email messages and other data:

  1. Select File > Data File Management from the menu in Outlook.
  2. Highlight your main data file (typically named Personal Folders).
  3. Click Open Folder.

To identify the folder where Outlook 2002 and earlier stores your data:

  1. Click with the right mouse button on Outlook Today either in the Outlook bar or the folder list.
  2. Select Properties from the pop-up menu.
  3. Select Advanced.
  4. Notice the path listed under Path.
  5. Select the path excluding the file name (usually this is "outlook.pst") with your mouse.
  6. Press Ctrl+C to copy the path. If, for example, the path listed under Path is "C:\­Documents and Settings\­email.guide\­Application Data\­Microsoft\­Outlook\­outlook.pst", you'd select and copy "C:\­Documents and Settings\­email.guide\­Application Data\­Microsoft\­Outlook\".
  7. Now select Run from the Start menu.
  8. Press Ctrl+V to paste the path.
  9. Click Enter to open your Outlook data folder in Windows Explorer.