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OL2002: How to Move the Hotmail .PST Cache File

This article was previously published under Q300593
When you create a Hotmail account, a special personal folders (.pst) file is created to store the Hotmail messages that are downloaded from the Hotmail server. The messages are not deleted from the Hotmail server when they are downloaded to Outlook 2002. Copies of the messages are downloaded and placed in the .pst file that was created for the Hotmail account. The folders that are contained in the .pst file are a copy of the folder structure that is located on the Hotmail server and you are actually viewing the copies of the messages downloaded from the server when you view messages.
Hotmail Data files are located in the following default locations:
  • For computers that are running Microsoft Windows 2000:
    C:\Documents and Settings\<Username>\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook
  • For computers that are running Microsoft Windows 98 or Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me):
    C:\Windows\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook
  • The following is the naming syntax for Hotmail Data files:
    <ProfileName>Hotmail-########.pst (where ######## is a number starting with 00000001 and incrementing with each Hotmail account created in the profile).

How to Move Hotmail .PST Files

If you move or delete the Hotmail cache .pst file, Outlook 2002 creates a new one in the default location the next time that Outlook 2002 attempts to use the .pst file. Use the following steps to move the .pst file to a new location and have Outlook 2002 use the existing file in the new location:
  1. Close Outlook 2002.
  2. Locate and move the Hotmail .pst file to the new location.
  3. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  4. Double-click the Mail icon.
  5. Click the Show Profiles button.
  6. Click to select the profile that contains your Hotmail account.
  7. Click Properties.
  8. Click the Data Files button.
  9. Click to select the Hotmail .pst file that you moved in step 2. Note that it still points to the old location.
  10. Click the Settings button.
  11. Click OK when the error message that states that the Hotmail .pst file could not be found appears. This error message is normal.
  12. When the Create/Open Personal Folders File dialog box appears, locate the Hotmail .pst file that you moved in step 2, and then click Open.
  13. Click OK when the properties for the Hotmail .pst file appear.
  14. Click Close on the Outlook Data Files screen.
  15. Click Close on the Mail Setup screen.
  16. Click OK on the Profile screen.
  17. Select Close from the File menu to close the Control Panel.
  18. Open Outlook 2002 and note that the previously downloaded message is still available because Outlook is connected to the Hotmail .pst in its new location.

Article ID: 300593 - Last Review: 09/26/2001 11:44:00 - Revision: 1.0

  • Microsoft Outlook 2002 Standard Edition
  • kbhowto KB300593