Guide to change OST file location for Outlook 365 account

Ashish Singh
Ashish Singh

Updated On - March 26, 2024

Summary: OST files are the Outlook data files that contain mailbox items stored at the default location. Occasionally, users need to change the location of OST files to manage the storage space. So, in the blog, we will discuss the manual methods to change OST file location for Outlook 365. Additionally, you can try Recoveryfix OST to PST converter for instant solution.

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How to Change the OST File Location in Outlook?

Outlook stores mailbox information on your computer as data files (.ost and .pst), which allow you to access synchronized or downloaded email messages, calendar entries, contacts, and other mail items even without an internet connection.

Why do you need to change the OST file location?

Although it is not recommended to change the default location of an OST file on your system, there are situations when the users may need to perform this. So, the reasons that obliged the user to relocate the OST file are mentioned below.

  • Improve performance of system
  • Mitigate the risk of file corruption
  • Recovery from a system failure
  • Easy to backup and restore the data
  • It helps to prevent data loss
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Mostly, users try to change the OST file location on their systems to save storage space, especially in cases where the C drive of a system is almost full, and users need to take a lot of files and folders out from there.

You can easily find the OST file’s location in your system by following the below-mentioned paths:

  • drive:\Users\\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook

  • drive:\Documents and Settings\\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

How to change the OST location?

The best possible methods that change the location of OST file in the right way are described below.

Solution 1: Set the ForceOST value

One way to change the OST file location is by using the ForceOST registry key. In this method, you will be required to remove the Exchange account to proceed with the settings. If you have not configured your account yet, then don’t do it. Follow the below-mentioned steps first:

  1. Press Win + R key to open the Run window; type regedit and click OK.Type regedit and click OK
  2. Now, you need to follow a path that leads to Outlook, depending on your Outlook version. Listing below the paths:
  3. Outlook 2016

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Outlook

    Outlook 2013

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Outlook

    Outlook 2010

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Outlook

    Outlook 2007

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Outlook

    Outlook 2003

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Outlook

  4. Now, you need to generate a string value. It will be the same for all, which is ForceOSTPath. Generate a string value
  5. As you create one, make a right click on the ForceOSTPath value and click on the Modify option.Click on the ForceOSTPath value
  6. Now, mention the value type and value path.Mention the value type
  7. Value Type: REG_EXPAND_SZ

    Value Path: Path of the storage folder, where you want to save your OST.

So, after following the steps mentioned above, you can finally configure the Exchange account again in your Outlook. Now, all your OST files will be saved at the location you have selected. Using this method, you can change the OST file location in Outlook for Office 365 accounts also.

Solution 2: Using Outlook Account Settings

Another way to change the location of the OST files is by making some changes in the account settings and providing a new storage path. In this method, we first disable the cached Exchange mode, set a new location for the OST and then again we will enable the cached Exchange mode. Let’ start:

Part 1

  1. Open Outlook and click on the File tab.Click on the File tab
  2. Tap on Account Settings > Account Settings.Account Settings
  3. In the window of Account Settings, click on the Data Files. Select the account and click on the Settings option.Select the account and click on the Settings
  4. In the new Microsoft Exchange window, go to the Advanced tab and check Use Cached Exchange Mode. Once located, uncheck it.Use Cached Exchange Mode
  5. Note: You will get a notification stating You must restart Outlook for these changes to take effect. Click on OK and do the same.

Part 2

  1. Open Outlook again and follow the same procedure until the Data files tab.
  2. Select the account and click on Settings.
  3. Click on the Advanced tab and go to the Outlook Data File Settings.
  4. Now, click on the Disable Offline Use and then click on Yes when asked.

Part 3

After following the Part 2 steps, you will again need to resume from the Advanced tab.

  1. In the Advanced tab select Outlook Data File Settings and browse the new location for your OST file.
  2. Once added the location, click on OK.
  3. Now, in the Advanced tab, check Use Cached Exchange Mode and click on OK.

Once over with all the steps successfully, restart Outlook and the location of the OST files will be changed.

Solution 3: Use Symbolic links

Symbolic links are useful to change the location of the OST file from its default place through the MKLINK command. The command helps to create a symbolic link between the original & new paths.
Follow the given steps to execute the task.

  1. Transfer the OST file to a different location from its default place.
  2. Open the Command Prompt and type the mklink command.

    mklink%localappdata%\Microsoft\Outlook“D:\Outlook Data Files\

  3. The Symbolic link will form once the command is executed accurately.

Conclusion:

In this blog, we have discussed what OST is, where to find it, and how to change the location of the OST files. However, if you want to convert the OST file to PST or OST to MSG format, we would recommend using Recoveryfix for OST to PST for the same, as this is the best tool available in the market for such conversions. Try the free trial version of the tool to get the better insights. Hope this blog helped you!

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