Microsoft Outlook Default Location For Attached Files

If you use Outlook 07 for your primary email program as I do at work and have to send a lot of attachments to others, this little 1 minute fixer-upper could save you hours of clicking over the long haul. After being fed up with the default “Documents” folder it opens on Windows 7 and having to needlessly click around to get to the “Desktop” folder, I started digging and found a couple different ways via the Registry to alter this path. Since I’m a fan of fixing one thing now instead of tirelessly putting up with the 2 seconds it removes from my day, I experimented with the below fixes and am happy to report success.

The Hidden Corners Of The Registry

Based on this type of alteration, one would assume that if you are digging this deep you have played in the Registry before. If not, there are some things you need to be aware of. It is always a good idea to make a backup of the entire Registry should anything happen so it can be replaced. Working in the Registry can severely mess up Windows so pay close attention to what you are doing and follow the directions step by step to avoid any conflicts. Both procedures outlined below only have you creating one Registry file calling for Outlook to reference a different default location. Since we are not deleting/moving any other keys, this should in theory either make Outlook perform the way we want or have no effect at all. I can’t stress enough to be careful when altering the Registry. Keep note of your changes while inside and follow these steps and you should be on your way to having Outlook work the way YOU want it other than the other way around.

Access the Registry

– Open the Command Prompt(Win Key + R, Start button and click Run, or Win Key or Click Start and type Run) and type regedit

You will likely see 5 HKEY folders under Computer

– Click on the HKEY_Current_User folder

– Then Click on theses folders in this order Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders

After having User Shell Folders highlighted, you should see a list of keys in the right-hand pane which denotes the default path of each of those locations, such as the My Music, My Pictures, and Downloads folders.

– Double Click on Personal

– Copy the current location to a Notepad Doc and save it in case you want to go back to it later

– Change the path to whatever you want. I chose “C:\User\Admin\Desktop” so every time I try to send an attachment, it will open up there.

Exit regedit and close and reopen Outlook. Try sending a new message and go to pic an attachment. It should now open to where ever you specified.


This was tested using Outlook 07 but is verified in 03 as well. There is also a minor caveat as to having Office/Word being your default email editor, which with other options such as OpenOffice may not be the case. If so, follow the below path to change your default location.

– HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Outlook\Options

– Right Click in the right-hand pane and pick New>String Value, use as the name of the value DefaultPath.

– Enter the new default path you want and restart Outlook/close regedit.

Using one of these two methods should take care of your previous issue. If not or neither do, go back in and delete the newly created keys as to not clutter up your Registry. As stated, this worked for me running 7 64 bit and Outlook 07. Different OSes will populate the registry differently as well as different versions of Outlook so further research may be needed if using a newer/older version or Outlook or an older OS.

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