Thoughts, information and reflections about technology

Backing up PST files using the FILE EXPORT feature of Outlook

Many people will have invaluable information stored in Outlook. … Calendars, Contacts, emails, notes and more.  They often have no backups of this file, especially in the case of home or home office users. They don’t realize how vulnerable they are till the experience a lost or corrupted PST file.

I back up my PST files by simply doing a File export. This is a manual process but, once you have done it a few times, it is almost effortless.

1. Go to FILE IMPORT AND EXPORT
2. Choose EXPORT TO A FILE
3. Choose PERSONAL FOLDER FILE PST
4. Select the root of your outlook. (Usually Personal Folders) Otherwise you will only be backing up one folder
5. Check INCLUDE SUBFOLDERS
6. Give the file a name
7. I don’t think the replace duplicates really matters
8. The export may take a while. I have an 800 MB PST and it takes over 15 to 20 minutes to run the backup. When you are done, Check the file sizes to ensure that you have all the data. The file sizes of the PST you are using for Outlook should be very close to the file size of the PST you create.
9. Make sure you save or copy the PST to a location other than the source computer.

If you ever need to use the backup, You can copy it to the computer with outlook. Then you simply open the file in outlook.

In the event you lose something like one contact, you can temporarily open up an older backup in outlook., find the contact in question, and copy it to your regular Outlook PST file.

There is also a free utility from Microsoft that will create regular, automatic backups of your PST file.

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