Moving your OST in Outlook 2007 or 2010

Sometimes where Outlook chooses to place your OST just isn't right

For Exchange users who work in a disconnected mode a lot (and those with slow or intermittent connections to the server at home or in the office) the OST or Offline Storage / Cache mode in Outlook is an absolute blessing.

You can work disconnected and then sync back to the server to send/receive your email, update your calendars etc. I spend a lot of time with my laptop in cafes between meetings and being able to sync over WiFi or my cellphone as a modem (and have the connection downgrade and trickle just headers and let me select what's important if the connection is slow) is a life saver

But sometimes when you set up Outlook the default location for the OST isn't always optimal. For me recently it tried to put it on my fairly full C: drive which I try to keep for just the OS and Application files - all personal data should live on the D: Drive     

Moving the OST in Outlook 2007
Moving the OST in Outlook 2007

Moving the OST

Luckily, it's not to difficult to move the OST from the default location to anywhere you want it

 Refer to the picture above, and follow the simple steps (don't forget to restart Outlook when prompted)...

  1. Go into Tools | Account Settings
  2. [A] On the Data Files tab select the data file for the account
  3. [B] Turn off "Cached mode" on the "advanced" tab
  4. [C] Disable "Offline use" on the "offline folder" settings popup
  5. And then.... you can move the .ost (in Explorer) and reference the new location to have Outlook work with it
  6. When you've finished don't forget to re-enable "Offline use" and turn "Cached mode" back on - otherwise you'll only be able to work when connected to the remote server

When you have finished this process Outlook may spend a moment re-synchronising your local data with the server, but if you have moved and used a recent OST then the process will be no longer than a normal send/receive.

Don't forget to keep your OST tidy

Like all files that are frequently having data written and deleted the OST can get pretty disorganised. It's good practice on a regular basis to go to and hit the Compact Now button (visible in [C] above)

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Ajay 10 years ago

This was really brilliant advice. made my day :)

Bharat 9 years ago

Thanks... nice, simple and workabe solution

Brad 9 years ago

unreal - thanks a lot!

Gordon Greenham 9 years ago

Easy, only once you know how - thanks.


Etienne 9 years ago

Thank you, realy good.

sZone 9 years ago

Sehr schön,

ich danke dir!

Akhlaq 9 years ago

great! that was simple! thanks!

Neil  9 years ago

Thanks for that!!!

SAW 9 years ago

A lot easier than the old method of manual regedit that I use to use! Thanks!

Bill 9 years ago

Very useful advice. Thanks!


Mike 8 years ago

How many years did it take for MS to get the hint?-M

Quinn 8 years ago

Outlook is no fun. Every time I try to move my ost, it is no good at all. Just don't do it.

Offbeatmammal 8 years ago

@Quinn - did you follow the instructions above? I've used them several times at it works fine. What version of Outlook are you using?

Gaurav Jain 8 years ago

This was very useful. Thanks for the advice.

Brian 8 years ago

I had trouble with this, but after multiple pop error boxes when trying to restart outlook it finally worked. Make sure you close Office Communicator if you use it.

Evert 8 years ago

Hmm, the tip does not seem to apply to IMAP-accounts...?

Basma Ebeid 8 years ago

Great, You've helped me a lot. Thank You :)

alagu 8 years ago

thx a lot!!.. really helped..

Tom 8 years ago

Just what I was looking for! Thanks so much.

ram 8 years ago


Simon 7 years ago

A good advice, thanks.But in my case, i can't disable Exchange Cache Mode - the checkbox is disabled. Do you have any hint?

Thanks - Simon

Rob 7 years ago

Perfect. I had been told it was not possible and feared trying a manual move of files and some regedit botch.

Thanks a million.

offbeatmammal 7 years ago

@Simon - if the checkbox is disabled you need to go "offline" first (disconnect from your Exchange server) - you can't do an update while connected...

Mansoor 7 years ago

hi is there any way that i can restore my previoust ost file as i have lost online data but luckily had backup of ost in my i imagine it should contain old emails

jfarnhill 7 years ago

This was great advice. Thanks for posting and making it so findable.

MullyX 7 years ago

Thanks buddy,

You saved me from some gray hairs ;O)

But why oh why do MS insist on making this sh*t so difficult? It's not rocket science, it's computer science.

1.) Not everyone stores EVERYTHING on the C:\. Work it out! Let the software be configured differently from the blessed defaults - God forbid anyone would want to change a default setting. I mean why would you? They're perfect right. NO!

2.) Not everyone wants to store application data in the 200 deep directory structure (presumably for easy access) at C:\Documents and Settings\AUser\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\SomeStupidApp\Yada\Yada\Yada\...

3.) Also, what happened to usability studies? Where "real" users interacted with the system and tried "common" stuff. Presumably there was a requirement to move the config files but it was never anyone...much??? Lovely work.

Rant rave gimme a soap box....

Offbeatmammal 7 years ago

@MollyX ... I hear ya! I started out ranting and... now I work there :)

The good news is I now see how much feedback - like this - is taken into account when making decisions in product development... so never stop (and check out ... who knows, you might find the perfect role to fix this)

Alessandro C. 7 years ago

Can't thank you (and Bing, for finding it so quick!) enough. Exactly what I was looking for and struggling with.

krishan  7 years ago

Thanks that was a great hint, Quick and easy to follow. Saved my neck because i have a mac with a windows virtual machine running on vmware fusion and since Entourage sucks.... i wanted outlook setup. But I created my C drive filled up and i have another partition but the VM wouldn't let me extend it . so i wanted to point my 2 gig OST to the d drive.

Gabriel 6 years ago

Brilliant help, nice and concise. Thanks!

Murthy 6 years ago

Very Use full info. Able to move the Data from C drive to E Drive.

Thanks a lot

Eli W 6 years ago

Thanks so much. Just a may need to Apply the changes of removing Cached Exchange Mode before being able to click on Disable Offline Folders. Otherwise, the tutorial was perfect.


Gryzor 6 years ago

You, sir, are a STAR! Thanks :o)

ms 6 years ago

macro shit

Eddie 6 years ago

Well done.

Bob Maria 6 years ago

Ya, it works but when i do so i was stuck in the middle of the process and due to power supply i missed the important data then repair OST File software helped me to short out the problem. You can try it from -

MOM ABDO 6 years ago


Fred 6 years ago

Easier way if you're online: Close Outlook, rename the ost file, restart outlook and it automatically create an outlook.ost file and sync with the server.

exchangerecovery profile image

exchangerecovery 6 years ago from India

Very good hub. Continue for sharing this type of information. If are interested to know more about this topic you can visit this hub:

teterkin alex 6 years ago

Thanks! Short, but brilliant article.

I did in little bit different way. I closed outlook first and then used Control Panel Mail application for all the actions. Also I think it is useful to mention that you may experience a problem while copying files because of Windows Search service or Microsoft Communicator application.

convert ost to pst 6 years ago

In such cases, many of the times the ost file becomes inaccessible, especially when you update the MS Outlook client for the newer version. The newer version of outlook can not locate the ost file results in ost file corruption. the only thing you can do when you get the ost file corrupted is to convert the ost file in to its equivalent pst version. After converting the ost file into pst file

you can easily access the pst file using your newer version of outlook

grateful 6 years ago

Brilliant ! Thanks.

igyori 6 years ago

Thanks man! You really saved my life! This has been a very big problem for me to move a large mailbox from drive c to an another partition! Thanks! You are THE BEST!!!! :))

OST to PST 6 years ago

USE SysTools exchange OS recovery tool and convert ost to pst file a very easily.

ost recovery and ost to pst conversion tool

1. repair ost file

2.convert ost to pst file

adrina 6 years ago

OST to PST Conversion tool is an effective Email Conversion Software tool to convert emails, contacts, calendar, tasks, notes, attachments etc from unusable OST (Exchange Server Offline Storage File) to PST (Microsoft Outlook Personal Storage) File Format easily..

user 6 years ago

Thanks for the article. It did not help with 2010 though.

convert ost file 6 years ago

Exactly what i am looking for thanks for the information i found some related articles on

Warp3 6 years ago

Thanks. Unlike many of the steps on the web for doing this, this version actually retains the contents of the OST (other guides don't keep the OST file, so Outlook has to rebuild it). The last thing I wanted was to have to rebuild my huge OST file afterward.

Tech Twitt 6 years ago

I found a helpful resource at

Magdalin 6 years ago

Thanx a lot

5 years ago

With Outlook 2007, moving the OST will cause search to stop functioning. I had to use this procedure to restore search functionality by including the new OST file location in the indexing folders.

5 years ago

With Outlook 2007, moving the OST will cause search to stop functioning. I had to use this procedure to restore search functionality by including the new OST file location in the indexing folders.

PW 5 years ago

Superb advice and guidance !!

convert ost to pst 5 years ago

Thanks for the great post, COnvert OST to PST tools really proves bebeficial in recovering data from a corrupt Outlook ost file

yioann 5 years ago


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danman87 5 years ago

for more outlook help check out

JamesP 5 years ago

Note that the OST file is a replication of the Exchange Server data, and as such would not normally need to be backed up. It will be refreshed or re-created when you reconnect to your Exchange Server. You might want to move it if your C:\ drive is tiny. . .

Guest 5 years ago

Will NOT work with hotmail.ost files, at least those that involve the Outlook Connector, which is the only way to get IMAP with Hotmail (Live Mail just uses a different form of Connector - neither will work!)

profile image

experimentalism 5 years ago

Great post. One such link that helped me in achieving great recovery results is

John Peterson 5 years ago

Thanks for the tips. In my case, this ost repair tool did a great work: 5 years ago

SysTools OST Recovery Tool is best one in software market to recovers corrupt ost file quickly great feature to convert ost file in pst format, msg format and eml format

Visit us more information :-

marshal 4 years ago

Hi Offbeat,

I think this is nice place to post my query as there is great discussion on repair OST file. I have one simple query related to Inbox Repair Tool i.e what are the main errors not recoverd by Inbox Repair Tool ? Have Any Idea !


OST Recovery Software

Mark 4 years ago

Absolutely fantastic - thank you very much

Of course it would be better if Outlook had an option to move the file, but your instructions make it very easy.

Keyur 4 years ago

Hey Thanks, this was excatly what I was looking for

By the way what I was trying to do is point two mail accounts in different outlook profiles to the same ost file. by default when we configure the mail account in another profile the ost file name is different from what is in the first profile.

I needed this so that I could see same data in both profiles while having different mail account as defaults in each profile.

ost to pst 4 years ago

Three best application to Convert OST and Repair


Bert Leen 4 years ago

Kernel for OST to PST Converter software successfully convert OST file to PST file at the time when Exchange Server goes down. It is a professional OST to PST conversion tool to convert ost files with all of its items like emails, journals, calendar, notes, tasks, contacts, and attachments into PST file. For more information please visit here :

nitish india 2 years ago

this good for non tech

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