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

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Outlook stores all your data (email messages, contacts, your calendars, and more) in ominous "Personal Folder" (.pst) files. They are proprietary and complicated, and it's a good idea to back them up now and then. First you need to find the location where Outlook keeps your .pst files, however.

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

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

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

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

  • Click with the right mouse button on Outlook Today either in the Outlook bar or in the folder list.
  • Select Properties from the pop-up menu.
  • Select Advanced....
  • Notice the path listed under Path:.
  • Select the path excluding the file name (usually this will be "outlook.pst") with your mouse.
  • 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\".
  • Now select Run... from the Start menu.
  • Press Ctrl-V to paste the path
  • Hit Enter to open your Outlook data folder in Windows Explorer.
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