Change Outlook's Default Attachment Folder

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I just realized something: Outlook is impeding my workflow! No, not by being slow and bloated--I've accepted that. I'm talking about how it handles attachments.

Specifically, when I click the little paper clip to add an attachment to an outgoing e-mail, I'm automatically directed to the My Documents folder. Well, guess what, I store most of my data in a root folder called, aptly enough, Data.

Thus, it takes me two extra clicks to get to the folder that stores 95% of the files I routinely attach. Two! Fortunately, a simple Registry tweak can change Outlook's default attachment directory.

1. Click Start, then Run.

2. Type regedit, and then click OK.

3. Locate this registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders

4. In the right-hand pane, double-click Personal.

5. Type the new path you want. In my case, it was C:\Data.

6. Exit the Registry and restart Outlook.

That's all there is to it! Note that when you go to attach a file, Outlook will still show My Documents in the Look in field, but you should see the contents of your newly selected default folder below that.

Also, this works in Outlook 2003, but I don't know for certain if the process is identical for Outlook 2007. If you use the latter and can give it a try, leave a comment with the results!

Update: Warning! After making this change to the Registry, my music library suddenly disappeared from iTunes. Fortunately, undoing the change solved the problem, but I recommend avoiding this hack until further notice.

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