Backing up Outlook Data

How do I backup Outlook Data?

Backing up Outlook is actually a really simple thing to do; just copy the pst-file to you “safe” location.

Ok, this will make you wonder some other things of course in terms of what, where and how.

What?
The pst-file is the main file Outlook will keep its data in; received items, sent items, contacts, appointments, tasks, notes and journal items are all kept in a single file. In Outlook 2007 even your RSS feeds are kept in there.
Although I said single file, you of course can have multiple pst-files in your configuration like for instance an archive file. So with that said; make sure you backup all your pst-files.

Where?
By default the pst-file is kept in the following location;

  • Windows XP
    C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook
  • Windows Vista
    C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook

Note that these are hidden folders but you can directly cut & paste or type these locations in the Address Bar in Explorer to open these folders.

Another way to see where your pst-files are located is to open Outlook and choose File-> Data File Management.

How?
Nothing special. Once you’ve located your pst-file you can copy them like any other file. Just make sure Outlook is closed.

You can also use the free Personal Folders Addin from Microsoft to locate the pst-files for you, remind you every few days and copy them to your safe location with a single click.

For additional backup and restore scenarios also see this backup guide.

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