Backup Microsoft Outlook Email PST Data File

Backup Info

Microsoft Outlook stores messages, contacts, appointments, tasks, notes, and journal entries data in Messaging Application Programming Interface (MAPI) folders. MAPI folders can be stored in one of the two following locations.

  • In a personal folders (.pst) file on your hard disk drive.
  • In a mailbox that is located on the server if you are using Outlook with Microsoft Exchange Server.

If you back up data that you created in Outlook, you can do the following depending on your situation:

  • Restore data that is lost or damaged because of a hardware failure.
  • Restore data that has been lost because on unexpected events.
  • Move or transfer data to a different hard disk drive that is either located on the same computer or on a different computer.
  • Move or transfer data to a from the original hard disk drive to a hard disk drive that is located on a different computer.

How to make a backup copy of a .pst file

This backup guide is only for Outlook with Internet Mail Only option. You can determine this by opening Outlook and clicking on Help > About Microsoft Outlook.

Outlook stores all of its data in a .pst file. If you want to back up or to export a particular folder, such as a Contacts or a Calendar folder, go to the "How to export .pst data." section.

  • Quit any messaging programs such as Outlook, Microsoft Exchange, or Microsoft Windows Messaging.
  • Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  • Double-click the Mail icon.
  • Click the Show Profiles button.
  • Click the appropriate profile, and then click Properties.
  • Click the Data Files button.
  • Click the Personal Folders Service that you want to back up. By default, this service is called Personal Folders. However, this service may have been  named something else.

If you have more than one Personal Folders service in your profile, you must back up each set of .pst files separately

  • Click Settings, and then note the path and file name that is listed.
  • Note The .pst file contains all data that is stored in the MAPI folders that are used by Outlook in that file. If the file may be too large to place on a floppy disk. If this is true, use a CD-ROM or other portable drive device. You can reduce the size of a .pst file when you click Compact Now.
  • Close all of the Properties windows.
  • Make a copy of the file using Windows Explorer or My Computer.

If you have to restore a .pst file from a removable media, such as a floppy disk drive, a portable drive device, a CD-ROM, a magnetic tape drive, or any other storage media, copy the backup copy of the file that you just created from the storage media back to the computer hard disk drive.

When you do this, make sure that the Read-Only attribute is cleared. If this attribute is selected, you may receive the following error message:

The specified device, file, or path could not be accessed. It may have been deleted, it may be in use, you may be experiencing network problems, or you may not have sufficient permission to access it. Close any application using this file and try again.


How to export .pst data.

Use the following steps to export an individual folder:

1. On the File menu, click Import And Export.
2. Click Export To File, and then click Next.
3. Click Personal Folder File (.pst) , and then click Next.
4. Click the folder that you want to export the .pst file to, and then click Next.
5. Click the Browse button, and then select the location to save the .pst file.
6. In the File Name box, type a name for the .pst file, and then click OK.
7. Click Finish.


How to import .pst file data into Outlook

Use the following steps to import a .pst) file into Outlook:

1. On the File menu, click Import And Export.
2. Click Import from another program or file., and then click Next.
3. Click Personal Folder File (.pst), and then click Next.
4. Type the path and the name of the .pst file that you want to import, and then click Next.
5. Select the folder that you want to import, or select the top of the hierarchy to import everything, and then click Finish.


All the above instructions work perfectly provided you follow each step as written down. You should now be able to Backup a .PST File