I have this weird problem with my Outlook/Computer. I cannot find my Outlook Data File!! I've looked literally everywhere.

I checked in C:\Users\user.name\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook and just cannot find it at all. Once I open Outlook I get the following error message every time - but I can still send and receive emails. . .

    Your Outlook data file cannot be configured.

Where could it possible be???

  • It likely was deleted. The good news it dosn't actually contained your emails since .OST files are only a cache of what is on the server. So you can reconfigure your accoutn without worry. – Ramhound May 22 '15 at 16:24

As the comment says, OST files are simply an offline cache of what is on the Exchange server.

At worse, you can delete the account and start again. You will not loose any email.

The other good news is that the ost files are encrypted to the account they belong to. This means that even if the file got put somewhere and exposed, the information is safe.

  • BTW, OSTs are encrypted in Outlook 2013+ only. – thims May 25 '15 at 12:50
  • I don't believe that is true @thims. If I remember correctly, they have always been encrypted. I remember we came across this issue years ago (NT days). – Julian Knight May 25 '15 at 13:59
  • you remember it because Outlook XP/2003 had the encryption support for OSTs. It was removed in Outlook 2007. – thims May 25 '15 at 14:13

Find Outlook data file location with Control Panel

  1. Open Control Panel on your PC or laptop.[]
  2. Choose User Accounts and Family Safety and you can see Mail (Microsoft Outlook 2016).[]
  3. On Mail Setup - Outlook dialog, click "Data Files…".[]
  4. All the Outlook data files and data file location are listed in new Account Settings dialog.[]

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