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Creating a backup of your email in Microsoft Outlook 2013 or 2010

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Description

This article was created using screenshots of Outlook 2013, however the process is very similar for Outlook 2010, as the two programs use almost the same interface.

Backup Format

Microsoft Outlook stores email backups in files called PST files, which stands for “Personal Storage Table”. This is a file format created by Microsoft and is employed in their Outlook range of products for Windows, and related products, such as Exchange and Windows Messaging and more recently, the Outlook family for Mac computers.

For more technical information on .PST files, have a look at this Wikipedia article.

Creating the Backup

In Outlook 2013, start by going to the File menu:

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Then click Open & Export, and select the Import/Export option:

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This will launch the Import and Export Wizard. Choose the Export to a file option, then click Next >.

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In the next dialog, choose which file type you’d like to export to. We recommend the Outlook Data File (.pst) option and will be choosing that in this tutorial. Select it, and click Next >.

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Now we select which folders we’d like to backup. To take a full backup of all email, as we are in this tutorial, simply select the top-most item as highlighted above. To take a partial backup, you can select individual folders, or click the Filter… button to search for emails. Ensure that the 'Include subfolders' option is ticked, then click Next >.

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You can now choose where to save the .PST file that Outlook will create:

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If you are making a new backup, you can ignore the options regarding handling of duplicate entries. If you are overwriting an existing .PST backup, choose the option that applies to you, then click Finish.

Outlook will then prompt you for a password. Note that Outlook is not requesting the mailbox password; it’s actually asking you if you’d like to protect your backup with a password. If you would, enter it here. If you don’t want to use a password, simply click OK:

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Outlook will now create the .PST file in the location specified earlier.

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This file can now be put on disk or uploaded to a cloud storage solution for added security, or simply kept on your computer in case of Outlook crashing and corrupting your mailbox.

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