Backing Up Your Email

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Note About Backups

If you choose to backup your e-mail, an external device or removable media (such as CDs, DVDs, USB/thumb drives, external hard drives, etc.) should be used to store the data. This way, in case of an inoperable hard drive or hard drive failure, your saved e-mails can be returned to normal. You can never have too many back-ups.


Microsoft Outlook 2010/2013 automatically performs a scheduled back-up that runs every 14 days called AutoArchive. AutoArchive automatically copies files that are older than 6 months from preselected folders and puts them into an Archive folder. This page is to be used to change the settings to better suit your needs.

Step 1 - Main Window

Open Microsoft Outlook and then on the ribbon select File

Step 2 - Options

Select the Cleanup Tools menu then select Archive

Step 3 - AutoArchive

Here you can change various options to suit your needs. You can select the option Archive all folders... or you can select the option Archive this folder... and then select your desired folder from the list of folders below. You can also change the save location of the archive file in the box labeled Archive file

Manually Backing Up Email

1. Open Microsoft Outlook. From the File tab, select Open then Import.

2. Make sure Export to a file is highlighted and click Next.

3. Select Outlook Data File (.pst) and click Next.

4. Select your mail folder (should either be labeled or your mail address) (check Include subfolders) and click Next.

5. Save the exported file to the desktop with the filename backup_outlook.pst. Select the option to Replace duplicates with items exported, and then click Finish. (This option is useful if you use the exact same filename to back up your mail each time. You may choose Do not export duplicate items if you prefer. We suggest you do not select "Allow duplicate items to be created.")

6. Select a password for your backup by entering it twice in the dialog then selecting OK.

7. Finally in order to safely backup your files select them and burn them to a blank disk. How to Burn a CD in Vista / Windows 7 / XP

Importing Archived Emails

1. Open Microsoft Outlook. From the File tab, select Open then Import.

2. Choose Import from another program or file and click Next.

3. Scroll down and choose Outlook Data File (.pst). Click Next.

4. Click Browse... and navigate to the folder where you saved your Backup.pst. Be sure that Replace duplicates with items imported is chosen in the Options submenu and then click Next.

5. Highlight Personal Folders and select the Import items into the same folder in: option. In the dropdown choose Personal Folders and click Finish.

You have now recovered your archived e-mails.

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