Thursday, April 10, 2014

Moving data files for Outlook 2012 for the Mac

This maybe a somewhat unusual issue of my own making, but my blog can sometimes be simply a cool place that I note things down.

I use Windows 8.1 for a desktop but my treasured laptop is a MacBook Air. In both case I use Google GDrive as a synchronization technology. The unusual thing about me is that I don't like the idea of having a special folder for 'the cloud'. I like to arrange my documents folder like this:



It doesn't make sense to me to have:


and then also have:


To simplify things I just sync the whole thing, so on my Windows machine 'D:\My Documents" does not contain a GDrive folder, it *is* the GDrive folder. Like wise on the Mac the '/users/mickputley/documents' folder does not contain a GDrive folder, it *is* the GDrive folder.

The slight problem is Outlook 2012 for the Mac. When I setup my Outlook on my Windows workstation I can easily control where the PST file is housed for my account, or even if I forget I can move it and repoint the application using the GUI. On the Mac it places it in: '/users/mickputley/documents/Microsoft User Data/' whether I like it or not and you cannot change it in the GUI.

So why should I care? Well, since that default path is in my GDrive folder, every time I send or recieve emails it has to sun that to the cloud and I don't want that since my other device in the cloud in a PC and doesn't even understand the format of this bogus data. There are much better ways of having my email available on both my Mac and Windows workstation without trying to share a synchronized database.

OK, finally the problem statement is over! Here comes the anti-climax - the solution is simple! Just move it!

Be sure to quit Outlook.
Open up a Terminal. [Press (CommandKey) + (SpaceBar), then type: "terminal"]

cd ~/Documents
mv “Microsoft User Data” ~/Library/Preferences/

In this case, as you can see I have moved the data to '/users/mickputley/Library/Preference'
Note the use of '~' which is configured to be '/users/mickputley/' or whatever is the user folder of the logged on user.
I'll always try to be honest on my blog - When you next run Outlook, I am not sure how it knows that you have moved its database and how it finds the database in the new location… very clever.

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