I set up a new IMAP account in Outlook 2010. It works but creates IMAP PST file in C:\Users\User\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook. I want the file on my data drive in D:\Users\User\Documents\Outlook Files (the same folder where outlook automatically creates the local Outlook PST.

I followed the instructions here to move the IMAP PST.

Testing the account (send/receive) works fine, but if I try to manually send an email I get error 0x8004010F Outlook data file cannot be accessed. I've tried repairing the PST using SCANPST (it always finds errors), and deleting and recreating the account but I get the same error. If I move the PST file back, it works again, but this is not ideal.

Note: I don't think this is a duplicate of this question as the cause is different and the solution does not help.

13 Answers 13


If somebody is still looking for a solution, hlpPy's solution above works for IMAP PSTs as well, I just tested with Outlook 2010. It is a non-technical solution anybody can follow without having to mess with the registry, but you need to follow it exactly:

  • Start –> Control Panel –> Mail.
  • Click on the "Data Files..." button at the left.
  • Click the "Data Files" tab at the top if it is not already selected.
  • Select the Gmail data file you want to move, its name should be your e-mail address.
  • Click "Open File Location..." in the options above (do NOT close the Mail applet after this! If you close it and reopen it, it will re-create the files, this is why most people are having issues)
  • In the Windows Explorer window that opens, cut the highlighted .pst file and paste it in the folder where you want to move it to. Leave the .obi and other files in the same location.


  • After moving the PST, go back to the Mail applet that should still be open and double click the highlighted Gmail data file (it should still be highlighted)

  • You will get a warning saying that the .pst file cannot be found. Click OK. Now you will be able to browse and redirect to the new location where you pasted the PST file.
  • Close the Account Settings window and Open Outlook.

It's possible to move MS-exchange pst file in the same manner, but before selecting new location, you should disable Cached Exchange Mode and disable Offline use. After you've selected your new file, you may re-enable this features.


I discovered that in Outlook 2010 you cannot change the storage of IMAP accounts by conventional methods.

My solution was to move the Outlook folder (C:\users\<user>\Local Settings\Microsoft\Outlook) to my desired location (D:\Outlook), open command prompt (in administrative mode), navigate to C:\users\<user>\Local Settings\Microsoft and create a link to my new location: mklink /D %CD%\Outlook D:\Outlook.

After this open Outlook and start configuring your account. I hope this helps.

  1. Close Outlook.

  2. Click on Start then type regedit to open the registry editor.

  3. Go to the following key:

    HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-21-2252105952-3583732995-3196064763-1000\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows Messaging Subsystem\Profiles\Outlook\9375CFF0413111d3B88A00104B2A6676
  4. Rename the key above.

  5. Restart Outlook.

  • 1
    This solution worked with the additional steps: 1. After restarting Outlook, the email account was gone. 2. Closed Outlook and went back to regedit. 3. Deleted the new key that was created (9375CFF0413111d3B88A00104B2A6676). 4. Renamed the key that was renamed previously back to original name. 5. Opened Outlook and Send/Received worked. – bradbajuz Apr 2 '15 at 13:37
  • This is not working for me. Even with @bradbajuz additional steps. Outlook is still creating a file with suffix (2). – wolfrevo Nov 19 '17 at 16:08

Turns out the solution is quite simple. Edit your e-mail account settings and point the account incoming mail to one of your archive folders (assuming you didn't move your archive.pst as well). press ok. now point it again, this time to the personal folder of your choice (e.g. inbox) Worked for me.


You can only change the location in the registry ...

  • Close Outlook
  • Create a folder where you want to put the IMAP datafile
  • Copy the PST file with the name of your IMAP profile from C:\Users[Username]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook to the desired location (eg the new created folder)
  • Afterwards, Click Start / Run and type "Regedit" (You'll need administrator rights for this)
  • Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Outlook
  • Add a REG_EXPAND_SZ (Expandable String Value) with the name: ForcePSTPath
  • Fill in your new folder
  • Start Outlook
  • see Heartspeace's post, he wrote you a note in it.. – studiohack Apr 5 '11 at 21:42
  • Didn't work for me..... – Mitch Wheat Jan 7 '12 at 4:40
  • Didn't work for me either – JoshuaDavid Apr 17 '13 at 22:38

This by far is the easiest and best solution here.

It automatically takes all the files and future files by a user created by Outlook and directs Outlook to find them in the specified directory.

Not only is it easy - but it just works without issues. Furthermore, if you ever have to reinstall windows - one registry entry after re-adding your accounts and your done. The registry entry to export all your account information for Outlook available on other websites. As such - if you need to restore your system drive - its simply a few registry additions from an exported branch of the registry tree, the change of this registry entry, and entering the passwords for the accounts and your all set.

It is by far also the best solution because it forces all of the pst, ost, nst etc files to be on the data drive and with all the SSDs on the market - you surely DONT want your email on your SSD drive eating away at it as they only have so many IOPS before death. In all honesty you probably will never reach that with or without this change - but I rather reduce as many reads/writes on my SSD as I can.

I am a firm believer that users should put on a separate drive all user data and preferences (as much as possible) and keep the OS drive as pure as it can be with only OS and applications and limited preferences/data on it. As such, any user data should be on a data drive. The industry built around Microsoft is slow to embrace this (Google and others have already as has the Unix world decades ago). But there is hope as the SSDs are pushing for this change just because of their nature.

Microsoft really needs to wake up though and make changes to Windows 8 that will encourage and enable application developers and users to have a pure data drive for everything from documents, photos and images to email and movies, and even user preferences for the OS and applications.

We need to evolve beyond the registry for storing all user's preferences on apps - where the registry slowly gets corrupted over time. There is no reason that the bulk of the data that Microsoft / Application developers push on people should be on the OS drive without an easy way to select a data drive. In fact there are a myriad of reasons why NOT to do this (eg just one being to have two types of backups for your system - the system drive and the data drive, with difference backup frequencies.)

Anyway - this is the easiest way to make one change and have it affect any and all mail accounts I create in the future under my account (except for what I posted below in a later edit). Any other way directs you to make changes every time you might add or change a mail account. Not smart or easy.

The only easier thing would be to be able to propagate this for all users. I dont see how that could be possible under you make this change for every user added to your system. I suspect there are programs/tools that will do this (e.g. every time a user is added a script is run and taking account of where Outlook puts its data directory - to make this change to the registry). I am not up to date on my tools as to which would be best for this - but I am sure it is most likely possible and frequently done by system administrators (which I am not). Any experts care to add this?

I have a need for doing not only this for the Outlook directory - but for moving automatically for any new user added all the directories possible under the %systemdrive\users\%username that contain user created data or user created preferences.

Application developers need to pay attention to this too - such as Steampowered who sells games to so many individuals - but after you install their program on C - they force you then to install every application that you buy from them on the C drive as well (e.g. the system drive). When you have expensive SSD running your OS - you damn sure down want every game you buy to be on the system drive. The fix is to install Steampowered app onto the data drive initially - which then forces all games bought from them to be installed there - you need to however, do it intelligently - so I mimicked C:\Program Files (x86) to be on the data drive.

I did the same with many of the /users/username/appdata paths such as those I could for programs such as Trillian, Research in Motion's Blackberry, PopPeeper, Microsoft Livemail, etc. as well as a special directory for Email downloaded by Outlook (now forced to be in that directory thanks to Peter.)

NICE find Peter. (By the way Peter where did you find this registry entry? I want that list and the source to that list - Im sure I could find many other useful entries). I would vote your entry up but I am a new user. The only issue is hotmail/live etc accounts that use the Outlook Connector as this registry change didnt affect that (of course).

I did find this registry entry also for Exchange and thought it might work on Outlook Connector - but (of course?) didnt despite that Outlook Connector writes an OST file: Value name: ForceOSTPath

I found it on MsOutlook.Info site on this page which then also showed me the following (thus demonstrating Microsoft's incompetence and apathy towards users, their needs, and trends in technology over the last decade):

Using IMAP and the Outlook Connector

Adding these registry keys will not affect the default location for newly created pst- and ost-files for IMAP and Outlook Connector accounts. There are currently no reliable methods to change the location of the storage files for those accounts and it is recommended to leave them in the existing location. Note: Do not set the path to a network location as this is not supported nor recommended by Microsoft as it could lead to slow performance, data corruption or even data loss.

So unfortunately - no one can use Outlook Connector for any email account at Microsoft and put their data store where they desire. Personally, I'm screwed because I cant place it on a different drive other than my SSD drive (system drive). I would be curious to see any hacks for forcing Outlook Connector to use a different drive - but right now Microsoft is just so many years behind in support the separation of OS and APPs from user data - which is why they are also a decade behind or more in developing solutions for the cloud that rely on this concept.

Since I don't like being screwed by big companies, the only logical decision is not to use Outlook Connector at all, thus not use Hotmail or Live or any of their products that push data onto the system drive this way. So I have forwarded all of the mail that comes in for Hotmail to my Gmail account and Gmail can allow you to respond to the Hotmail emails as if they were from Hotmail.

So basically my ancient Hotmail email address can live on but I abandon Microsoft's handling of it - which really is where most of my computing is heading. I may have to keep the OS for now since everything is made for it, but my goal is to reduce the usage of every part of it that I can, and that makes sense to abandon technologically and budget wise.

However, back to Peter's original find (which is also on the MSOutlook.info site): this registry entry will be with me until Microsoft wakes up and makes it so ALL user data can be on a data drive. Otherwise, I will be forced to leave MS Office and Outlook completely behind. Sun's Office is looking pretty good right now.

(IMHO Sometimes Microsoft technology is about 10 years behind common sense and other company's technology e.g. Bing vs Google. Most all of Microsoft's great talent is either retired via stock options or went to Google or other companies. Ballmer sure isn't getting the job done.)

Now to make changes to my registry.


0 down vote Hi,

You can only change the location in the registry ...

Close Outlook Create a folder where you want to put the IMAP datafile Copy the PST file with the name of your IMAP profile from C:\Users[Username]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook to the desired location (eg the new created folder) Afterwards, Click Start / Run and type "Regedit" (You'll need administrator rights for this) Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Outlook Add a REG_EXPAND_SZ (Expandable String Value) with the name: ForcePSTPath Fill in your new folder Start Outlook Bye, Peter

  • no worries @user75114, your edits didn't go through :) – studiohack Apr 5 '11 at 21:39
  • @studiohack Ty - any chance you can give me the ability to vote Peter's solution up a notch? – Heartspeace Apr 5 '11 at 22:32
  • You need to achieve 15 rep in order to vote... – studiohack Apr 5 '11 at 22:35

A step by step guide with screenshots: Outlook 2010: Gmail via IMAP with custom PST location

Unfortunately, if you want to separate your OS from your Data partitions or drive, you will want to move the location of the imap pst created by default under: C:\Users[user name]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook

Moving the PST is unfortunately not as straight forward as you would expect (like a browse path or select button), even in version 2010.

  • To move the PST, close Outlook, and navigate to the Control Panel and select the Mail properties to validate the current path of your IMAP pst file: or navigate directly to: C:\Users\[user name]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook
  • Once you have determined the current location, do NOT close the mail properties (or Account Settings) window and navigate to the location provided.
  • Move the PST to the new location of your choice
  • ! Do NOT rename the PST !
  • Return to the mail properties (or Account Properties) window under the Data Files tab
  • Double click on your Gmail account’s data file and you will receive an error “path not found”
  • Specify the path of the new location of the PST (moved in step 3)
  • close all windows and restart Outlook!
  • This still works for me in 2010, even with IMAP accounts. For the sake of proper credit, I think this actually came from a MS KB article. – Jahmic Sep 18 '12 at 17:54
  • THIS one works! – Wolf5 May 20 '14 at 22:45
  • How am I supposed to "Move the PST to the new location of your choice" while Outlook is still accessing it, i.e. the file is locked and cannot be moved. How did you do this? – Christoph May 25 '16 at 3:34

I tried all of the above with no success. In the end all I had to do was

  • remove the mail account settings
  • restart
  • recreate the mail account settings
  • point to my existing PST file

Omri - your solution does not work for IMAP accounts, because you can't choose the folder for incoming mail on IMAP account. Peter - this will probably work for future accounts and data files, but not solve the problem.

I have found a solution, a bit tech-intense, but working - on Microsoft Technet (thanks VONAH):

If you have moved the file you probably has now a new problem: "Error 0x8004010F: Outlook data file cannot be accessed" (NOTE: this solution edits your computer registers. Be carefull!)

  1. Close Outlook. Click on Start then type regedit to open the register editor;

  2. Go to "HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-21-2252105952-3583732995-3196064763-1000\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows Messaging Subsystem\Profiles\Outlook\9375CFF0413111d3B88A00104B2A6676"

  3. Right click on this folder and Export to save the actual configuration.

  4. Find the folder (or folders if you have more than an account) that has the "Delivery Store EntryID" key.

  5. Right click on "Delivery Store EntryID" key and than Modify.

  6. The data in the key is in HEXA. On the righter column you will find the data in normal chars. Go to the end and find the path to the original data file. Edit it pointing the entire path to new folder of the file.

  7. Open Outlook and everything is working again!

  8. If any problem comes up, click on the file you exported to restore the orginal register settings.

Couple of tips to this solution:

  1. You have to replace S-1-5-21..... key with the one that exists on your system (is it HKEY_CURRENT_USER?).

  2. When editing path in binary data value, make sure you replace letters of old path with new letters and leave 00 values in place. If you need to add extra characters, add character, followed by 00 (assuming the character is in ASCII). The path must terminate with a couple of "00" characters, for a total of 3 "00"s at the end of the value.

Alternately, in order to avoid editing binary data, just delete Delivery Store EntryID key, and next time you open Outlook, it will recreate the key with the correct folder info.

  • As much as I prefer to avoid editing registry values, this fixed my problem (after working through a lot of other answers and doing lots of troubleshooting). – Matthew Champion Aug 1 '16 at 13:29
  • Close Outlook
  • Go to Control Panel
  • Open Mail
  • Go to Data Files and add the PST file you moved or are directing your mail to.
  • Then go to Email Accounts.
  • When your account is selected, the path to PST file appears blank in the bottom part beside the Change Folder button
  • Click the Change Folder button
  • If the window shows the path to your file do the following
  • Click the Add Folder and write any name (i.e. in) and select it by marking and clicking OK.
  • Now the name will appear beside the Change Folder button.
  • Click Change Folder again and select the Inbox folder (if it were your original folder) and select by clicking OK.
  • Now the correct path will show and the error disappears.

Here is an easier solution that avoids having to deal with modifying any hex keys etc. I'll use c:\Mail as the destination of where I want to store my PST file for this example.

  1. Walk through the Initial Setup Wizard as is, creating the email account etc. We'll use nonya@business.com as the email address in this example.

  2. Go to the location where the new .PST was created:


    Cut and Paste the PST file into the c:\Mail folder.

  3. Go to the Control Panel and open the Mail applet. The default Outlook profile (named Outlook) is listed. Remove this profile.

  4. Add a new Outlook profile - there's no harm in calling it "Outlook" as before. You will then be prompted to create your email account credentials, but in the bottom right and corner of the setup page, you will have two choices: one is to create the PST file, in the default path of C:\Users\<User>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook\; the other choice is to specify an existing .PST file.

  5. Browse to where you have stored the PST in Step 2 - in my example this would be c:\Mail\nonya@business.com.PST.

  6. Finish the setup as normal and you are done.

  • 1
    I found that solution earlier and everything went fine. Until i tried to work with Gmail via IMAP: Its just not refreshing any folders (labels in Gmail) anywhere except Inbox. So you cannot fetch any mail until you do it manually. So now my mail delivery went to following - open concrete folder (im too annoying with all this so i usually deliver only All Mail one), refresh folder Shift+f9, then sort by mail status, select not downloaded, mark it for download (ctrl+alt+M), and then hit "Process marked". Aha, and i have to do this for every folder, cause "process marked in all folders" disabled. – Alexey Shcherbak Apr 14 '11 at 6:21

I had a similar problem (was trying to move Outlook 2010's PST file to a new drive). In my case I was using Windows XP/Outlook 2010 to access Google Apps email, so the location was actually under C:\Documents and Settings\{userid}\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Google Apps Sync.

I ended up moving the whole folder to the desired location on the D: drive and creating a Windows symlink (called Junction) using the free Junction Link Magic tool.

Worked like a charm!


My problem situation

I wanted to move an existing PST file to a different location/drive. After moving it, Outlook asks for the new location. Which seems to work correctly, but when performing a Send/Receive, Outlook will show a "0x8004010F" error for each email account.

Your problem may not exactly match mine, but if you do see the "0x8004010F" error, than the following solution may help.


After trying multiple solutions, the solution that I found here works for me (Outlook 2013): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAYiYHsC14g

Just watch the video. But for completeness of this Superuser website, I'll describe it a bit here.

When you go to the accounts tab/window in Outlook, you'll see that the "Selected account deliveres new messages to the following location" is empty. Normally it shows something like: "john\Inbox in data filel C:\Users\John\Documents\Outlook Files\outlook.pst".

The solution is to create a new Outlook Data File, then select an Outlook folder (not a filesystem directoy but an Outlook inbox folder) of that new pst file, press OK. Than suddenly, Outlook does show the folder for "Selected account deliveres new messages to the following location". Than simply choose "Change Folder" again, en select the folder of your old existing pst file, in this case "john\Inbox" and it works!


So for this solution, a new PST is temporary created, but it isn't even used/deleted/renamed/moved, it's just there temporary to make Outlook happy, and then you can simply use your old PST again and delete the temporary PST file. Which makes it look like a bug instead of expected behavior.

The drawback is that you have to select the email inbox folder for each email account. But at least you don't have to manually create new accounts back again. And maybe you also need to create email rules again if you were using them.

Also want to add that Microsoft should really do something about PST's. The whole email and account backup process is really a big fuckup, an ugly problem that exists for years over multiple Outlook versions. The number of complaints and waisted time by Outlook users is just plain stupid. The guy who invented PSTs should be fired.

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