Backup Emails in Outlook 2010

March 19, 2011, By Christian Cawley

Once you get started with Microsoft Outlook 2010, you will find that you can use it for a variety of different messaging and time managing purposes. Managing emails into different folder, setting up tasks and managing agendas are all possible and made simple by this software, and before long you will end up with a collection of data that you simply cannot do without.

This is when the problems are likely to begin…

After all, there is nothing worse than losing vital data, so being able to archive your mailbox and calendar somewhere for safety might turn out to be a virtual life-saver at some point in future.

There are two ways to back-up your data in Outlook 2010, an automated method via the software and a manual method that you can perform in Windows Explorer.

Backup emails in Outlook 2010

Backing Up Outlook 2010 Data the Automated Way

Before beginning with your backup you will need to find a suitable location which to archive the data to, and before you can do this you will need to know how large your Outlook data file is.

Do this by selecting Outlook Data File in the left pane, right-clicking and choosing Data File Properties – on the General tab you will see the Folder Size… button which will indicate to you the size of both the data file and its constituent folders.

With this knowledge you should be able to identify a safe location to back-up your data to. When you have done this, ensure that the Outlook Data File item is again selected and then choose File > Options > Advanced. Here you will find the Export button (listed under the Export heading) which will open the Import and Export Wizard.

From here, select Export to a file and click Next and then select your output format of choice. A typical Outlook data file is in PST format so you might choose this, although the Comma Separated Values options will create a CSV file which can be imported into pretty much any other software.

With your choice made, click Next and then select the folders you want to back-up. This is done on a hierarchical basis – if you select Inbox this will back-up the Inbox and any folders you have setup within, but you cannot choose multiple child folders without choosing the parent folder.

To continue click Next then name the file and Browse to the intended backup destination. Click Next again to view the Export to a file summary screen, then complete the task by clicking Finish.

Manually Backing Up Outlook 2010 Data

However if all of this sounds like too much effort and you would rather take advantage of Windows Explorer to drill straight into Outlook and make a copy of the data file, you can!

Begin by disabling hidden folders – you can do this in Windows Explorer through the Organize menu, following Folder and search options > View and selecting Show hidden files, folder, and drives.

You are then ready to find your Outlook data file, which will be saved in your Windows profile.

In Windows 7, this is found at C:\Users\[PROFILENAME]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook – once found you can then copy the data and save it to optical disc or some other storage device for safe keeping.

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