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Outlook 2003 configurations and file locations

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The following is a list of data store and configuration files used by Microsoft Outlook. Some of the folders might be hidden folders. To view them, do one of the following:

Windows XP
Click Start, and then click My Computer.
On the Tools menu, click Folder Options, click the View tab, and then click the Show hidden files and folder option.

Windows 2000
Double-click My Computer on your desktop.
On the Tools menu, click Folder Options, click the View tab, and then click the Show hidden files and folder option.

Your configuration may not include all of the following files. Some files are created only when you customize Outlook features.

Outlook data files (.pst)
C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

Outlook Offline Folders file (.ost)
C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

Oulook Personal Address Book (.pab)
C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

Outlook Offline Address Books (.oab)
C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

Outlook Command bar and menu customizations (.dat)
C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

Outlook Navigation Pane settings (.xml)
C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\Outlook.xml

This file includes Shortcuts, Calendar, and Contact links.
Registered Microsoft Exchange extensions (.dat)
C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

Outlook contacts nicknames (.nk2)
C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

Outlook Rules (.rwz)
drive:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

If you upgraded from a version of Outlook prior to Outlook 2002, you may have a .rwz file on your computer hard disk drive. The file is no longer needed and the rules information is now kept on the server for Microsoft Exchange e-mail accounts, and within the personal folders file (.pst) (Personal Folders file (.pst): Data file that stores your messages and other items on your computer. You can assign a .pst file to be the default delivery location for e-mail messages. You can use a .pst to organize and back up items for safekeeping.) for POP3 and IMAP e-mail accounts. You can delete the file.

If you use the rules import or export feature, the default location for .rwz files is:
C:\Documents and Settings\<user>\My Documents.

Print styles (Outlprnt with no extension)
drive:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

Outlook Signatures (.rtf, .txt, .htm)
C:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Application Data\Microsoft\Signatures

Outlook Stationary (.htm)
C:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Application Data\Microsoft\Stationary

Outlook Custom forms
drive:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Forms

Outlook Dictionary (.dic)
drive:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Application Data\Microsoft\Proof

Outlook Templates (.oft)
drive:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates

Send/Receive settings (.srs)
drive:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

Message (.msg, .htm, .rtf)
drive:\Documents and Settings\<user>\My Documents

Subscribe to comments feed Comments (2 posted):

Gil on 10 February, 2009
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Thanks for info.
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SEO Guy on 29 March, 2009
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Thanks for this info. Last night i had to reformat my laptop and couldn't work out how to backup my Outlook rules.

By the way this article is also valid for Outlook 2007 file locations
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