I receive dozens of reports from my staff members, sometimes
in the body of e-mail messages and sometimes in attached documents. To store
this critical information, I’ve found that it works best to immediately save
the items to my hard drive. Unfortunately, Outlook 2003 defaults to My
Documents, which is not where I keep things. So every time I do a save, I have
to switch to my Reports folder. I went to Tools | Options and looked on every
tab, but I can’t find the setting that controls Outlook’s default location for
saving items.


The key to specifying a default folder for saving e-mail
messages and attachments is, well, a registry
key. You just need to add a string value under HKEY_CurrentUser. First, the
obligatory warning:


This technique involves just a simple registry modification,
but it’s still possible to make a mistake along the way—and that could mean
having to reinstall the OS. Be sure you back up the registry before you modify

To add your default folder specification to the registry,
follow these steps:

  1. On the
    taskbar, click Start | Run, type regedit
    in the Run dialog box, and click OK.
  2. In the
    registry editor, drill down to this subkey:

HKEY_CURRENT USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Outlook\Options

  1. Right-click
    on Options, choose New | String Value, type DefaultPath, and press [Enter].
  2. Double-click
    the DefaultPath icon to open the Edit String dialog box.
  3. In the
    Value Data text box, enter the path to the folder you want to use as your
    default for saving e-mails and attachments (Figure A).
  4. Click
    OK and then close the Registry Editor.

Figure A

Enter the path to the folder you want to set as your default.

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