I have recently deployed a Remote Desktop Host server that functions as a remote Microsoft Office 2010 work space for users. In part of the locking down of this server I have installed all programs on the D: drive and, through the use of Group Policy, hidden all the drives on the server from standard users. In addition to hiding these drives I am not allowing users to save anything locally (on the server) or open Libraries. However one of the functions of the server is to provide the Outlook client. Often users will have the .PST file stored on a network location and want to open this in Outlook.

Can I change the default action or location that File > Open > Open Outlook Data File looks or tries to pull the file from?

The default location seems to be under Users / Libraries. When click 'Open' you get a warning:

This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this computer.

Clicking OK drops the user into a small menu that shows attached network drives under Computer. Can I instead have the 'Open' click drop the users in a defined network drive or just open computer and allow them to select a share? I don't want them to see the error message.

A solution that looks to have been used for Office 2000/03 is:

Key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\<version>\Outlook 
    Value name: ForceOSTPath 
    Value type: REG_EXPAND_SZ 
    Value: path to your storage folder

I am not sure if there is a better way to do this now OR if this even works with Office 2010.

  • Can you test your registry modification out with Office 2010 and see if it works? I have the same problem but I've always just ignored it. It's nice to tackle annoying niggling problems rather than letting them go silently. Unfortunately I can't try it because I'm not admin on this PC, haha. – allquixotic Jul 23 '12 at 20:02
  • This didn't work for me. – Chadddada Sep 11 '12 at 14:08
  • Is it always the same network folder where user-psts are stored? You could write a script that scans the folder for .pst-files and lets the user choose which to open in outlook. There is VBA code that can do the opening part. Crazy recommendation i guess... – Langhard Sep 19 '12 at 10:04

Go to outlook accounts data tab and add your new location. Close and reopen outlook to activate the new data file location.

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  • This is actually for a RDH server, not just my single user account. I am looking to have this set server wide, not just a single user. The desired effect is that when a user logs in, clicks open file, it would show the mapped drive I wish to present to them. Since the RDH server is locked down they do not have access to the local drives on the VM. When a user clicks add they will also get the warning since the default location to look first is a local drive, which is locked down. – Chadddada Sep 11 '12 at 15:13

I would say you should either be able to do this via Group Policy or via a login script.

Group Policy: Download and install the Office 2010 Administrative Template and customisation tool - http://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/download/details.aspx?id=18968

Login Script: If you change the path manually for one user, you should then run RegEdit and search for that setting in the registry. Once you find the registry key that stores that setting, export it as a .REG file. Now make a login script that imports the reg key for all users.

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