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Article ID: 883401 - Last Review: April 3, 2012 - Revision: 4.0

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SUMMARY

Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 and Microsoft Outlook 2002 use a default location to create and to open a personal folders (.pst) file. However, if you want to use a different location as the default location to create and to open a .pst file, you can add the ForcePSTPath string value to the registry.

If you are a network administrator, you can also use the Custom Installation Wizard (CIW) to make this change on a users computer in Outlook.

INTRODUCTION

This article describes how to change the default location that Outlook uses to create or to open a .pst file.

MORE INFORMATION

By default, Outlook uses the following path to create or to open a .pst file:
C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook
To change the default path that Outlook uses for a .pst file, use one of the following methods.

Method 1: Add the ForcePSTPath string value to the registry

Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/322756/ ) How to back up and restore the registry in Windows


To change the default path that Outlook uses for a .pst file, add the ForcePSTPath string value to the registry. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Quit Outlook.
  2. Click Start, and then click Run.
  3. In the Open box, type regedit, and then click OK.
  4. Locate and then select the following subkey in the registry.

    Outlook 2003
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Outlook
    Outlook 2002
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\10.0\Outlook
  5. With the Outlook subkey selected in step 4, point to New on the Edit menu, and then click String Value.
  6. Type ForcePSTPath, and then press ENTER.
  7. With the ForcePSTPath string value selected, click Modify on the Edit menu.
  8. In the Value data text box, type the drive letter and the full path of the location that you want Outlook 2002 to use when it creates or opens a .pst file, and then click OK.

Method 2: Use the CIW

If you are a network administrator and want to specify a different location for using .pst file on a user's computer, you can specify the location for the .pst file in the CIW. To do this in the CIW, use the Change Office User Settings pane of the CIW.

For more information about the CIW, visit the following Microsoft Web site
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/office-xp-resource-kit/custom-installation-wizard-HA001136278.aspx (http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/office-xp-resource-kit/custom-installation-wizard-HA001136278.aspx)
For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
896591  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/896591/ ) You cannot specify a separate folder to store the .ost file when you use the ForcePSTPath value in Outlook 2003

APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Office Outlook 2003
  • Microsoft Outlook 2002 Standard Edition
Keywords: 
kbhowto KB883401
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