Creating a PST in Outlook 2010

I have a friend that is moving from Outlook 2003 to 2010, and who had trouble figuring out how to move their mail to a PST (offline mail store).  In case anyone else is looking to do this, here we go:

In the top left of Outlook, click on “File”.


Click on the Account Settings drop down, and then click “Account Settings…”


In the window that pops up, click the second tab “Data Files”


Click on the “Add…” icon, and then give your PST file a name (they call it “Outlook Data File, which makes much more sense to end users), choose where it goes, and then hit “OK”.  By default in Windows 7, it goes into your My Documents folder into a folder called “Outlook Files”. 

I’m not sure what Outlook 2010 does on earlier versions of Windows, but Outlook 2007 and earlier defaulted to C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook.  I know that because I used to have a job upgrading PC’s in a large enterprise to Windows XP, and I had to manually move over the PST files that people forgot to back up.  That path is burned into my brain 🙂


Close the Account Settings window, and you will be back to the main Outlook window.  Your new PST (Outlook Data File) will be over on the left, and you can create new folders and drag mail into them (or setup rules).


Comments (128)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Great worked a treat

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thanks, very helpful and simple.

  3. Daytona675 says:

    Awesome! Without these steps I would not have found it. Thanks

  4. timt says:

    I perform the IT duties for a small technical office.  Outlook files have always been an issue for swapping users over to new machines, and performing backups.  As soon as I set-up a new machine for Outlook I move the PST file into a folder I created called Outlook Mail in My Documents either the public side or non-shared.  I create numerous PST files in this folder for customers, suppliers, etc.

    Because the PST file is now located in My Documents this makes backups easier, and when using Active Sync to back up it only has to copy 5 or 10 smaller PST files that have changed versus a humongous 10 GB file which would take a couple hours to transfer over.

    My problem now is that I can't find "Data File Management" in Outlook 2010.  I'll look in the area you illustrated above but it looks to take a few more steps to do so.

  5. jim says:

    But when I do all this, and then drag any mail or folders into the new PST file, it disappears forever.  What am I doing wrong?

  6. dara says:

    I deleted my outlook pst file by mistake. Then i remove Office 2010, but when i install again, Outlook always asks for the file i deleted. What should i do about it?

  7. srinisha says:

    I like your blog very useful and very inspirational .Thanks a lot. It will help me a lot. By your inspiration even I have started blogging to share my work experience on sharepoint 2010 and  Microsoft outlook 2010.…/send-sms-directly-from-microsoft.html

  8. JonW says:

    And what does a person do when Outlook 2010 will not open, because the current  pst file (from outlook 2007) is corrupt. yes I ran a scanpst, no help.

  9. RichardL2 says:

    Thanks Mate, was trying for a couple of days now, and now its working!:-)

  10. AlbertO says:

    Thank God for people like.-Great blog-

  11. Birsimran says:

    Thanks that helped….Its always been an issue for migrating Outlook. Anyways good info shared here.

  12. Smooth_0101 says:

    thanks for the tip, saved time for me !

  13. afsar says:

    In oulook 2010 when i made my pst default then mail not able to download in my default Pst.Please help out.

  14. kapil says:

    Very helpful information… Thanks a lot !!!!

  15. Shobhit says:

    Thanks a lot !!!!

    Very helpful information.

  16. tipton55 says:

    This was the best ever.  I went to several other sites before finding this one, this was the easiest fix EVER!  

    Thanks for posting!

  17. Adi says:

    Great! it works and takes less than a minute 😉

  18. Arjun says:

    Thanks for the help….Saved time for me too…

  19. Syd says:

    Great help, thanks!  

    Wish I found it an hour earlier, when I began trying to figure it out on my own!

  20. Ben says:

    Thanks. Sometimes it's better to search on the internet than wait for helpdesk to respond.

    Happy Holidays!

  21. Madawa says:

    Thanks this is helpful!!! Keep up the good work.

  22. Joyie says:

    I've been searching forever in Outlook, without this I wouldnt have found it! Thanks!

  23. sam says:

    Me and my office are trying to move from one cloud server to another.  In order to do this, we are trying to back up all our mail/calendars etc in the way described above.  Everything seems to work fine, but when we try to import the data onto the outlook running on the new server nothing imports.  If anyone has any ideas I'd be incredibly grateful.  So far we've been at this for 5 hours and so far no joy.


  24. Rakshitha says:

    Thanks for this post, helped me create my own personal pst 🙂

  25. P sharad chandra prasad says:

    it's not use ful….,Please update correctly…

  26. Rkwill says:

    I've been searching Outlook for over a week.

    Then I wised up and searched the internet.

    Your description made it quick and easy.

  27. Rishiedd says:

    Thanks for the tip. Saved some good time for me!

  28. Rich says:

    Thanks it very helpfull……………..

  29. Pratik1 says:

    Today i created my 1st PST in less than 30 sec..u rock 🙂

  30. Shanmuga Raja S says:

    Thank You .. It was very helpful.. 🙂

  31. Shrikant says:

    Thanks… for detailed steps provided

  32. Pushpendra Kumar says:

    Thanks for simple and useful steps.

  33. Ragnesh Bhavsar says:

    Thanks for Really simple and useful steps.

  34. Bob J. says:

    You got it right – thank you for taking the time to help the less skilled among us.

  35. sohan says:

    dara just run your scanpst.exe to recover it

  36. Ben says:

    Thanks for the great help, as simple as it sounds..i struggle when I upgraded from 2007 to 2010 and couldn't find how to craete new PST.  Thx again. **thumbs up**.

  37. bala says:

    Thank You .. It was very helpful.. 🙂

  38. shiva says:

    it really hlp me to rsove the same issue for one of the user. thnx mate.

  39. Sandra says:

    Very Helpful! No need to contact IT!!!  

  40. Ledi says:

    Thanks a million for the great help!!!

  41. Sabarish says:

    wow its cool.. and pretty easy all because of u guys Thanks team, u are better than help !

  42. Steve Johns says:

    Cool !!   Now i can migrate my Outlook 98 emails to 2010.

  43. Rajeshwari says:

    Though its a simple step,steps were really helpful.

  44. Revanth says:

    Great!!!! this was very helpful blog and thanks for providing screenprints

  45. Syed says:

    clearly understood, awsome thanks a lot….!!!

  46. ryan says:

    Simple and straight forward. Thanks.

  47. dheeraj says:

    Thanks a lot…. it helped me a lot otherewise i would have to keep waiting for it professional for help…

  48. Mohamed says:

    how i can have file outlouck2010 back i cancel by mistake

  49. Brian says:

    Dude, you rock.  There's a reason this answer is right at the top of the Google results for this question, you answered the question completely and conclusively, and very concisely to boot.  Thanks, Kudos, and Happy New Year.

  50. Steve says:

    Thanks a million !

    We upgraded in 2012 and I create a new Personal Archive every year.

    Not a logical place for MS to hide this feature !!

  51. Trevor says:

    Thank you for this, we just upgraded to 2010 and people have been scrambling for these steps.

  52. johnredd says:

    Thank you very much Dude!   You save me a lot of time

  53. Creating a PST in Outlook 2010 says:

    Thankyou very much ….saved a lot of time ….Awesome

  54. Joycey says:

    How is this different to  setting it up by selecting New Items – More Items – Outlook Data File and selecting where to save on c drive or Network?

    I know both ways work but one is a lot quicker than the other.

  55. Amal says:

    Thankyou very much ….saved a lot of time ….Awesome

  56. Ganesh Mamidi says:

    Thanks for your information. Its very descriptive with step by step process  🙂

  57. warangal says:

    this is very useful post<a href="">warangal</a>

  58. mamal says:

    thank u so much!! my boss is happy now!!

  59. rajesh says:

    that a fantastic professional job. Appreciate your efforts

  60. TT says:

    You Rock!  Every year I have to set one up but do you think I can remember how!!

  61. rajkumar says:

    Lots of Thanks for getting chance to blog by me.

  62. dinesh says:

    It's work very nicely…….

    Thanks a lots

  63. Siara says:

    The inbox repair tool helps to repair damaged PST files. But in severe cases the tool fails. In such situation you need the best third-party Outlook PST repair software is the best third-party software and it efficiently helps you to repair all sorts of PST corruption. The software is easy to use and it supports all the Outlook versions.

    Read More:

  64. Imran Ramzan says:

    Very helpful information… Thanks a lot !!!

  65. janniemart says:

    With the Outlook PST repair software you can easily repair your severely corrupted PST files. It is capable of repairing oversized PST files and also it can repair the poorly damaged header PST files. It supports all the latest and earlier Outlook versions. It is easy to use and provides you graphical user-interface.

    For more information:

  66. Keith says:

    thanks so much that is exactly what I was looking for

  67. Roberto says:

    Good Job! This is a great document!

  68. Tatiana says:

    Exactly what I needed. Thanks a lot!

  69. Melissa says:

    Thank you!  Very good walk through instructions.

  70. Peral says:

    Excellent Information – Very helpful

  71. Amol Ghuge says:

    Thanks for your information. Its very descriptive with step by step process  🙂

  72. vasavi says:

    really very usefull ,with in two ,

    mins we can create this pst file

    thanx alot

  73. Dawn says:

    It doesn't work for me.  It keeps telling me "This operation failed."  I follow the steps but do not know what is wrong.  I need to create a new archives folder because my current folder is full.  Please help.

  74. Gerard Amalraj says:

    Thank you for taking the time to show it to us.

  75. Dave says:

    Screen shots, details. Doesn't get any easier. Thanks!

  76. Thank You says:

    Every version of Windows requires a new learning curve

  77. Richard says:

    I am running MS Outlook 2010 version.  I cannot "open" Outlook, at all.  My system is looking for a .pst file that doesn't exist.  How can I make changes to Outlook with another .pst file?  I created another .pst file, but Outlook isn't able use that file, it is looking for an old corrupted file.

  78. ankit5 says:

    Thanks really nice post, More good information about repairing PST file can be found at

  79. LK Gowda says:

    Really very useful information Thanks a lot

  80. sayan mitra says:

    thanks…………… really helps……………….

  81. Duday says:

    Cool!  Thanks for this idiot-proof help!

  82. ML49448 says:

    Can't believe it's your blog and not the MS Outlook 201 Help or Tutorial that gets the most hits from google which points me here. Very helpful and impressive work. Thank you!

    Just for your reference, below is MS way which does not take you out of the Home tab. In that sense, I think it is (just a tiny little bit) simpler.…/create-an-outlook-data-file-pst-to-save-your-information-HA010355677.aspx

  83. JOÃO says:

    Thank you, thank you and thank you!!!

  84. Ravi says:

    Thank You.. it works and took less than a minute

  85. Pratiush says:

    Thanks for your post. My mailbox works fine now.

  86. .pst viewer pro says:

    I like your blog very useful and very inspirational .Thanks a lot. It will help me a lot. I've also started blogging by inspiring your stuff.

  87. Ambika says:

    Thanks a bunch! This made it so easy..

  88. jordi says:

    Thanks! Very helpful (better than MS help functionality :-S)

  89. Rahul Jain says:

    Awesome piece of work….  I thought i have lost all the offline emails but your work has saved me a hell lot of work…

  90. REDDY says:

    thank you so much its reallty very helpful blog along with screen shots…

  91. sam says:

    Good blog, screen shots helped in configuring quickly.

  92. *** says:

    I don't know what's wrong with my Outlook 2010, but when I create a new PST file, it only has 2 folders called "Deleted Items" and "Search Folders". Ok, I can create new folders called "Inbox", "Sent Items" and "Contacts", but when I copy the data to them they don't have the same format, I mean the sent Items show my name in the TO column. Seems like Outlook 2010 doesn't recognize this manual created folders like an Inbox or Sent Items or contacts folders, though they have the same name. So, what I did is a copy of an old  1GB PST file I had in Office 2007, emptied the Inbox, Sent Items and Contacts folders, made the compact in this PST Properties->Advanced, and Outlook 2010 recognized this PST with the same format as my online PST.

    I would appreciate any help on this issue. Thanks in advance.

  93. prasad kumar says:

    Thanks for the detal steps.It really helped a lot 🙂

  94. Anwar says:

    It was really helpful. Simple and effective. Thanks to who ever posted this on the web. Thanks a Very lot

  95. Edward.Peter says:

    It is quite good solution but  in the manual session to transfer the back up data files may create complication and chances to loss database that's why you can try ADD PST Software for adding PST files to Outlook 2010. It will create new folder in Microsoft Outlook 2010 after importing email files. And also you can recognize healthier and corrupt data files before insert PST files. So  quickly grab it with it demo version now. For further detail click here:

  96. Rhonda says:

    Thanks, this was very helpful!  I would have never have found this!

  97. Ardiansyah says:

    Thanks, i need this information, i will try it!

  98. VK says:

    Thanks a lot.

  99. Marco R says:

    Thank you very much. Seems like I have to relearn it every time. Wish it was more intuitive.
    But thank you seriously.

  100. vineet kashyap says:

    thank you so much

  101. Sharlene says:

    Awesome – thanks for the help; it worked perfectly!! 🙂

  102. Sri says:

    Nice and quick..

  103. Jayadev says:

    Thanks for your Tutorial helped me alot. Good work done

  104. madhu says:

    good simple steps

  105. Izek says:

    Thanks been very helpful ….

  106. Tanuja says:

    Hi. My .pst file is on my desktop and when I am trying to Bring it to the newley installed MS outlook i ma facing "Path not found verify the path Error". Please do help me out on this.

  107. Ajit says:

    Great!!!Many Thanks

  108. Jeyaram says:

    Thanks Buddy!!!

  109. vishakh says:


  110. danic says:

    this was a life saver – thanks so much for posting !

  111. sam says:

    Fab, thanks so much.

  112. Meena says:

    Thank you so much, it was really helpful and the easiest i have ever seen

  113. Abby Normal says:

    Thank you for posting these steps! It helped a great deal!

  114. Samuel says:

    Thanks Man!!

  115. Ram Karthik says:

    Awesome post…… Simply great…. Thank you

  116. Mohan says:

    Very Useful, Thanks!!

  117. Kabi says:

    Very usefull…..

  118. Amod says:

    Really helpful advice. Thx a lot!

  119. Chanthan PHOK says:

    Thank You!!! Genius

  120. David says:

    When I "add" the pst file I get a box headed "Outlook Data Files" and "types of storage" below, but it only lets me click on cancel. What am I doing wrong?

  121. wlp says:

  122. stephanic says:

    I like your blog very useful and very inspirational .Thanks a lot. It will help me a lot. By your inspiration even. I have started blogging to share my work experience on Microsoft outlook. Outlook PST repair tool will help you to repair corrupt pst file.

    See more on:

  123. zulu says:

    Thanks awesome! !!