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How to Back Up or Copy Your Outlook Mail, Contacts and Other Data

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Highlight all files ending in

Highlight all files ending in ".pst"

Heinz Tschabitscher

Your Life in Outlook

All your mail, your contacts, your calendars, and almost every other detail of your life is in Outlook. To make sure you don't lose all this in case of a hard disk crash or some other disaster, you can create backup copies of your Personal Folders (.pst) files — that's where Outlook stores all the essential data.

Back Up or Copy Your Outlook Mail, Contacts and Other Data

To create a copy of your mail, contacts, calendar and other data in Outlook for backup or copying:

  • Go to your Outlook folder in Windows Explorer.
  • Highlight all files ending in ".pst".
    • Make sure in particular your selection includes "outlook.pst" and "archive.pst".
    • If you have Windows Explorer configured not to show file extensions for known formats, look for Microsoft Office Outlook Personal Folders files.
  • Select Edit | Copy from the menu to copy the selected files.
  • Open the folder where you want to put your backup copies in Windows Explorer.
    • Ideally, this will be on another computer, on a removable disk stored far away from your home, somewhere on the Internet, or at least on a different hard disk.
  • Select Edit | Paste from the menu to paste your .pst files to the backup location

Restore from Your Outlook Backup

Your backup copy of Outlook data is now in place, ready to be restored when you need it.

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