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

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
SUMMARY
This article describes how to change the default storage location ofOutlook 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
    whereWindows 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\ApplicationData\Microsoft\Outlook Express
    where Windows is the folder inwhich Windows is installed, and Username is the name you use to log onto 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 computerwhen you upgraded to Outlook Express, the default storage location ofOutlook Express mail and news folders is Program Files\InternetExplorer\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 theStore Root registry value to the full path for the folder you want to use as thenew 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 inwhich the data files for mail and news are located. If you install OutlookExpress without upgrading Internet Mail and News, the Store Root is theOutlook Express folder. If you include the Mail folder in the Store Rootpath, 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\Mailfolder until you remove Mail from the Store Root path. When you use userprofiles, 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 thenew 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 inOutlook Express 4 and earlier. Because there are not separate Mail andNews folders in Outlook Express 5, the Store Root is the folder thatcontains the message stores, which have an extension of .dbx.

Note that in some Beta versions of Outlook Express 5, the message storefiles 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 withoutany message files, a default set of folders is created. The defaultfolders are named Inbox.dbx, Sent Items.dbx, and so on. If you wantto integrate Internet Mail and News, Outlook Express 4, or other OutlookExpress 5 files into an existing message store currently being used byOutlook Express 5, use the Outlook Express Import wizard by pointing toImport on the File menu and then clicking Messages.

If you want to move the location of the message store files OutlookExpress 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 addressbook, please see the following article in the Microsoft KnowledgeBase:
156828 How to Change the Location of the Windows Address Book
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Article ID: 175037 - Last Review: 01/20/2007 02:15:13 - Revision: 3.2

  • 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
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  • Microsoft Outlook Express 5.0
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  • Microsoft Outlook Express 5.5
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  • Microsoft Outlook Express 5.0
  • Microsoft Outlook Express 5.01 Service Pack 2
  • Microsoft Outlook Express 5.5
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  • Microsoft Windows 98 Standard Edition
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