How to change the folder where e-mail messages and attachments are saved in Outlook

IMPORTANT: This article contains information about modifying the registry. Before you modify the registry, make sure to back it up and make sure that you understand how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For information about how to back up, restore, and edit the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
256986 Description of the Microsoft Windows Registry


This article discusses how to configure the default folders that are used by Outlook when you save e-mail messages and attachments.

More Information

By default, when you use the Save As command to save e-mail messages and attachments in Outlook, these items are saved in your My Documents folder. The following is the path where e-mail messages and attachments are saved in Outlook 2003 by default:
drive:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents

Where drive is the drive where Microsoft Windows is installed, and where username is your user name.

You can change the location where e-mail messages and attachments are saved in Outlook by adding the following registry value:

Outlook 2003

HKEY_CURRENT USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Outlook\Options\DefaultPath

Outlook 2007

HKEY_CURRENT USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Outlook\Options\DefaultPath

Outlook 2013


Outlook 2016 and 2019


To do this, follow these steps:

WARNING: If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that you can solve problems that result from using Registry Editor incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. In the Open box, type regedit, and then press ENTER.
  3. Locate the following subkey in the registry by using Registry Editor:
    HKEY_CURRENT USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\1x.0\Outlook\Options
  4. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click String Value.
  5. Type DefaultPath, and then press ENTER.
  6. Double-click the DefaultPath value.
  7. In the Edit String dialog box, type the path, including the drive letter, to the folder that you want to use for your Outlook saved items in the Value data box, and then click OK.
  8. Quit Registry Editor.