Personal folders are files that you create on your hard drive to store email messages. Personal folders have a .pst extension, and are often called .pst files. You can find out if you have a personal folder by looking at your folder list in Outlook. Personal folders are often named Archive or Personal folder. Personal folders do not always show up in Outlook, so it is also a good idea to search your computer for personal folders.
By default, Outlook saves .pst files in a hidden location on your computer. The default location is:
C:\Documents and Settings\User Name\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook,
where User Name is the user name you log on to your computer with. To go to this location, you will need to first turn on your hidden files and folders. See instructions below.
Unless you designated to save your personal folder in a specific location it is probably saved in Outlook's default location. Follow the instructions below to find out where your personal folder is saved:
You may have Outlook Personal Folders (.pst files) saved on your computer and not realize it. Even if the file does not show up in Outlook, it could still hold some of your old email. You can search your computer for personal folders.
Before you can search for a .pst file, you will need to make your hidden files and folders visible. Personal Folders are often saved in a hidden folder.
After you have turned on your hidden files and folders, you can search your computer for any .pst files.
If your personal folder is in the default location, then you should consider moving it. The default location makes it difficult to back up your personal folder, so it is a good idea to store it in your My Documents folder, or another easy to access location. Moving your personal folder is a multi-step process.
Note: Sometimes cutting and pasting this file works, and sometimes it does not. After you have pasted the file into the new location you can delete the old file from the old location. It is a good idea to open the personal folder (the one in the new location) in Outlook before you delete the copy in the old location. Close Outlook before you delete the copy in the old location.