How to make your IMAP email your default data account in Outlook 2007

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Dear Diane, I believe you've written about this before. I know that if you have an IMAP email account, Outlook will not all you to set the data file for that email as the default data folder from which emails, that are sent and received, are stored. I believe this is because, among other things, the emails are saved elsewhere, such as on a web based server like GoDaddy. Hence, Outlook will automatically create a personal .pst folder for the user to set as the default data folder.

I believe there is a way of forcing Outlook to save emails that are sent and received to the IMAP folder by default, and that is by going into the registry if I'm not mistaken. I am trying to use a third party software that will track incoming and outgoing emails to specific files on the software. However, I've run into a glitch because of the problem I mentioned above. Please direct me to that article or thread where you addressed the issue. Greatly appreciated. George from Los Angeles, CA
Received mail should always stay in the imap account. Sent items would go into the local sent folder, but beginning in Outlook 2007, you can set the sent folder to use. Go to Tools, Account Settings, double click on the imap account then click More Settings. Choose the Sent folder on the Folders tab.

Sent items - imap account
Thanks. I tried that and it still doesn't work in the way I want the program to work. What happens is that when I initially create the first imap email account, Outllook creates two imap data folders, one other than the email account which it sets as the default data folder. Outlook won't allow me to delete this other data folder, because it knows that what I would be doing is making the default data folder the same as the email account which I've just established. I know that is the way it is supposed to happen, I was just trying to see if there was a way around that, that is, by forcing it to make the imap email account the default date account. One thing I am wondering is whether I could set-up Outlook with no outllook profiles and possibly migrate my imap email from its webmail account, assuming the webmail account has a setting that allows that. Thanks. George
It's not creating two imaps, it's creating an imap pst for mail and a default folder for calendar and contacts.

You need the calendar and contacts data file since you can't keep them in the imap folders.

if you download full messages, you can open the imap data file in a different profile.
Is there anyway to make the IMAP email account the default account as opposed to the IMAP calendar/contacts account that Outlook creates or points to? Does Outlook 2010 allow you to do this?
No, sorry there is not.
Thank you. You're right as always. There is, apparently, one way around the issue, and that is to have your web server somehow download or create a data file that can be saved in the Outlook Data File Folder. Apparently, this can be done if someone had iCloud. Hence, the individual with whom I am dealing has an imap email account, which I guess is hosted or somehow associated with his iCloud account, and he has in the data file list the iCloud email -- which I assume is where his emails are actually being stored -- as his default data folder account. Have you heard this being done before? I asked him to send me a screen shot of his data folder which I can share with you once I receive it. Thanks. George

P.S. Upgraded to Outlook 2010. Nice interface.
outlook screen capture.PNGHere is the screen shot. So, the email jasonsanluis@[etc] is an imap account. George
iCloud is calendar and contacts only, not email. It can be set as default, but only if you use POP3. You can't use it with imap accounts.

Your friend has Outlook 2013. You can set any imap account as the default in Outlook 2013 as it can store calendar and contacts. It's not without issues - and its very easy to lose your calendar and contacts if you don't export them to a backup file. I have more information on this at What you need to know about imap accounts in outlook 2013
Does it make any difference that the default data folder is an .ost folder? IF so, I guess I should assume that I can't simply create one of my own. Amy I correct?
the reason it works in 2013 is because imap accounts use an ost now. And no, you can't change what is used in outlook 2010. you'd need outlook 2013.
Thanks Diane. How about this, can't I set a registry value to always force the use of the default account to be the imap account associated with the imap email account?
How many accounts are in your profile? In Outlook 2007, the default account is always the default, in Outlook 2010 you can use a reg key to make it behave like the older versions. See Default account and multiple accounts for the key.
O.k. I believe three When I go to the Account Settings window, which shows the E-mail accounts you can add or remove under the E-mail tab, I have 3: (1); (2) Fax Mail Transport; and (3) Website Mail. The first Email account is my IMAP/SMTP account which is set as my default account from which emails are sent. However, as you have previously explained, it is not set as my default data file because it is IMAP. The default account/file is a Personal Folders account/file which is C:\Users\George\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook2.pst. Now, if you were to open the file location for any of the Data Files that are showing in window, you would go to the Outlook folder where all my .pst data files are located. Interestingly, my primary IMAP Email, which is, is identified in the data file folder at This is the one I can't set as my default data file although I would like to. In other words, for this third party application to properly sync with Outlook, it must point to its own Outlook data file which is not associated with the IMAP for calendars and contacts. I believe when you create an IMAP email account, IMAP protocol will create two Outlook data files: (i) Mail and (ii) Calendar/Contacts. I need to have the Mail data file made as the default, and I was wondering if we can force it to do it by tweaking the registry. Alternatively, which I think is where you may be going, should I had another Outllook profile and, well, you would have to fill in the blank as that way beyond me. Thanks Diane!!
No, you cannot set the imap folder as default, only data files not used for IMAP email. Sorry.

You may need a different profile - what exactly are you trying to accomplish?
Thanks Diane. To be truthful, I don't know. I am simply trying to get just one function of this software I have been using to sync with Outlook. Specifically, the way it works is that when I send an email, or receive an email, the software application is supposed to prompt me and ask whether I want to save the email, sent or received, to a specific case matter. I don't quite understand the intricacies behind how it is supposed to work, or why it can't work without the IMAP email being the default data folder. I think it has something to do with the fact that, with the IMAP email accounts, the mail is saved on the web based server and the third party application wants it to be saved on the computer system itself, so it can track what comes in and what goes out. Again, not sure why it can't do it with the default data folder being something other than the IMAP email which I've set as my default email account. And I'm not sure why I can't simply copy the data file which is associated with my IMAP email and duplicate it in the data file folder, and have one of the two data folders saved as the default. Shouldn't that work? Anyway, I think I'm about to give up. Not sure I want to get Outlook 2013 given some concerns that I've heard about it. George
Without knowing more about the software , its hard to say if it will work. Sorry. I'm guessing it watches the folders in the default data file and that is why it won't work with imap.
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