Tech Tips

How to backup Outlook

If your hard drive fails or crashes, the consequences can be devastating, particularly if you keep your email on your computer using solutions like Microsoft Outlook. Many of us forget to back up our emails and if there is an issue with the computer, we could lose important electronic communications. The good news is that it is possible to back up Microsoft Outlook without major hassle. With a few steps, you can preserve important information and ensure that it is always available when you need it. In general, it is advisable to backup your data online and in this article, we will go through the instructions to back up Microsoft Outlook 2010.

How to create an Outlook Data File

In order to back up Outlook, it is necessary to combine all the user’s data into an Outlook Data File, which has a .pst format. By doing this, it is possible to transfer Outlook information to another computer, an external hard drive, or the online backup service of your choice. It should be noted that any custom folder properties will not be kept when exporting to a .pst file. User permissions, view options and similar information will not be transferred when you import the backup file. Here are the steps required:

  1. Click on the File tab located in the upper-left hand corner of the Outlook application.
  2. Under the menu, select the Options button and the the Advanced button in the next screen.
  3. Look for the “Export” tab in the advanced settings screen and click on it.
  4. Now you should see the Import and Export Wizard. Select the option that says “Export to a file” and then click Next.
  5. You will be asked to choose from a list of options. Select the one that says “Outlook Data File (.pst)” and the click Next.

How to select an account for backup

  1. The next part of the process is to select the accounts that you want to back up. You can see all the accounts that are on a computer just by checking the top-most folders in the directory structure. Keep in mind that you can only select one account for backup each time. This means that you may need to repeat the step more than once when dealing with systems that have multiple accounts.
  2. After you have selected an account, all the emails, contacts, calendar events, tasks and notes linked to the account will be ready to be backed up.
  3. Next, you will be asked to choose a location where you would like to save the .pst file and the file name. Please note that if you have used the export feature before, the last file name and location will be entered by default. If you want to make discrete backup files, make sure that you specify a unique name or location whenever you carry out the export process.

How to add password protection to the backup file

Whenever you create a new .pst file, you have the possibility of adding a password to protect the file. You can do this by going to the Data File dialogue box and typing in the password you want to use. Once the password is entered, you will be asked to repeat the password back to Outlook to make sure that it is correct. If you are updating a .pst file that was previously created and it is password protected, the Import and Export wizard will automatically ask you to enter the password you entered when the file was originally created. After you enter the password, you will have to go to the Outlook Data File Password located in the upper-right corner of the screen and click “OK”.

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