Where are you Outlook emails (are you backing up the RIGHT files)?

By: standss , Jan 26th, 2015

Do you know where your emails are saved on your computer?

They may not be where you think they are. Here’s how you can find out where your emails are so that you can be sure that they are part of your backup plan.

Last week at the golf club, I spoke to a frustrated fellow golfer who had just lost all his emails…

The harddisk on his old computer had crashed… and when he used his backups top restore his data to his new computer, he was in for a shock.

His Outlook emails were not there… despite having a well-thought out and implemented plan for backing up his computer.

Because Outlook does not actually ask you to save emails in a particular location, it is easy to forget about them.

Where does Outlook save emails?

If your emails are hosted with Office 365 or MS Exchange then a copy of your current emails will be on your server. Hopefully your network administrator is backing them up.

However, if you are using a POP3 mail account (which many people still are) or if you are archiving emails outside of Exchange, you need to know where your emails are being saved.

All your emails are generally saved in one big data file (PST file… which is short for Personal Storage Table). Unfortunately Outlook does not always create this file in a folder that you would remember to backup.

Some users may also have multiple PST files with additional files for Archives etc.

To find out exactly where all your data files are in Outlook 2010/2013:

  • Click File.
  • On the Info Tab, click Account Settings and then Account Settings again.
  • Click Data Files to display a list of all your currently connected data files as shown below.

image 1

Makes sure that you are backing up all the Outlook data files shown above.

Additional Tip: If you’re not using Exchange, you may want to put your main Outlook PST files in your Documents folder. Assuming that you’re backing up your Documents folder regularly, you should be safe.

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