Where are outlook pst files stored windows 10

Last Updated: Feb 20, 2024 by

If you use Microsoft Outlook as your primary email client, you may have heard of PST files. But what exactly are they, and where are they stored on your Windows 10 computer?

In this article, we’ll explore the basics of PST files, their importance in organizing your Outlook data, and where they are stored on a Windows 10 operating system.

What Are PST Files?

PST stands for Personal Storage Table, and it is a file format used by Microsoft Outlook to store email messages, contacts, calendar events, and other data. These files are created and used by Outlook to store all your email data, including messages, attachments, and other items.

PST files are essential for organizing your Outlook data and keeping it safe. They allow you to access your email data even when you are not connected to the internet, making them a crucial part of managing your email.

Why Are PST Files Important?

PST files are important for several reasons:

  • Data organization: PST files allow you to organize your email data into separate folders, making it easier to find and manage specific messages or attachments.
  • Offline access: As mentioned earlier, PST files allow you to access your email data even when you are not connected to the internet. This is especially useful for people who travel frequently or have limited internet access.
  • Backup and recovery: PST files can be used as a backup of your Outlook data, ensuring that you don’t lose any important emails or contacts in case of a system crash or accidental deletion.
  • Storage management: By storing your email data in PST files, you can free up space on your email server, making it run more efficiently.

Where Are PST Files Stored on Windows 10?

By default, PST files are stored in a specific location on your Windows 10 computer. The exact location may vary depending on the version of Outlook you are using, but it is typically found in the following location:

C:\Users\username\Documents\Outlook Files

In this path, “username” refers to your Windows 10 username. If you have multiple PST files, they will all be stored in this location.

How to Find PST Files on Windows 10

If you are unsure of where your PST files are stored, you can easily find them by following these steps:

  1. Open Outlook on your Windows 10 computer.
  2. Click on the File tab in the top left corner.
  3. In the Info section, click on Account Settings and then select Account Settings from the drop-down menu.
  4. In the Account Settings window, click on the Data Files tab.
  5. Here, you will see a list of all the PST files associated with your Outlook account, along with their file paths.
  6. You can click on any of the PST files to view its location on your computer.

How to Change the Default Location of PST Files

If you want to change the default location of your PST files, you can do so by following these steps:

  1. Close Outlook if it is open.
  2. Open the Control Panel on your Windows 10 computer.
  3. In the search bar, type “Mail” and click on the Mail (Microsoft Outlook 2016) option that appears.
  4. In the Mail Setup window, click on the Data Files button.
  5. In the Account Settings window, click on the Data Files tab.
  6. Select the PST file you want to change the location for and click on the Open File Location button.
  7. This will open the folder where the PST file is currently stored. You can now move the file to a new location on your computer.
  8. Once you have moved the file, go back to the Account Settings window and click on the Add button.
  9. In the New Outlook Data File window, navigate to the new location of your PST file and select it.
  10. Click on the OK button to save the changes.

Tips for Managing PST Files

Now that you know where PST files are stored on Windows 10, here are some tips for managing them effectively:

  • Regularly backup your PST files: As mentioned earlier, PST files can serve as a backup of your Outlook data. Make sure to regularly back them up to avoid losing important emails or contacts.
  • Keep your PST files organized: Create separate folders within your PST files to organize your email data. This will make it easier to find specific messages or attachments when you need them.
  • Avoid storing PST files on network drives: PST files are not designed to be stored on network drives, as this can lead to data corruption or loss. It is best to keep them on your local computer.
  • Use a PST file management tool: If you have multiple PST files, it can be challenging to keep track of them all. Consider using a PST file management tool to help you organize and manage your files more efficiently.


PST files are an essential part of managing your Outlook data, and knowing where they are stored on your Windows 10 computer is crucial for keeping your email data safe and organized. By following the tips mentioned in this article, you can effectively manage your PST files and ensure that your email data is always accessible and secure.

Gulrukh Ch

About the Author: Gulrukh Ch

Gulrukh Chaudhary, an accomplished digital marketer and technology writer with a passion for exploring the frontiers of innovation. Armed with a Master's degree in Information Technology, Gulrukh seamlessly blends her technical prowess with her creative flair, resulting in captivating insights into the world of emerging technologies. Discover more about her on her LinkedIn profile.