Making regular backups of your pst file is always a good idea. Most of the people do so only when upgrading their computer.
In theory, your pst files could be located almost anywhere on your computer but there are of course a couple of default locations in which to look. Also, as long as your computer is still functioning, you can look up where your pst files are located even when Outlook itself is no longer functioning.
Note: If you are using IMAP accounts, the pst files are only just a cache of your online mailbox and doesn’t necessarily need to be backed up as all the mails and thier content are saved on the server.
For more info you could check the article: POP versus IMAP
If your computer is still functioning, you can look up the location of your pst files in Outlook as following:
Outlook 2007 and previous versions: Click on File\Data File Management;
Outlook 2013 and 2010: Click on File\Account Settings\Account Settings and go to Data Files tab;
- Click on the Open File Location button.
- An explorer window will open with to the location of your selected pst file.
Using Mail applet
If you can’t open Outlook, you can find the location of your pst files from the Mail applet in Control Panel. To go there follow the below steps:
- Click on Start\Control Panel and then Mail or Mail (32-bit);
When the applet window is opened, click on Data Files button which would display the same overview as you would get via above instructions in Outlook.
Multiple Mail Profiles
When you have multiple mail profile configured in your Outlook, you don’t need to restart Outlook in each mail profile to look up the locations for your pst files. So,
- Open the Mail applet from the Control Panel as above and click on the Show Profiles button;
- select the mail profile you want and then on the Properties;
- On the new windows click on Data Files button which would display the same overview as explained above.
In case you cannot access your pst files using the above two methods, the default locations is as following:
If you are using on Windows XP or previous, check the following locations:
C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\
C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\My Documents\Outlook Files\
I hope that this article helped you to understand where Outlook pst files location are. Feel free to share your thoughts about this article using the comments section below or catch us on Twitter.