Trying to move my Office365 Outlook pst file to another drive

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  1. Posts : 165
    Windows 10 Pro 64bit Build 2004
       #1

    Trying to move my Office365 Outlook pst file to another drive


    Hi all,

    I have finished a fresh install of Windows 10 Pro to a new NVMe drive. I installed Office 365 but the Outlook pst file is located in my Documents folder on C:/ . I want to move it to a large HDD In this PC rather.

    I tried moving the pst file across to the HDD and restarting Outlook and pointing it to the new location. While it seems to work, I get a Send/Receive error. It canít send/receive in the new location for some reason. Moving the pst back to the C:/ location, it works ok again.

    This is a POP account if that makes any difference.

    Any guidance on how to move this pst file appreciated.
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  2. Posts : 30,658
    Windows 10 (Pro and Insider Pro)
       #2

    I usually move complete My Documents folder. Outlook folder will go with it.

    Tutorials | Move Location of Documents Folder in Windows 10

    Although, I don't understand why it wont work elsewhere.
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  3. Posts : 5,899
    Win 11 Pro (x64) 22H2
       #3

    GregH said:
    I have finished a fresh install of Windows 10 Pro to a new NVMe drive. I installed Office 365 but the Outlook pst file is located in my Documents folder on C:/ . I want to move it to a large HDD In this PC rather.

    1. Office 365 creates and uses .OST file to store mail data and it's located under your user profile: drive:\Users\user\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook
    2. POP has no relevance on whether you use OST or PST
    3. While O-365 can use PST files it doesn't create them automatically.
    4. PST file can be used by O-365 and can be placed anywhere. You just need to point Outlook to the location.

    Item #4 is also from personal experience as I use a master PST file to handle my calendar and contacts as well as archival purposes. On my main desktop I've got the PST file in Documents...

    Trying to move my Office365 Outlook pst file to another drive-outlook-data-files.png
    but for my laptop, Outlook uses a PST file located on OneDrive.

    If you're using the .OST file along with IMAP your files will be synchronized with your email's ISP server. Otherwise you can copy/backup your OST files from the location I pointed out.

    Microsoft Support - Introduction to Outlook Data Files (.pst and .ost)

    GregH said:
    While it seems to work, I get a Send/Receive error. It canít send/receive in the new location for some reason. Moving the pst back to the C:/ location, it works ok again.
    You can't send or receive mail from the account using the .PST file (O-365). Doing so will simply use the default email account using .OST account. In short your .OST account will be used instead of the .PST account.
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  4. Posts : 165
    Windows 10 Pro 64bit Build 2004
    Thread Starter
       #4

    Thanks Sygnus21,

    I had no idea about the OST file in Users\user\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook. I am on my work laptop now but will check this location when I get home later. However, I am now more confused...

    This was a brand new install of Windows and Office 365 to a brand new SSD. Office 365 definitely created the PST file in an Outlook folder in Users/user/Documents/Outlook/xxx.pst. This file definitely did not exist prior to installing Office 365.

    When I moved this file to the HDD and started Outlook, it gave an error message that it can't find the PST file with the option to point it to where the file is located. I did this, which prompted Outlook to say it needs to be closed and restarted. When I opened it again, it opens as expected with emails sitting there. It just gives a send/receive error. I can't recall the exact message but it is something along the lines of the pst file cannot receive email at this location.

    So what must I do? Must I ignore this PST file and just move the OST file to the HDD? I don't see that working either as it definitely seems that Outlook 365 is using the PST file by default.

    As an aside, my work laptop also uses Win 10 Pro and Office 365. There is no Outlook folder, nor OST file in Users\user\AppData\Local\Microsoft. I understand thought that this might be because when I set Office 365 and Outlook up, I selected to use an existing PST file (backed up from previous install). On the laptop, it is thus using only a PST file which is located on my second SSD in the laptop (laptop has 2 SSD's).
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  5. Posts : 5,899
    Win 11 Pro (x64) 22H2
       #5

    GregH said:
    Thanks Sygnus21,

    I had no idea about the OST file in Users\user\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook. I am on my work laptop now but will check this location when I get home later. However, I am now more confused...

    This was a brand new install of Windows and Office 365 to a brand new SSD. Office 365 definitely created the PST file in an Outlook folder in Users/user/Documents/Outlook/xxx.pst. This file definitely did not exist prior to installing Office 365..
    Correction on my part - Outlook 365 (desktop app) may create a PST file if POP3 is used for email setup....


    That said, do make sure Outlook is closed before moving PST files. Also make sure the location is correct. If you're still getting send/receive errors you might look at resetting the account.

    All that said, I've not used POP3 for any of my email account in at least 15 years so I can't say how a PST file plays in that arena. I only use IMAP and Microsoft Exchange server. Perhaps the "POP3" email account is insisting the .PST location stay in (My) Documents. I don't know.

    As a side note, may I suggest using the newer IMAP protocol since it also keeps your email sync'd between your PC devices and the mail server.


    GregH said:
    As an aside, my work laptop also uses Win 10 Pro and Office 365. There is no Outlook folder, nor OST file in Users\user\AppData\Local\Microsoft.
    If you don't use the desktop app (or maybe are only using POP3) there wouldn't be one. Since I'm using the Outlook desktop app (and IMAP) on both desktop and laptop, I also have .OST files. The PST file is simply a data file to manage my calendar and contacts.

    And the correct location should be C:\Users\admin\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook

    Regardless, sorry for my confusion here.
    Last edited by sygnus21; 06 Aug 2020 at 03:26.
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  6. Posts : 11,246
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux
       #6

    Hi folks
    @GregH

    Start outlook -- then simply open file and point to new pst file.
    It will probably appear in the account list as outlook Data file with its selection of inbox etc etc. This file can be located anyware on your system.

    Even with IMAP it's quite OK to have a pst file as you can then copy / move emails from any account and any folder to the pst file.

    Trying to move my Office365 Outlook pst file to another drive-ol.png

    Cheers
    jimbo
    Last edited by jimbo45; 06 Aug 2020 at 05:03. Reason: Added screen image
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  7. Posts : 165
    Windows 10 Pro 64bit Build 2004
    Thread Starter
       #7

    jimbo45 said:
    Start outlook -- then simply open file and point to new pst file.
    It will probably appear in the account list as outlook Data file with its selection of inbox etc etc. This file can be located anyware on your system.
    jimbo
    Hi jimbo, if I do this will I not then have a duplicated set of pst files showing in Outlook? It will be looking at the one on C: and the one on D drive? I think I would then need to go back and delete the one on the C drive? When I do direct Outlook to the new location of the pst file, it takes it and Outlook opens, just wont send and receive. It says it cannot access the data file. I checked folder and file properties under Security tan and they are set to allow all.
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  8. Posts : 1,779
    Windows 10 Pro
       #8

    jimbo45 said:
    Hi folks
    @GregH

    Even with IMAP it's quite OK to have a pst file as you can then copy / move emails from any account and any folder to the pst file.

    Cheers
    jimbo
    @jimbo. Are you saying that you can use a PST file with IMAP, and that an OST file is not required? If so, that would may my life a lot easier.
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  9. Posts : 11,246
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux
       #9

    x509 said:
    @jimbo. Are you saying that you can use a PST file with IMAP, and that an OST file is not required? If so, that would may my life a lot easier.
    @x509

    OST file is there in any case but even with IMAP you can open a .pst file (or several !!) -- it just appears as "Outlook Data File" in your list of accounts. Simply copy or move any mail / folders from IMAP to the pst file to save locally on PC. If you want more than 1 give the folder different names containing the pst file e.g outlook_data1, outlook data 2 etc.

    If you MOVE mail from imap to pst then other devices won't have access to the moved mail of course.

    I believe I screenshotted an example earlier in this thread.

    Cheers
    jimbo
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  10. Posts : 5,899
    Win 11 Pro (x64) 22H2
       #10

    x509 said:
    @jimbo. Are you saying that you can use a PST file with IMAP, and that an OST file is not required? If so, that would may my life a lot easier.
    Yes you can IMAP with a PST file.
    Note: In Outlook 2013 and earlier versions, IMAP accounts also used an Outlook Data File (.pst). In Outlook 2016 and Outlook for Microsoft 365, IMAP accounts use Offline Outlook Data Files (.ost).
    And depending on Outlook version, OST may not be available since it wasn't introduced until Outlook 2013.

    If you looked at post #3 you'd see I'm using both OST and PST. However; the PST file (for me) is not connected to an email account - (can't receive email there). Its simply a master data file to manage contacts and calendars. The OST files on the other hand are my actual email accounts setup under either IMAP or Microsoft Exchange.

    Here's my Outlook Desktop app with 3 IMAP accounts, and one Exchange Account (.edu). The other accounts are via OST files and are setup using the IMAP protocol...
    Trying to move my Office365 Outlook pst file to another drive-outlook-365.png

    OST File Location ...
    Trying to move my Office365 Outlook pst file to another drive-ost-file-location.png

    "Calendar" PST as the default master data file (default store location for contacts, calendar, tasks) ...
    Trying to move my Office365 Outlook pst file to another drive-outlook-data-files.png

    IMAP Settings ...
    Trying to move my Office365 Outlook pst file to another drive-emai-settings.png

    The "Calendar" is my master PST file for contacts and calendar used to schedule events. In this way I'll can move this PST file anywhere since its once I added to Outlook.

    And again, some would do well to understand the difference between IMAP and POP3. Linked in post #5
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