Default Location when Saving Attachments in Outlook 2010

If you’re an Outlook 2010 user, you’ve probably noticed that when you save an attachment, it brings up some default file location. Then you have to click through to navigate to the folder where you like to save your files. This was really getting me down and I figured it was one of those small issues that had a solution, so today I finally decided to investigate.

What I found is this KB article entitled How to change the folder where e-mail messages and attachments are saved in Outlook 2003 and in Outlook 2007. The article explains how to add a registry entry so that when you save an attachment, the Save Attachment dialog opens to the default location that you specify. In spite of the title, the process does work with Outlook 2010.

This tip could save you a few seconds each time you save an attachment. I feel my productivity soaring already.

Comments (32)

  1. Phil says:

    While the information here is most appreciated, it beggars belief that more than a decade after Outlook 98, editing the registry is the only method. Surely not. I'm off to keep searching.

    And I noticed while Word 2010 lets one browse to the default save location, Excel 2010 has no browse button. I last cursed the Excel team for that in 2004 when installing Office 2003 around our company.


  2. nobrainer100 says:

    When the save as location box appears, navigate to the folder you want.

    Then right click the left hand column and you can save the location as an option

  3. Jo Mama says:

    You are a genius nobrainer100!  I wasn’t excited to make the registry changes that would change the default save location of all office programs.  Very simple solution.

  4. Bob B says:

    Simple solution????? To Change tgeh Registery.  Give me a break.

    Kind of like putting out a car with a hearter than you have to get out of the car, open the trunk, and turn it on.

  5. Harry D says:

    hmm change Word 2010 to fix Outlook 2010 save location! GREAT catch "nobrainer100" Thanks.

  6. Atron Seige says:

    Thanks for the link Phil. For those who are not 100% sure what the differences are between 2007 and 2010 (apart from the obvious): In Outlook, click on File (top left) and then click Help in the left navigation menu.

    On the right hand side of the page there will be version information, i.e. "Version 14.0.6112.5000". Remember the Major Verion (14). Follow the steps in the artile that Phil posted, but replace the "11" in their example with the Major version that is applicable to your system.


  7. sputterbug10 says:

    Hey nobrainer100, If I right click in the left hand column, which is where the "recent places, computer,libraries" folders are, I get nothing coming up from my click.  What am I doing wrong?

  8. kw says:

    Many thanks for the help…great info. that was easy to follow.

  9. JudyG says:

    @sputterbug10 – i believe they were talking about XP machines.  YOu seem to have Windows 7.  Not sure yet how to do this in 7.

  10. WorkSmartNotHard says:

    Thank you much no brainer.  you're awesome!

  11. RomJ says:

    Just change the default save location in MS Word 2010, and the setting will be applied for Outlook 2010.

  12. bridgecross says:

    @RomJ; not really.

    @nobrainer100; yeah I can't see how to do that in Win7.  Any idea?

  13. DanT says:

    I figured out how to change default for the Outlook 2010 insert directory.  This change is done universally in Word for all Office programs.  Open Word, click file, options, and the button called "Save".  Change the default file location to what you want (browse).  Click "OK" to save the changes.  Now when you save a document or insert something in any of the office programs such as outlook this will be your default file location.    

  14. TrudyC says:

    Hi,  I've tried all of the above and none of the suggestions work!  Help! Please?

  15. Clem says:

    Agree with Trudy.  Changing the location in Word does not change it in Outlook.

  16. JeffP says:

    I followed the kb article from Microsoft and tweaked the registry.  This fixed the problem for adobe .pdf attachments but did not resolve the issue with Word attachments in Outlook 2010.  We are working on Windows 7 Enterprise 64-bit and Office 2010.

  17. tilly says:

    I found something that worked in corporate environment. Now I am and admin but it should work for anybody.

    1-go to "edit", select Preferences.

    2-select from the left pane: Security (enhanced)

    3-click on "add folder path" button just below the big white box

    4-pick a folder of your choice and click "ok". (your selected folder path will appear in that white box above the "add folder path" button in step 3)

    5-if you want to add additional folders, just repeat steps 3 & 4

    6-once you are done, click "ok" on the preferences screen and click "ok" again to accept the changes.

    Credit: see post 59 from:…/797451

  18. says:


    We can change the default save as folder by the steps below:


    Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs.

    1.       In Windows XP, click Start, and click Run. In the Open box, type regedit, and then click OK.

    In Windows Vista/Windows 7, click Start, in the Search box, type regedit and press Enter.

    2.       Locate the following registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerUser Shell Folders

    3.       Double-click Personal in the right pane.

    4.       Change the value to the path you want. For example:

    C:My Attachments, would set the location to the My Attachments folder.

    %USERPROFILE%My Documents, would set it to the My Documents folder on a computer that had more than one user profile.

    5.       On the Registry menu, click Exit.

    6.       Restart Outlook.

    When you open a new mail message and attach a file, the Insert File dialog box opens to the folder you have specified.

    For more information, you can refer to this KB article:

    How to set the default attachment folder in Outlook…/252732

    Please take your time to try the suggestions and let me know the results at your earliest convenience. If anything is unclear or if there is anything I can do for you, please feel free to let me know.

    Best Regards,

    Sally Tang

    Friday, June 25, 2010 6:09 AM

    Reply |Quote |

  19. MIKE JONES says:


  20. Lori says:

    Can't some tech genius out there just write an Outlook add-on that lets a user manage his/her own Outlook file locations.  Surely its much safer to automate the registry edits through an interface.  I'd pay some $$ for that.

  21. Valentino says:

    My own workaround for this is to save the folder location to my favourite folder locations then its a single click away.  That said in my case i have 3 common folder locations i need to save to rather than just 1.

  22. Jeff says:

    Thanks nobrainer100 I won't embarrass you by trying to promote my ignorance by promoting your non ignorance to genius but thanks for that x

  23. DS says:

    Really? "simple" and "edit registry" are not in the same category if you're looking to increase your productivity without having to seek out someone in a corporate environment with Admin permissions…..,

    No Setting Anywhere to change?  I admit I looked everywhere I could think of before doing a google search, but still…. really?  None?

  24. Kunal says:

    Wiorks Buddy, But Unable To Give Dive Location Like Any Other Drive

  25. Adam says:

    I'm not sure whether everyone else is making heavy weather of this, or whether I'm being thick. if the latter, please forgive me.

    I am in Office 2013 Win 8 and could not work out why word documents opened from outlook email attachments refused to default to the directory I had set for saving in word. I was arsing about with the registry  as per the helpful post above when I realised that the registry key was just referring to the User's default documents location in windows. So all you need to do is to change that   by right clicking the documents file in the explorer window then properties>location and resetting to the same destination you have defined in word. Bob's your uncle!

  26. Joe says:

    "So all you need to do is to change that   by right clicking the documents file in the explorer window then properties>location and resetting to the same destination you have defined in word."  confirm working with Win8 and office 2010 but not with Win7 Office 2010.

  27. Samanella says:

    Thanks Adam – your change worked perfectly for me in Windows 8 with Office 2013.

  28. Paddy says:

    Adam, you're a star — that was easy and it WORKED!! A million thanks for making my life instantly better, and my blood pressure waaaay lower than if Microsoft had their way.

  29. Almost there says:

    Adam and Joe, I like your solution but do not see how to change the "location" after getting there under properties.  Can you help?  Using Windows 10.

  30. Dan says:

    I have a related issue with attachments: To save space I have VBA macros, linked to cutsom icons on the quick access toolbar, to save attachments using the standard dialog, delete them from the message and add some text to the end of the message to  record the fact that attachments were deleted. The attachments are saved to a variety of locations on my corporate file system. So far so good. It would be really useful for the text recording the atatchment deletion to include the filepath where it was saved to, but I can't find a way of doing this. I don't have Admin rights as I'm just a user of the corporate network, but I could possibly read the Registry from VBA (I can do this for keys I create in VBA but I haven't tried it for other keys).

    Any suggestions?

  31. Russell Belair says:

    You can change the default "Save As" folder in Outlook 2010 in the registry at HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftOffice14.0OutlookSecurityOutlookSecureTempFolder. Just change the path to one you want to use.

  32. Russell Belair says:

    Sorry I meant to say " Temp Folder"!