Set Exchange Mailbox as default data store

This article pertains to new Exchange users who are upgrading from a POP3 or IMAP mail account in Outlook 2003 or Outlook 2007.

By default a POP3 or IMAP email account in Outlook stores your email in a folder called Personal Folders. The file that stores all email, calendar items, contacts, etc is located on your local computer. Normally, this file is Outlook.pst located in the following directory:

Windows XP – C:\Documents and Settings\Christine\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\

When you setup your new Exchange account in Outlook your mail will be delivered to your current default data file. In this case, Outlook.pst. This will download all new email from Rolet Exchange and store it on your local computer. Most users would like to keep their email on the Exchange server so they can use Outlook Web Access or Outlook on other computers.

Resolution: Set the Exchange Mailbox to be the default data file. By doing this, your mail will remain on the Exchange server. Once complete, you may need to copy your messages in “Personal Folders” to the Inbox under “Mailbox – Full Name”.

  1. Open Outlook, click Tools and then click Account Settings
  2. Select the Data Files tab
  3. Select the Name, “Mailbox – Your Name”
  4. Click the button, Set as Default
  5. Click OK in the dialog box
  6. Click the Close button to close the Account Settings screen
  7. Close Outlook
  8. Open Outlook

At this point, you may have message in Personal Folders that you want to move back to the Exchange server.

  1. Select a small number of messages at first. (Moving hundreds of messages may take a long time and will immobilize Outlook until the process is complete.)
  2. Right-click the selection and drag your selected messages to the Inbox folder under “Mailbox – Your Name” and release your mouse button.
  3. Choose Move or Copy To

Outlook will upload your messages from your local Outlook.pst file to the Rolet Exchange servers. Depending on the time it takes, select more or less messages and repeat the above 1-3 steps as neccessary.

At this point, you will be storing messages on the server. When you receive new mail, a copy will be retained on the server and on your local computer in your Outlook.ost file.