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Outlook 2010 problems with default data file RRS feed

  • Question

  • I find it incredible nobody at MS can answer a straight forward question. I cannot change my default data file because that option is greyed out. I have created new Email accounts but when I highlight them and try to change them with set as default that option is greyed out!!!!! I even deleted the Email account associated with the default data file thinking that would get rid of the associated data file but it does not. I have followed all of the online suggestions I can find and still the default data file I want to delete stays. I am about out of patience with Microsoft and with Outlook as my default email program and will use another product. I find it odd that as a general rule Microsoft  support is the worst place to get help. You keep referring us back to information that is little to no help at all. I tried 2 times to upload an image of my problem it was only 47kbs and after 5 minutes gave up, thanks for the help!!!
    Friday, November 1, 2013 10:14 AM

Answers

  • You can't change a POP account to use an Imap OST file as the default data file. If for no other reason, Imap accounts do not have their own contact/calendar folders (nothing to do with Outlook - everything to do Imap).

    You also cannot change the datastore associated with an Imap account. If you have more then one Imap account - you will have multiple data files - each account having it's own data file.

    None of this has anything at all to do with Win8 or any other OS.

    In answer to the question of how to configure Outlook similar to a "first run" - simply use the Control Panel <Mail> app (with Outlook closed) and create a new Outlook profile making it the default when completed. If using the Control Panel Category view - Mail app is found under <User Accounts & Family Safety>. Re-installing Win8 would be a pointless exercise and uninstall/re-installing Outlook would be equally unproductive since Outlook profiles persist installations.


    Karl Timmermans [Outlook MVP] "Outlook Contact Import/Export/Data Mgmt" http://www.contactgenie.com

    • Marked as answer by Steve Fan Tuesday, November 12, 2013 5:54 AM
    Monday, November 4, 2013 4:31 AM

All replies

  • First step in obtaining an answer is providing all the relevant information particularly when multiple email accounts are involved. Specifically

    #1 - "Type" of email accounts (POP, Imap, Mapi, Exchange)
    #2 - Current "default" email account type?
    #3 - Current "default" data file type which is associated with which account(s)?

    General info/suggestion

    a) deleting email accounts never deletes the data files that were in use by the account
    b) you can't change the default data file for an Imap account (as a for instance)
    c) stating that you "have followed all the online suggestions" provides absolutely no information - no one has any idea of "what suggestions were followed" and more importantly "to what specific question/problem/issue those suggestions applied to"


    Karl Timmermans [Outlook MVP] "Outlook Contact Import/Export/Data Mgmt" http://www.contactgenie.com

    Friday, November 1, 2013 10:22 PM
  • In the Data Files tab I have a pop/smtp file (frontier.com) and an imap/smtp file (Gmail.com).  They are both located in the default Outlook folder in C:\Users\(user name\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook. The frontier.com data file is set as the default data file and when I select the Gmail data file the "set as default" option greys out so I cannot change from the frontier.com data file. If I delete or move the frontier data file folder, then close Outlook, the next time I open Outlook it gives me the opportunity to change folders, but what ever I change to becomes the default folder and I still cannot change to the Gmail data file.  When I send and receive mail I get an error (Task  username (ampersand).frontier.com - Sending' reported error (0X8004010F): outlook data file cannot be accessed.') The Gmail.com mail account is associated with the Gmail.com data file because when I try to delete the data file I get a warning I have to delete the Gmail .com mail account. Is there any way I can delete Outlook and all associated files and folders (registry entries too) and then reinstall like the 1st time I installed Outlook?  I really don't want to reinstall Windows 8 Pro to fix this nagging problem, somebody at Microsoft ought to be smart enough to figure this out.  Another thing to note, when I delete the Gmail email account the Gmail data file gets deleted from the data file tab. Let me know if you need more info
    Monday, November 4, 2013 3:42 AM
  • You can't change a POP account to use an Imap OST file as the default data file. If for no other reason, Imap accounts do not have their own contact/calendar folders (nothing to do with Outlook - everything to do Imap).

    You also cannot change the datastore associated with an Imap account. If you have more then one Imap account - you will have multiple data files - each account having it's own data file.

    None of this has anything at all to do with Win8 or any other OS.

    In answer to the question of how to configure Outlook similar to a "first run" - simply use the Control Panel <Mail> app (with Outlook closed) and create a new Outlook profile making it the default when completed. If using the Control Panel Category view - Mail app is found under <User Accounts & Family Safety>. Re-installing Win8 would be a pointless exercise and uninstall/re-installing Outlook would be equally unproductive since Outlook profiles persist installations.


    Karl Timmermans [Outlook MVP] "Outlook Contact Import/Export/Data Mgmt" http://www.contactgenie.com

    • Marked as answer by Steve Fan Tuesday, November 12, 2013 5:54 AM
    Monday, November 4, 2013 4:31 AM
  • So if I get this right, if I had 2 pop/smtp accounts, then I would be able to switch from 1 pop/smtp data file to the other pop/smtp  data file account. I think it has finally sunk in. Thank you very much for your patience and persistence in this matter.  I really appreciate your help.  If I run into any more issues I will be sure to post it here because I think you really know your stuff. Have a nice day!
    Monday, November 4, 2013 6:35 AM
  • So if I get this right, if I had 2 pop/smtp accounts, then I would be able to switch from 1 pop/smtp data file to the other pop/smtp  data file account.
    You have it right. Just one additional item, you can configure any new POP account to use an existing PST file which is an option when configuring the account - just need to pay attention to it otherwise Outlook will create a new PST file by default.

    Karl Timmermans [Outlook MVP] "Outlook Contact Import/Export/Data Mgmt" http://www.contactgenie.com

    Monday, November 4, 2013 6:47 AM
  • One more question... How do I open Outlook and have the Gmail inbox displayed. Right now Gmail is my default mail account but when I open Outlook the Gmail account is collapsed and I have to open it manually to show the folders. Is the default pop/smpt account the only one that Outlook opens to the inbox?
    Tuesday, November 5, 2013 10:01 AM
  • Never mind! After checking out all the tabs (Options, Advanced, Outlook Start and Exit) in Outlook I found where to open the inbox of my Gmail account.
    Tuesday, November 5, 2013 10:10 AM
  • You are the one that is not helpful. You are attacking a user that is genuinely frustrated. Your attitude has no place in a help forum.
    Wednesday, February 17, 2016 10:13 PM
  • You are the one that is not helpful. You are attacking a user that is genuinely frustrated. Your attitude has no place in a help forum.

    Earth to where ever you are - what are you talking about/referring to? Rhetorical question - no response expected desired since am not going to get into any kind of on-going back and forth debate about your post. The rest of the thread speaks for itself.

    The attacks in my answers in this thread must have been really negative and unhelpful to get the following response from the person asking the questions:

    "Thank you very much for your patience and persistence in this matter.  I really appreciate your help.  If I run into any more issues I will be sure to post it here because I think you really know your stuff. Have a nice day!"

    Now if you are having a particularly bad day being frustrated with some kind of Outlook problem - suggest you post that in your own separate thread with its own problem description. You can absolutely rest assured that I'll let someone else deal with it :-).



    Karl Timmermans [Outlook MVP] "Outlook Contact Import/Export/Data Mgmt" http://www.contactgenie.com

    • Proposed as answer by mrbadabing Monday, September 12, 2016 12:32 AM
    • Unproposed as answer by mrbadabing Monday, September 12, 2016 12:32 AM
    Wednesday, February 17, 2016 10:54 PM
  • Ummm. yeah... Sorry, I persistently see these Default data file issues appear when I migrate or import PSTs to accounts set up be it pop3 or IMAP. Why would anyone use pop3 anymore unless they only ever us 1 client application to access their mail?

    Outlook is a sketchy email client at best. I've been designing topology, architecting messaging environments amd administering for 25 years. In all my time, I have seen every type of email client, ccMail, Groupwise, Outlook, Lotus Notes, you name it, right back to Infoman/VMS mainframe green screens. And none have annoyed me more than Outlook.

    I have had these same issues over and over and over again with default data files being locked when multiple accounts are associated with Outlook. Especially with imports or migrated PST files. Simple solution, use another email client, or OWA. MS do some nice products, but always over complicate, and Windows 10 sandbox VM is a well marketed idea, and good in theory. Until it goes to sh*t, and causes all kind of grief.

    Buddy, use another email client, unless your enterprise is married to outlook. Hey, use another OS, and be happy. Teach yourself something easier, like unix lol

    What cracks me up about this thread is where are the MS techs answers??? None. A Vendor who sells migration product is replying...

    What does Windows being the most popular operating system in the world prove? Guess. Go on. Try.

    It proves how utterly sheep like people are and how vulnerable they are to marketing. Bill, you're a wet sock who has stained the world with colander like products. Full of holes.

    Monday, September 12, 2016 12:44 AM
  •  

    What cracks me up about this thread is where are the MS techs answers??? None. A Vendor who sells migration product is replying...


    A "migration" product? Really? Didn't know that - I learn something new everyday :-)  - guess we have a different definition of the word "migration" given that CG products have absolutely nothing to do with "migration" - something that would have been blatantly obvious for someone with 25 yrs of experience who also supposedly has significant knowledge of/experience with Outlook. BTW - importing PST files is generally a completely wrong approach when moving from one machine to another and is equally unnecessary when preforming an in-place "Outlook" upgrade.

    As for your sentence "I have had these same issues over and over and over again with default data files being locked when multiple accounts are associated with Outlook." - perhaps you can clarify that comment with something based in reality using specifics such as the types of email accounts involved. The only PST data file that cannot be set as the default is one associated with an IMAP data account for email folders so have to wonder about actual Outlook experience cause there is otherwise nothing "locked" in terms of setting an Outlook "default data file".

    So in closing - the purpose of your post to a 3+ yr old thread (your only post since being a member since '2010) was what exactly (other then a pointless rant)?



    Karl Timmermans [Outlook MVP] "Outlook Contact Import/Export/Data Mgmt" http://www.contactgenie.com

    Monday, September 12, 2016 1:28 AM
  • The only PST data file that cannot be set as the default is one associated with an IMAP data account for email folders

    Although this thread is old, it was the first I came across when trying to understand what Outlook (2010) was doing under W10.  I had what I think is a similar situation to the OP: a default data file (.pst) set to a file in My Documents, which could not be removed, and a mail delivery file in my user profile under Appdata/Local... which could not be set as default, nor changed to another location.

    I simply wanted to only have one file (to simplify backups), and could not achieve this.  I deleted the mail account and created a new one, and Outlook automatically created a default .pst data file in my documents.  When I then set up the account to access my Gmail Imap account, Outlook automatically set this to deliver to another .pst file in my profile (which explains how the original situation came about).  Nothing I have found fully  explains why two files are necessary, except a comment on another forum that Outlook needs to create its 'data' file to store info that Imap mail doesn't understand (contacts and calendar). 

    I think what frustrates many users (myself included) is that it is so difficult to find these things out.  It would be nice if Outlook could explain why it does what it does/did - and its built-in help is faily useless.  Having come from earlier versions of Office, it seems more & more that any help documentation is so generic as to be useless.  Anyway, thank you for trying to help, and pointing me in the right direction with the comment above.

    Thanks, Martin Gerhold


    Friday, September 16, 2016 12:51 PM
  • I think what frustrates many users (myself included) is that it is so difficult to find these things out.  It would be nice if Outlook could explain why it does what it does/did - and its built-in help is faily useless.

    What data files get created depends on 2 primary factors (1) - the protocol used for the account and (2) the sequence in which the accounts are configured.

    A quick summary of the different protocols and their associated data files

    POP3 - one PST file - all data local - only the <Inbox> data gets downloaded - multiple POP3 accounts can use a single PST file for the delivery of <Inbox> data

    IMAP - in OL'2010 (and earlier) if the account is the first configured, 2 PST data files
    (1) for the email data which is a mirror of the contents on the server which gets sync'd. Gets created automatically anytime the account is configured or the file not found.
    (2) to store default contact/calendar folder data since these items are not sync'd as part of the IMAP protocol (not anything that is Outlook specific). In OL'2013+ - all data is stored in one .OST file with contact/calendar data files having the additional description of "This Computer Only" (not something I consider to be a particularly smart design choice)

    MAPI - for accounts configured using the Outlook Hotmail Connector in OL'2010 (and earlier) for Outlook.com accounts. One .ost file for all data which is a mirror of what is contained on the server. Gets created automatically anytime the account is configured or the file not found. The Outlook Hotmail Connector is not used in OL'2013+ or for any Outlook.com account on the Office 365 backend EX platform

    Exchange ActiveSync/Exchange - one .ost file per account for all data which is a mirror of what is contained on the server. Gets created automatically anytime the account is configured or the file not found.

    Some background articles that cover Outlook email account creation and data files (you can ignore the word "Migration" in title the first 2 articles)
     
    Understanding Outlook Migration - Part 2 - Data Files
    http://www.contactgenie.info/understanding-outlook-migration-data-files
     
    Understanding Outlook Migration - Part 3 - Email Account Creation
    http://www.contactgenie.info/understanding-outlook-migration-email-account-creation
     
    Understanding Outlook PST and OST Data Files
    http://www.contactgenie.info/understanding-outlook-pst-ost-files
     
    How to Find & Copy the Right Outlook PST Files
    http://www.contactgenie.info/how-to-find-right-outlook-pst-files
     
    How to Protect Outlook '2013/'2016 Imap Contact/Calendar Data
    http://www.contactgenie.info/how-to-protect-outlook-this-computer-only-data


    Karl Timmermans [Outlook MVP] "Outlook Contact Import/Export/Data Mgmt" http://www.contactgenie.com

    Friday, September 16, 2016 5:30 PM
  • What data files get created depends on 2 primary factors (1) - the protocol used for the account and (2) the sequence in which the accounts are configured.

    A quick summary of the different protocols and their associated data files <snip>

    Thanks for that - bookmarking now. It even makes sense (to me): the default data file (with the relativel small amount of data associated with contacts etc) is in (the relocated) 'Documents', where my backup process can deal with it, and the larger email mirror (which doesn't need backing up) in Appdata, which folder my backup ignores (I let system images take care of it).

    Sorry for late response, I now have to find the setting that emails me when a reply is made...

    Thursday, November 17, 2016 10:59 AM
  • I have the same problem and so frustrated

    Tuesday, January 17, 2017 9:06 AM
  • Outlook 2010 problems with default data file, I can understand you are facing common occur of Outlook account but no stress and use a simple tips to resolve to your hitch.
    1. Configuration error
    2. Virus attacks
    3. Conflicting application
    4. Server stop working
    5. Etc.

    If you have problem to solve this issue then you can find out solution by this article: https://www.gaintools.com/blog/ost-file-is-in-use-and-cant-be-accessed/

    Wednesday, November 21, 2018 4:51 AM