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Easy Directions for Saving Microsoft Outlook Emails

written by: Rita A.•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 7/6/2011

If you receive a lot of Microsoft Outlook email it could be horrible to lose them. We use email for personal reasons as well as for business purposes. It is crucial to have a backup in case of data loss. With your data backed up you are able to restore the files easily.

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    Information about Saving Emails in Microsoft Outlook

    Microsoft Outlook emails are saved in Personal Folder files with a .pst extension. The file contains all of your Outlook folders, including the Inbox, Contacts and Calendar. There is a Personal Folders Backup tool you can use to save your Microsoft Outlook emails. After the files are backed up you can copy them to a DVD or CD for safekeeping.

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    Install the PST Backup Tool

    Your first step saving emails in Microsoft Outlook is to install the PST Backup tool. In order to do this you will need to exit Outlook, go to Microsoft and and download the PST tool. Click on the Download link and follow the instructions on the screen. Once it finishes downloading, open the Pfbackup.exe program on your hard drive and install the program. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the installation. When the download is finished open Microsoft Outlook.

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    Back up your Personal Folders

    In Microsoft Outlook click File then click Backup

    Click Options

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    Inside the Backup for the .pst files, put a check next to the box for each item you want to back up. In File location you will see the default name and the location where the .pst file will be saved. If you want to select a different folder click Browse to navigate to the location you want and click Open. Click OK then click Save Backup. Exit Outlook and then reopen it. The .pst files are now saved. You can now go to Windows Explorer, navigate to the file location and copy the .pst file to a CD or DVD.

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    Reminder to Backup Email

    If you would like a reminder to save your Microsoft Outlook emails, it is easy to schedule. In Microsoft Outlook click on File then click Backup. Choose options and select the Remind me to backup every __ days checkbox. You then need to select the number of days, between 1 and 999. If you want to turn off this reminder simply uncheck the box.

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    Open the .pst File

    If you would like to look at email in the .pst file that was backed up you can do so easily:

    Open Microsoft Outlook and look at the file menu. You are looking for the Outlook Data File, to select the .pst file you want to open.

    1. On the File menu click Open, and then click Outlook Data File.
    2. Click the .pst file you want to open by double clicking on it and then click OK.
    3. The .pst file will now open in Microsoft Outlook.

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    Remove the PST Backup Tool

    Now that you are finished saving your Microsoft Outlook emails, you can remove the PST Backup tool you just downloaded if you do not expect to need it again. In order to do this, exit out of Outlook and click on StartControl PanelPrograms – then click Uninstall a program, choose the Microsoft Outlook Personal Folders Backup and click Remove. Confirm the uninstallation by clicking Yes.