Change Mac Mail and Outlook 2011 file location

Apple does not seem to give details about this. If you dont want the mail files to be on your main drive you can change this by creating a symbolic link. Dont worry it is very easy.

Where are all the Mail files on a Mac?
They are located at ~/Library/Mail (~/ represents your home directory — /Users/YOURUSER )

Before doing anything close your Mail App or Outlook 2011 if you have them open.
To change this to something else you have to first move your mail folder to wherever you want.
The command line command for that is: mv ~/Library/Mail WHERE/YOU WANT/TO MOVE IT
You can also move your files in finder.

After this you just have to create the symbolic link. Open the Console.
The command is: ln -s path/to/where/you/moved/mail/ ~/Library/Mail

After this is done you can open up Mail or Outlook and all your files will be there.

If you have any problems with this or any questions use the comment box below. Good luck!

  • winston

    The symlink icon showed up. But when I relaunch Outlook 2011, it had to rebuild the database at the original location (as opposed to the new location). As a result, the folder in new location isn’t being used (I think).

    How do I correctly point Outlook 2011 to go to the new location?

    • adriancoroian

      A symlink is something that will be transparent to Outlook. If you double click on the symlink and open that folder it should take you to the location where you moved the files. You must have named the symlink something different from what the folder name was before.