MS Outlook is the default mail client for many users and avid Outlook users contain all their mail, contact, calendar and huge personal data in Outlook.

So, it is highly important to know how to take backup of MS Outlook files regularly. This small tutorial is an attempt towards that.

How to:

There are two methods for backuking up Outlook files, Easy method and a slight difficult method.

First, off-course the easy one. Go to Microsoft, download the free MS Outlook Backup utility and run it at regular intervals. Simple. But it requires you to have Genuine Windows copy. If you have that, you don’t require to read this post any further. If not, go ahead to the other method.

For MS Outlook 2003…

(Look out this space for Taking backup of MS Outlook 2007 files, in a later post)

You just have to locate your Personal Folder file (.pst) file which contains all of your Outlook folders, including the Inbox, Calendar, and Contacts. In case you are using the archiving feature, then you will also have another file for Archive folders. After locating it, just make a copy of this (these two) files, store them and use them for restoration whenever required.

But where are these files.

Yes, this is a tricky part. Follow these steps.

For Backup…

  • Start Outlook Express.
  • Right Click on the Outlook Today icon in your Outlook Shortcuts and select Properties.
  • A Personal Folder Properties dialog box will open. Click Advanced.

  • In the next dialog box, look for the path. Note it down or use Ctrl+C to copy the path to your Clipboard.
  • Close Outlook and start Windows Explorer
  • Go to the noted path, or if you had copied the path to your clipboard, simply use Ctrl+V in the address bar of explorer.

  • In this folder you will find the outlook.pst file, which you were searching. Take a copy of this file and store at a safe location. Not on the same computer but at a different location. Your backup is complete.

For Restoration…

Simply paste the backup file at the same location. But this will overwrite the current data. A better approach will be to use Import feature for restoration.

  1. Start Outlook.
  2. Click on File > Import and Export.
  3. Click on “Import from another program or file” > Next.

  4. Click “Personal Folder File (.pst)” > Next.

  5. Browse and select the PST file, which you have backed up > Next

  6. If required, follow the same steps for Archives also.