How to Change OST File Location in Outlook 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010?

Written By Mohit Jha
Anuraag Singh
Approved By Anuraag Singh  
Published On July 22nd, 2022
Reading Time 5 Minutes Reading

OST file is created by Microsoft Outlook that lets users work in an offline mode. It contains email messages, contacts, tasks, calendar data, and some other account information. In certain cases where there is a limited or unreliable network, the creation of OST allows the user to work during server down the situation as well. Sometimes there is a need to move the default location of OST file like in case of deletion of account on Outlook, lack of space in the storage drive, renaming of a mailbox, etc. Therefore, the following article will give you insight regarding how to change OST file location in Outlook 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007 without any hassle.

Important Note: If you want to Transfer Outlook Data to New Computer, then you first have to migrate your mailbox data into PST file using SysTools OST to PST File Converter Tool and then access that file in another computer.

Download Now Purchase Now

Things to Keep in Mind While Working with OST File

Following points have to be kept in mind while working with OST:

  1. Origination: An OST file can only be opened with which it originated that is the MAPI profile (Outlook).
  2. Automatic Synchronization: An automatic synchronization takes place with the mailbox on the server when the connection is established.
  3. Encryption: An OST file has default encryption. There is no need for password protection due to its relation with a mailbox on the server
  4. Simultaneous Opening: Two OST file cannot open at the same time.

Some OST File Related Problems

  1. Detached OST File: In cases where OST file gets detached like Outlook profile recreation, mailbox deletion, changes in the mailbox name, or mailbox is transferred to new database etc., it refuses to load.
  2. Corruption of OST file: Just like other files, OST can also become a victim of hardware and software related issue. In case of software, it may include improper working of the operating system and in case of hardware, it may include bad sectors of hard drive. All these issues can create corruption of OST.
  3. Error in Configuration: Configuration with Exchange Server is very important in case of OST. If there is improper configuration it may affect the OST file.

Manual Methods to Change OST File Location in Outlook

Sometimes there is an urgent need to move OST to another location in Outlook 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019. For example, a user is unable to access the OST file with the old profile. Hence, to do the same, follow some of the manual method discussed below to relocate OST file:

Method 1: Registry Editor to Change OST File Location

With the use of Registry Editor, one can change default location of OST file irrespective the versions of Outlook. For the same, follow the steps mentioned below:

  • First of all, press Windows + R key to open Run dialog box. Then, type Regedit in the box and click on OK button.
  • The Registry Editor will get opened. After that, you need to choose the key according to the version of Outlook.

In the case of Outlook 2016, the key is
HKEY_CURRENT _USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Outlook
In the case of Outlook 2013, the key is
In the case of Outlook 2010, the key is
In the case of Outlook 2007, the key is

  • On the right-hand side of the registry editor, click on the empty area. Then, click on the New followed by the Expandable string value.
  • Creation of new value takes place. In the Edit String dialog box, click Force OST path. A new default location has to be added where the OST file can be stored. At the last, click OK.

Method 2: With the Use of Outlook Email Client to Redo Outlook OST File

The default location of the OST file has to be known to the user in this method to move OST to another location.

  1. Go to File >> Info >> Account Settings >> Account Settings >> Data Files.
  2. Choose the Exchange Server account and select Settings.
  3. Now, start Microsoft Exchange account, select the Advanced section. Uncheck the Use Cached Exchange Mode, and click OK.
  4. In case of prompt, press the OK button and select Settings.
  5. From Advanced Tab, select Outlook Data File Settings followed by Disable offline use and then Yes.
  6. Select Outlook Data file settings followed by “I want to move old file option”. After that, select the Browse tab and then OST folder that was moved to a new folder in a different location. Click Open and press OK.
  7. In the case of Advanced Microsoft Exchange Program, put a checkmark on Use Cached Exchange Mode and click on OK button. Again click OK when it is about to start Microsoft Outlook.
  8. Close the Account Settings and Mail Set Up box.
  9. Press OK in the mail dialog box.

Benefits of Manual Method

  1. Free of Cost
  2. Self Explanatory

Disadvantages of Manual Method

  1. There are chances of data loss
  2. Extremely time-consuming
  3. There may be a failure in completion


The informative article deals with how to change OST file location in Outlook 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007 which can be done manually. Users can refer to this article and can efficiently move OST to another location. This is to keep in mind that OST files are prone to corruption as any other files and cannot be accessed if they are damaged. So, a third-party application is suggested if any user faces such an issue.


By Mohit Jha

Mohit is a Microsoft Certified Expert who wears multiple hats as a writer, researcher, and editor. He's really into cyber security, cloud computing, and digital forensics. These topics get him excited and push him to go beyond just his job. His big goal is to create super well-researched and carefully written articles that help readers learn important technicalities.