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How to backup Outlook data

 All your mail, your contacts, your calendars, and almost every other detail of your life is in Outlook. To make sure you don’t lose all this in case of a hard disk crash or some other disaster, you can create backup copies of your Personal Folders (.pst) files — that’s where Outlook stores all the essential data.

  • Go to your Outlook folder in Windows Explorer:
  • Select File | Data File Management… from the menu in Outlook.
  • Highlight your main data file (typically named Personal Folders).
  • Click Open Folder…
  • Highlight all files ending in “.pst”.
    • Make sure in particular your selection includes “outlook.pst” and “archive.pst”.
    • If you have Windows Explorer configured not to show file extensions for known formats, look for Microsoft Office Outlook Personal Folders files.
  • Select Edit | Copy from the menu to copy the selected files.
  • Open the folder where you want to put your backup copies in Windows Explorer.
    • Ideally, this will be on another computer, on a removable disk stored far away from your home, somewhere on the Internet, or at least on a different hard disk.
  • Select Edit | Paste from the menu to paste your .pst files to the backup location

Restore from Your Outlook Backup

To restore your mail, contacts and other data from a backup copy of an Outlook PST file:

  • Select File | Import and Export… from the menu in Outlook.
  • Select Import from another program or file.
  • Click Next.
  • Highlight Personal Folder File (PST).
  • Click Next again.
  • Now use the Browse button to select the backup copy of the PST file you want to recover from your backup location.
  • Make sure Replace duplicates with items imported is selected.
  • Click Next.
  • Finish the import process with Finish.

Usually, the default import settings work fine, but you may want to tweak them to suit your needs.

About Mohammad Khazab

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