Instructions to import/export files on outlook

If you're using Microsoft Outlook for most of your email communications, you shouldn't have to worry about storing, importing, and exporting data.

While Outlook email (as well as calendar, contacts, tasks and notes) is stored in the Outlook .pst file, some other files and settings such as account settings, signatures, templates, custom templates are stored in separate files. Therefore, if you want to transfer your Outlook account from your old computer to your old computer, backing up just the .pst file may not be enough.

This article will also guide you in detail on how to backup mail in Outlook and other items automatically or manually and learn the best way to use in all cases.

How to backup Outlook emails by exporting files.

There are many circumstances that make you want to back up Outlook messages – for example, when you move to another computer or restore Outlook data after a crash. In the latter case, backing up Outlook can greatly reduce the damage, so it's a wise strategy to back up your Outlook email once, especially if you're using email for business. job.

The safest and most reliable way to backup Outlook is to export the .pst file on Microsoft Outlook automatically. In addition to email, this will also save contacts, calendars, tasks, and notes.

How to backup for Outlook 2013 and Outlook 2016

For email backup in Outlook 2013 and 2016, follow these steps.

  1. Open your Outlook, select File > Open & Export > Import/ExportBacking up Outlook 2013 and Outlook 2016 emails
  2. Item Import and Export Wizard will start running, select Export to a file, and press nextSelect Export to a file, and click Next.
  3. Choose Outlook Data File (.pst), choose next.
    Select Outlook Data File (.pst), and click Next.
  4. Select the email account you want to back up and be sure to check the Include subfolders box. This will export the contents of all folders, including mail folders (Inbox, Outbox, Drafts, etc.), Contacts, Calendar, Tasks, Notes, and Journal. Or, you can choose a specific folder to export, maybe Inbox. Multiple folders cannot be selected, so if you want to back up several folders, you will have to repeat the process for each folder individually. Select the email account that you want to backup.
  5. The dialog will offer to save a copy of your .pst file to the default location: C:\Users\ \Documents\Outlook Files\backup .pst. If there are no objections, simply click Finish. To save your Outlook backup somewhere else, click the Browse button, select the desired location, and click OK. If you are exporting to an existing .pst file, select the desired option for duplicates. The default option Replace duplicates with exported items should work fine in most cases.Select the desired option to deal with duplicate items.Note: If you've exported your Outlook data before, the previous folder and filename will appear. To avoid overwriting the previous backup, be sure to enter a different filename before clicking OK.
  6. If you are creating a new .pst file, Outlook suggests password protection, if your Outlook contains private information and you want to make sure that no one but you can access this data. In this case, enter and confirm a password, and then click OK. If you don't want to password protect the backup, leave both fields blank and click OK.You can protect your Outlook backup with password, or save it unprotected.

When exporting to a .pst file with a password, enter the password you used earlier.

When exporting to an existing unencrypted .pst file, Outlook immediately starts the export process without displaying the password dialog box.

It is done! Please note that exporting a large .pst file may take some time and the progress bar will stay on the screen until the backup is complete. Be patient okay?

How to backup emails in Outlook 2010

To backup in Outlook 2010, go to tab File, choose Options > Advanced > Export:

Backing up Outlook 2010 emails

The Import and Export dialog box will start running, and you will repeat steps 2-6 as above.

How to back up email with Outlook 2007

To back up email and other items in Outlook 2007, click the File menu, then click Import and Export…

Backing up Outlook 2007 emails

The Import and Export dialog box will start running, then you proceed as for Outlook 2013.

Once your Outlook data is exported in a .pst file, you can move or copy the file in the usual way. For example, you can save an Outlook backup to Dropbox or OneDrive, and then import it to a new machine.

Advantages: Exporting a .pst file is a fast, intuitive and secure way to backup Outlook emails that can be easily done even for inexperienced users. In addition, it allows you to create a selective backup i.e. export only relevant data out of unimportant folders like junk or Deleted items.

Defect: Exporting a .pst file is not a complete Outlook backup (although the default name of the exported file is backup.pst). This method copies the most essential items like messages, contacts, appointments, tasks, and notes. Some Outlook data may be lost during export, even if you include all folders and subfolders. Among other things, the export does not save the following data: message rules, signatures, custom forms, custom views, and folder properties.

If you want to back up your Outlook data to the maximum extent possible, consider using one of the third-party "all-in-one" Outlook backup tools, or make a copy of the .pst file that way. handmade. In addition, you can back up files that store your Outlook templates, signatures, themes, and custom forms. Details as below.

Copy .pst file – The fastest way to backup emails in Outlook

For experienced users, the fastest way to backup Outlook is to copy the .pst file manually, and then restore it by pasting. The main complication of this approach is that different versions of Outlook save the .pst file in different locations.

PST files in Outlook 2013 and Outlook 2016

Depending on the operating system, the .pst file is stored in one of the following places:

Windows 8 and Windows 10

C:\Users\ \AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook
C:\Users\ \Roaming\Local\Microsoft\Outlook

Windows 7 and Windows Vista

C:\Users\ \Documents\Outlook Files

PST file in Outlook 2010

For all operating systems including Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10, the default archive is at:

C:\Users\ \Documents\Outlook Files

PST files in Outlook 2007 and earlier versions

In Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10 operating systems, the .pst file is stored at:

C:\Users\ \AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook

For earlier versions of Windows and Outlook too, the .pst file can be saved in one of the following directories:

C:\Documents and Settings\ \Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

C:\Users\ \Documents\Outlook Files

C:\Users\ \My Documents\Outlook Files

Note: AppData is a hidden folder. You can find this folder by going to Control Panel > Folder Options, switch to tab View, and select Show hidden files, folders, or drives under Hidden files and folders.

How to locate the .pst file on your computer

Over the years, Microsoft seems to have created a mess in the saving of Outlook .pst files. However, you can quickly find Outlook files on your computer in the following way:

  1. Click FileAccount Settings > Account Settings.
  2. In the dialog box Account Settings, switch to tab Data Files.
  3. Select an account you want, and select Open File Location…

Quick way to determine the .pst file location

This will open the folder containing the .pst file on your machine.
then, close Outlook (open Outlook won't let you copy the .pst file) and copy the file as usual: right click and click Copy. Or, press the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + C to copy the file and Ctrl + V to paste.

Backup Guidelines in Outlook

From the version of Outlook 2003, message rules are stored in a .pst file. Copying a .pst file creates a backup of the rules, and correctly moving the backup to a new section restores the rules (see how to import a .pst file safely). You will just need to modify the “Move to folder” and “Copy to folder” rules. The way to do this is as follows, open Outlook, select Manage Rules and Alerts, select Rule, click the folder name in the bottom pane, and click OK to confirm the folder.

To be sure, you can export the rules to a separate .rwz file. On the tab Home, click Rules > Manage Rules & Alerts > Options > Export Rules…

Advantages: Making a direct copy of the .pst file instead of using the export feature allows you to save more data – after restoring your Outlook rules and some other customizations will still be there .

Defect: You need to know where the .pst file is stored in your Outlook or be able to find its location. If you have several Outlook accounts that store data in different .pst files, you've probably backed up the right file.

How to backup Outlook signatures, templates, forms, and settings

In addition to email, you may want to back up other items and settings. Below you will find a list of where Outlook 2013 and Outlook 2016 store them.

Signatures (.rtf, .txt, .htm)

  • C:\Users\ \AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Signatures
  • C:\Documents and Settings\user\Application Data\Microsoft\Signatures

Stationery (.htm) – Outlook theme

  • C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Stationery
  • C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\ Microsoft Shared\Stationery
  • C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Stationery

Outlook Templates (.oft)

  • C:\Users\ \AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates
  • C:\Documents and Settings\user\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates

Navigation Pane settings (.xml)

  • C:\Users\ \AppData\Roaming\Outlook\profile name.xml
  • C:\Documents and Settings\user\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\profile name.xml

Custom forms

  • C:\Users\ \AppData\Local\Microsoft\Forms
  • C:\Documents and Settings\user\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Forms

Note. Always turn off Outlook before performing a copy of the above files

How to backup Office 365 emails

Normally, you don't need to back up your Office 365 mailbox ( because it's stored online and you can access your email and other data from anywhere in the world. In some cases, for example when you change jobs and as a result move to a different Office 365 account, you may want a local copy of your email. The way to do this is as follows:

  • Add an Office 365 email account to your desktop Outlook (instructions here).
  • Export all or selected folders to a .pst file, see instructions for Outlook 2013 and 2016, Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2007.
  • Import the backup to a new or existing account.

How to backup Outlook Exchange mailbox

Exchange accounts store all data on the server, and your computer stores an Outlook Offline data file (.ost), which is a synchronized copy of your Exchange account. The .ost file is stored in one of the following locations, depending on your Outlook version and account type:

  • C:\Users\ AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook
  • C:\Documents and Settings\username>\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

As a rule, Exchange accounts store data automatically, and backing up emails is the responsibility of your administrator.

If you want to backup Outlook Exchange emails locally, you can do it automatically using the AutoArchive feature: File > Options > Advanced > AutoArchive > AutoArchive Settings.

Alternatively, you can export emails to a .pst file and restore them later by importing.

How to restore Outlook backup by importing .pst . file

The most reliable and secure way to restore an Outlook backup is to let the built-in Import and Export wizard run.

Note. These instructions assume you have backed up Outlook emails, contacts, tasks, and appointments by exporting or manually copying the .pst.

Import .pst files into Outlook 2013 and Outlook 2016

To import a backup to your new account, follow these steps.

  1. Click File > Open & Export Import/ExportRestoring the pst backup in Outlook 2013 and Outlook 2016
  2. Choose Import from another program or file, then press next Select Import from another program or file, and click Next.
  3. Choose  Outlook Data File (.pst) and press nextSelect Outlook Data File (.pst) and click Next.
  4. Use the button Browse to select the pst file to be backed up. If you made a backup using the Export wizard and did not change the default location, pst was saved to the following folder, selected by default: C:\Users\ \Documents\Outlook Files\backup.pst Below Options, choose how to deal with the copied items and click Next. In most cases you should use the default Replace duplicates with imported items.Choose how you want to deal with duplicated items.
  5. If your Outlook backup is password protected, enter the password and click OK.
  6. In case you have two or more Outlook accounts, select Import items into the same folder in, open the scrolling list, select the account you want to backup and click finish. If you only have one account, you can leave the default selection.Choose the account where you want to import the backup.

Tip: If you want to restore the contents of a specific folder. For example inbox, expand the folder hierarchy in Select the folder to import from and select the desired folder. To import all subfolders of the selected folder, note the selection option Include subfolders.

Select the folder to import from.

After choosing finish, the contents of the .pst file will be imported immediately, and the progress box will stay on the screen until it finishes.

Import .pst files in Outlook 2010

To move the backup to Outlook 2010, click File > Open > Import. This will start the browser Import and follow the steps above to import the data.

Importing the .pst file to Outlook 2010

Import .pst files in Outlook 2007

In Outlook 2007, you would open the browser by File > Import and Export, then do steps 2-6 as instructed above

Importing the .pst file to Outlook 2007

How to restore Outlook manually

As you've just seen, importing a .pst file is quick and simple. But direct copy/paste is even faster. If you need to back up your Outlook email regularly, you can save time by using the following way to restore the backup.

Safe way to transfer .pst files to an existing account

It should be noted first that copying/pasting the .pst file will delete all current data in your account. So if you want to keep both current and backup data, import the .pst file instead of pasting it manually. Importing files merges current data and backup data into a single .pst file.

If you have just created a new Outlook account (it will automatically create an empty .pst file) and you can be sure that your Outlook backup is correct and not corrupted, you can simply copy / paste the backed up pst in the location of the file. Existing .pst, and saving it under the same name, overwrites the current .pst file. If not, maybe test backup first. Knowing the .pst files are working certainly makes checking and restoring less stressful.

  1. Open your Outlook, and check the exact name and location of your current .pst file via File > Account Settings > Account Settings > Tab Data files (detailed steps here).
  2. Close Outlook.
  3. Go to the current .pst file location and rename the file by adding the following text, for example: Outlook-old.pst.
  4. Paste the backed up .pst file in the same location, and save it under the same name, without the old postfix. So at this point you have 2 .pst files:
  • Outlook-old.pst – the current pst file that you want to replace with a backup.
  • Outlook.pst – pst files are backed up.
  1. Start Outlook, check the restored .pst file and if all is well, delete the renamed file (Outlook-old.pst) to make more room for the C:\ drive.

Tips and Notes:

  1. Instead of saving the .pst file to the default location, you can store it on another drive, so in the worst case of a reformatted C:\, you won't have to save your Outlook data. If you do this, during Outlook startup (step 5 above), you will receive a warning prompting you to find the .pst file. You click the Browse button to go to where you saved the .pst file, and select it.
  2. If you restore Outlook after suwj coos, the original pst file may be missing or cannot be repaired. In this scenario, Outlook will also display a warning prompting you to locate the pst file. You close Outlook and follow the steps above to replace the damaged .pst file with a backup.
  3. When restoring the pst file for an account that is configured to leave a copy of the messages on the server, emails for the specified time period will be downloaded again. If any duplicates appear, you can remove them as explained in How to remove duplicate emails in Outlook.

Restore Outlook backup when creating a new account

If you haven't created an account, you can connect your .pst backup to a new account during setup. This option is only available for manual account configuration, that's why this method is best suited for administrators and experienced Outlook users who know the server information and other important details.

  1. Open Outlook, select  FileAccount Settings > Account Settings > new
  2. Choose Manual setup or additional server typesand click next.
  3. Choose POP or IMAP and choose next.
  4. Under section Deliver new message to, choose Existing Outlook Data File, use option Browse to choose to backup your pst. Restore Outlook backup when creating a new account
  5. Enter the required information including UserServerand Logon, then a new account will be created.

Backup Tools Backup:

Besides the built-in file export/import tools, there are a handful of third parties that can help you better understand how to backup email Outlook is faster and retains more data, settings, and customizations. Most of the backup tools are commercial products, although there are some free tools too, such as the first 3 tools below:

Microsoft Outlook Personal Folders Backup tool – Free and easy to backup Outlook e-mail, contacts, appointments, tasks, notes, and journal entries. It allows backing up the entire .pst file or exporting selected folders, one file at a time, as well as setting up a backup.

Safe PST Backup – Free tool to automatically backup Outlook emails and other items in .pst files.

Outlook 2016 and Outlook 2013 Backup Add-in – A free tool from CodePlex to back up .pst files in Outlook 2010, Outlook 2013, and Outlook 2016.

MOBackup – Backup solution (paid) for storing emails, contacts, appointments, Outlook rules, signatures, and favorites and bookmarks of many internet browsers. It works with all versions of Outlook 2016 through 2000.

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