The default saving location of Outlook data files (.PST/.OST) in Windows is on the disk C, if you haven’t changed it. If huge amounts of data are saved in your Outlook data files, they will occupy your system drive and may make your system run slowly so that you may want to change your Outlook data file location from the default C disk to another location. Now this post will show you how to change data file location in Outlook 2016 for Windows.

Part 1: How to change data file (.PST) location in Outlook 2016

By default, the Outlook .PST files are saved in ”C: \Users\Username\Documents\Outlook Files”. To change the location, do as follows.

Step 1: Make sure that Outlook 2016 is closed and the .PST files are not opened in any other program/software.

Step 2: Locate the ”Documents\Outlook Files” folder. Press Ctrl + A to select all the .PST files and move them to your desired folder. Then clear the .PST files in the ”Documents\Outlook Files” folder.

Step 3: Start Outlook 2016. You will get a warning message that says your .PST file can not be found. Click OK to close the message.

Click OK

Step 4: It will display an ”Create/Open Outlook Data File” dialog. Through the dialog, navigate to the new path you have specified for the Outlook 2016 data files (.PST), then select any one of the .PST files, and click Open. This will tell Outlook 2016 the saving location of the data files (.PST) has been changed to the new location. And later on .PST files created in Outlook 2016 will be saved in the new location.

Tell Outlook the new data file location

Part 2: How to change data file (.OST) location in Outlook 2016

By default, Outlook .OST files are saved in  ”C: \Users\Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook”. To change it, do as follows.

Step 1: Make sure that Outlook 2016 is closed and the .OST files are not opened in any other program/software.

Step 2: Open Registry Editor by running regedit in Run (Win + R) dialog box.

Open Registry Editor

Step 3: Navigate to the path: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Outlook, then right click on any blank area of the right-side pane, and then select New -> Expandable String Value.

Create new expandable string value

Step 4: Name the newly created expandable string value as ForceOSTPath, and then double click on it. On the ”Edit String” dialog, enter your desired path under the ”Value data” box and then click OK. This will change the old/default location of Outlook 2016 data file (.OST) to the new location.

Change value data

Step 5: Close Registry Editor and restart computer for the changes to take effect.

Note: The location of Outlook 2016 data file (.OST) is changed, and all new .OST files to be created will be saved in the new location, but it won’t change the location of the existing .OST files.