What file stores my MS Outlook inbox?

  so3003 18:12 04 Apr 2003

Just formatted drive C:, reinstalled win98, office etc, and have discovered that the file I exported my mail messages to stored everything except the date/time messages were sent - which is pretty vital for me!

I did however backup the entire c:\program files directory onto another disk before formatting, so if the inbox is stored as a file somewhere in there, it should presumably be recoverable?

Could anyone help me?! Please!


  DieSse 18:20 04 Apr 2003

It's all in a pst file - so do a search for *.pst

  BRYNIT 19:38 04 Apr 2003

To find the file you would go to. Windows explorer, windows,local settings,Application Data,Microsoft,Outlook. If you only saved the program files directory I would say that you have lost the information you require.

For future reference if you want to save all files and settings in Microsoft outlook. Go to file Import/export, export to a file, down to personal folder file (.pst), select personal folder and tick includes subfolders. Select destination drive/folder you require the file to be stored, and follow instructions.

  anchor 09:32 05 Apr 2003

The file Outlook.pst stores all your data.

It lives in

C:\Windows\application data\microsoft\outlook

When I restore from this, after a reformat, everything is included.

  No Ideas 10:13 05 Apr 2003

it could be that the date/time is there but you can't see it.

Open Outlook, go to the Inbox. At the top, you will see the title bar - the bar that shows who the message is from (where the date & time should be). Try dragging the different fields to the left e.g. position the cursor over any of the vertical lines that separates the fields and holding down the left mouse button, drag to the left. If the Received field is hidden off to the right, it should appear.

Post back results, please

  Brian-336451 10:24 05 Apr 2003

I had the same problem originally, so I moved the pst file to a place of my choosing.

I've actually moved it to D:\Mail on my machine (a separate disk), the whole family's files are here under sub-directories, which makes backing up so much easier.

All you do is locate the outlook.pst file and COPY (!!!) it to the new location, make sure that it IS there then delete the original (you may want to put a second copy somewhere else as well - just in case).

When Outlook starts it gives an error message because it can't load the Outlook.pst file and asks you where it is. Direct it to your new directory and you're away.

Hope that helps. Thus when you back up, buy new hard drives, new computers etc etc, you just import a copy of Mail (in my case) and you're away again.

  so3003 12:25 05 Apr 2003

Thanks for the suggestion, unfortunately the date/time fields don't appear to have been saved regardless of what I do, though interestingly I've noticed messages are stored in reverse order of when they were sent - to do with the order they were exported I imagine.

Good idea about backing up by moving file elsewhere. I'll try to set this up, but hopefully won't be reinstalling everything from scratch for a long time! Amazing how much quicker everything goes now mind you....


  DieSse 00:03 07 Apr 2003

What you suggested has happened is unlikely.

If the fields are not even displaying, it's probably becuse they have been turned off. Try this -

Right click on the field header for the messages (eg - right-click where it says From). On the context menu, select Fild chooser. This governs what fields you see appertaining to messge headers. Choose the type of field you want from the pull down arrow - choose the actual field you want from the list. Hopefully you can get to your date/time info.

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