How to Backup Outlook

Microsoft Outlook stores all your Email, Email Folders, Contacts (Address Book), Calendar and ToDo Lists

Outlook Hints and Tips

Take a moment to reflect on how damaging it could be if you lost all that.

Here are instructions on how to back all this up...

How do you know whether you use Microsoft Outlook?  Depending on your version the icon looks something like one of these...

Outlook 2003    Outlook 2007    outlook 2010    outlook 2013

Notice the golden clock icon has been redically re-designed to the blue envelope in the latest Outlook 2013

If you use a POP email account (the standard most common type of email) all of your Emails, Attachments on Emails, Email Folders, Contacts, Calendar and ToDo Lists are stored in one file called a PST file.  The trick is to find where that file is stored and make a copy of it to another location or onto another storage device.

Let's start with the easiest.

Outlook 2010, 2013 with Windows 7 or 8

First ensure you have closed Outlook

It is most likely that your PST files are stored in Documents in a folder called Outlook Files

Look for any big files in this folder (it may just be the name of your email address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..pst  or just Outlook.pst)
hint: If you use the 'details' view sort the files in order of the most recently updated first it will probably have today's date (if you used Outlook today)
You might see more than one file - e.g.  archive.pst or other Outlook Data Files

For good measure copy all of the PST files in this folder to a removable device (like a USB storage device or pen)
If you use a USB pen - plug it into another computer and copy the PST files to folder called My Outlook Backup.

If you have an older computer e.g.

Windows 7 or Vista with Outlook 2003 or 2007

Your Outlook PST files are likely to by hidden in your user folders

1. Click the circular Windows Start button

2. Click Run and type this into the box %localappdata%\Microsoft\Outlook\ then press the Enter key

3. Windows Explorer should open the Outlook folder

4. Look for any big files in this folder (it may just be called Outlook.pst)
hint: If you use the 'details' view sort the files in order of the most recently updated first it will probably have today's date (if you used Outlook today)
You might see more than one file - e.g. archive.pst

5. For good measure copy all of the PST files in this folder to a removable device (like a USB storage device or pen)
If you use a USB pen - plug it into another computer and copy the PST files to folder called My Outlook Backup.

Windows XP with Outlook2000, XP, 2003 or 2007

Again make sure before you start - that Outlook is closed

1. Click the Green Windows Start button

2. Click Run and type this into the box %appdata%\Microsoft\Outlook\ then press the Enter key

3. Windows Explorer should open the Outlook folder

4. Look for any big files in this folder (it may just be called Outlook.pst)
hint: If you use the 'details' view sort the files in order of the most recently updated first it will probably have today's date (if you used Outlook today)
You might see more than one file - e.g. archive.pst

5. For good measure copy all of the PST files in this folder to a removable device (like a USB storage device or pen)
If you use a USB pen - plug it into another computer and copy the PST files to folder called My Outlook Backup.

Not Confident or Sure about Backing Up Outlook?

Contact us and we can show you how to do it via our remote help service.

How often should you Backup Outlook?

The question could asked slightly differently.  What time span of emails would you be OK to lose?  7 days? 1 day? 3 hours?

There is a much simpler solution...

If you had an Xmail account it constantly backs up all of your Outlook to your Cloud Server Moment by Moment.  So there would be no need for you to carry out the manual backup procedure described above.

Click here to read more about the benefits of Xmail

Xmail