I have followed the instructions from both here: Moving Outlook 2010 PST files to a new location and here: Move an Outlook Data File (.pst) to different folder and I am experiencing a behavior that is frustrating: Outlook is recreating the PST file instead of popping up the error message as documented.

My steps:

  1. close outlook
  2. Browse to location of PST files: (C:\Users\Patrick\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook)
  3. Move PST file to new location (D:\docs\Outlook)
  4. Restart Outlook

At this point, I am supposed to get an error message. I do not. Instead I noticed that there are now, new PST files at the original location (C:\Users\Patrick\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook) and that the old files are no longer used.

What am I doing wrong?

EDIT It's NOT an OST file. It is a PST file mapped to an IMAP account (if that matters).

  • 1
    verify that you are not confusing PST and OST. Do you want to move an "Outlook Data File" containing your archived emails? Outlook should not be able to recreate that when it is missing. Apr 25, 2013 at 14:23
  • I am not confusing them. This is a PST file for a live IMAP account. Apr 25, 2013 at 14:40

3 Answers 3


can you still try to add the moved .pst file?

Try the following:

open Outlook 2010 and click the Tab "File". Now open your account settings and click the tab "data files" If you still can see the entry of the pst. file with the old location, then select and remove it.

Afterwards try to add the moved pst. file.

Restart Outlook and see if the issue still appears.

kind regards

  • Yes, I can add the moved PST file. But at that point it is just an outlook data file not associated with an email account. IE -- new email will not go into that folder. Apr 25, 2013 at 14:42

I haven't tried this, but if worse comes to worse, I could try to make a symbolic link using MKLink and the /D option in the AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook folder and point it to my desired location.

If I wind up trying this, I'll update this possible answer with the results.

  • Tried the mklink route without success, either. Apr 27, 2019 at 13:57

The .pst file is just an local archive, which does not contain configurations details for the e-mail account itself (as far as I know). In theory someone with a totally different e-mail account could add this archive to his or her Outlook as well.

Are you talking about a .OST file by any chance?

That is the file that contains mails received by the mailserver/exchange server. If you move or rename this one, then it will get recreated in the default location.

Maybe you can try to tell Outlook where the .OST file is located (in case it is an .ost file).

Do the following:

  • Open Outlook 2010 and open the tab "File" again.
  • Then select your account settings
  • Then the tab "email" should be open, please double click your e-mail address
  • Select "more settings" and click the "advance" tab.
  • click the "Outlook Data File Settings"

There you should be able to browse to the .OST file, you moved (in case it is a .ost file.. but it sounds like it).

My Excuses if I am wrong about the OST. file.

kind regards

  • Really not an OST file Apr 25, 2013 at 15:16

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