Backing up your email accounts regularly is a pretty important task and a safety measure in case something goes wrong and you cannot access the account anymore. Most users collect emails over the years and keep them just like they would keep letters that have been sent to them by friends and relatives.
Losing those emails, apart from business correspondences, account information and recipes, would be an irreparable loss without a backup on another drive or media.
This can be especially problematic if web mail is used exclusively as you do not have control over mail stored on a remote server.
Microsoft Outlook Personal Folders Backup is a backup application designed by Microsoft to backup Personal Folders Files, also called .pst files. It is compatible to Outlook 2002, 2003 and 2007 and every operating system these have been designed for.
A pst file includes Outlook folder data and the mails those folders include:
Each .PST file contains all of your Outlook folders, including the Inbox, Calendar, and Contacts. You can have a single .PST file (usually called "Internet Folders" or "Personal Folders" in your Folder List), but you might also have an additional .PST file that you use for archiving ("Archiving Folders"). Personal Folders Backup lets you back up any or all of these .PST files.
The program can be started with a click on File > Backup in Outlook in the program interface. A click on Options presents a list of all available .pst files of which all or some can be included in the backup. Afterwards a location for the backup has to be selected. I would suggest to burn the backup to CD or DVD, or transfer it to an external hard drive or Flash drive for extra security.
A reminder can be set as well which reminds the user every xx days that a new backup is due. The backup can then be created, or saved as it is called in the application which writes it to the location specified in the options. The same menu provides the option to load a backup into Outlook.
The backup program is not compatible with newer versions of Outlook unfortunately, but for that, you can use Mailstore Home.
Making a manual backup
Since Microsoft's program is not compatible with newer versions of Outlook, you can create a manual backup instead of the system's pst files.
Microsoft explains this in detail on the company's Knowledge Base. Basically, what you need to do is the following:
You can also export data from Outlook directly. The method is slightly different depending on whether you use Outlook 2010 and later, or earlier versions of Outlook.
Earlier Outlook versions
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.