Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Advanced users can write batch files or Windows script files that automate the process of backing
up Outlook data. These topics are beyond the scope of this topic, but you may want to explore
them further on your own. When you automate a task such as backup, you are much less likely to
avoid doing it.
Back Up Your Entire PST File
As mentioned previously, all your Outlook data — email messages, contacts, tasks, appointments,
account settings, and so on — is by default stored in a personal folders file named Outlook.PST.
This file is kept in the following location (where user is your Windows logon):
n Windows XP and Windows Server 2003: X:\Documents and Settings\ user \Local
n Windows Vista: X:\ user \Local Settings\AppData\Microsoft\Outlook
You may have additional PST files as well — Archive.PST if you are using the AutoArchive feature
as well as any other personal folders files that you created. Archive.PST is kept in the same default
location as Outlook.PST, and any additional personal folders files are stored where you specified.
Backing up these files is simply a matter of making copies in a secure location. Be aware, however,
that before you can copy these files you must exit Outlook and any other programs that might
access them, such as Windows Messaging or a remote connection to Microsoft Exchange. Then use
Windows Explorer or another means to make the copy.
Where should you copy these files to? That depends on your setup and resources. If you are on a
network, there may be a location on the network server that you can use for backup. If you have a
CD burner, creating backups on CD is an excellent choice. Other options that may be open to you
include flash drives and external hard disks.
Outlook data consists of items such as email messages, appointments, and contacts. These items
are organized into folders that are, in most cases, specialized to hold a single type of item. Folders
in turn are stored in a Personal Folders file that also contains your account information and other
Outlook settings. This chapter showed you how to work with items, folders, and data files to keep
your Outlook information organized, accessible, and backed up.