OLEXP: How to Change the Default Location of Mail and News Folders

Article translations Article translations
Article ID: 175037 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q175037
For information about the differences between Microsoft Outlook Express and Microsoft Outlook e-mail clients, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
257824 OL2000: Differences Between Outlook and Outlook Express
Expand all | Collapse all

On This Page

SUMMARY

This article describes how to change the default storage location of Outlook Express mail and news folders.

IMPORTANT: Changing the location of the mail store to a mapped or removable drive is not supported by Microsoft.

Use this information at your own risk.

This article contains information about configuring or using Microsoft Windows 95 in a manner that has not been tested and is not supported by Microsoft Product Support Services.

Back up your data before performing these steps. If the steps described in this article do not function properly, you may need to reinstall Windows in order to restore your system to its previous state.

MORE INFORMATION

By default, the Outlook Express mail and news folders are located in the following folders for the following Windows versions:
  • Windows 95 or Windows 98
    Windows\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook Express
    where Windows is the folder in which Windows 95 or Windows 98 is installed.
  • Windows NT, and Windows 95 or Windows 98 with user profiles enabled
    Windows\Profiles\Username\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook Express
    where Windows is the folder in which Windows is installed, and Username is the name you use to log on to Windows.
To change the default storage location of these folders, follow the steps in the appropriate section below.

NOTE: If Microsoft Internet Mail and News was present on your computer when you upgraded to Outlook Express, the default storage location of Outlook Express mail and news folders is Program Files\Internet Explorer\Internet Mail and News.

Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows

Windows 95 or Windows 98

To change the storage location of Outlook Express mail or news, change the Store Root registry value to the full path for the folder you want to use as the new storage location. This value is located in the following registry key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Outlook Express
NOTE: The Store Root folder contains a Mail folder and a News folder in which the data files for mail and news are located. If you install Outlook Express without upgrading Internet Mail and News, the Store Root is the Outlook Express folder. If you include the Mail folder in the Store Root path, a new Mail and News folder is created in the existing Mail folder. As a result, you cannot see the messages in the Outlook Express\Mail folder until you remove Mail from the Store Root path. When you use user profiles, the "Store Root" value is located in the following registry key:
HKEY_USERS\username\Software\Microsoft\Outlook Express
where username is the name you use to log on to Windows 95/98.

Windows NT

To change the storage location of Outlook Express mail or news, change the "Store Root" value to the full path to the folder you want to use as the new storage location. This value is located in the following registry key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Outlook Express

Outlook Express 5

In Outlook Express 5, the Store Root concept has changed from that in Outlook Express 4 and earlier. Because there are not separate Mail and News folders in Outlook Express 5, the Store Root is the folder that contains the message stores, which have an extension of .dbx.

Note that in some Beta versions of Outlook Express 5, the message store files used an .ods extension.

Changing the Store Root path in the registry does not move any messages. In both versions, if the Store Root is changed to another folder without any message files, a default set of folders is created. The default folders are named Inbox.dbx, Sent Items.dbx, and so on. If you want to integrate Internet Mail and News, Outlook Express 4, or other Outlook Express 5 files into an existing message store currently being used by Outlook Express 5, use the Outlook Express Import wizard by pointing to Import on the File menu and then clicking Messages.

If you want to move the location of the message store files Outlook Express 5 is currently using, follow these steps in Outlook Express 5:

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options.
  2. Click the Maintenance tab, and then click Store Folder.
  3. Click Change, specify the folder that you want to use to store your messages, and then click OK.
The registry location for Outlook Express 5 is
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Identities\{idnum}\Software\Microsoft\Outlook Express
For information about changing the location of the windows address book, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
156828 How to Change the Location of the Windows Address Book

Properties

Article ID: 175037 - Last Review: January 20, 2007 - Revision: 3.2
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Outlook Express 5.0
  • Microsoft Outlook Express 5.01 Service Pack 1
  • Microsoft Outlook Express 5.5
  • Microsoft Outlook Express 6.0
  • Microsoft Outlook Express 4.01
  • Microsoft Outlook Express 4.0
  • Microsoft Outlook Express 4.01
  • Microsoft Outlook Express 5.0
  • Microsoft Outlook Express 5.01
  • Microsoft Outlook Express 5.5
  • Microsoft Outlook Express 4.0
  • Microsoft Outlook Express 4.01
  • Microsoft Outlook Express 5.0
  • Microsoft Outlook Express 5.01 Service Pack 2
  • Microsoft Outlook Express 5.5
  • Microsoft Outlook Express 6.0
  • Microsoft Windows 98 Standard Edition
Keywords: 
kbenv kbhowto KB175037

Give Feedback

 

Contact us for more help

Contact us for more help
Connect with Answer Desk for expert help.
Get more support from smallbusiness.support.microsoft.com