backup Microsoft outlook

 

Backup Microsoft Outlook

 

 

Article by Marc Liron - Microsoft MVP (2004-2010)

 

 

 

 

 



Backing up your data is an important part of life when working with computers.

In this article we take a look at how to manually backup Microsoft Outlook in 2002 and 2003 editions...

 

 

In This Article We Shall Look At:

# How to make a backup copy of a .pst file.
# How to export .pst file data.
# How to import .pst file data in to Outlook.
# How to transfer Outlook data from one computer to another computer.
# How to back up Personal Address Books.
# How to back up Outlook Settings Files.

Introduction:

Microsoft Outlook stores messages, contacts, appointments, tasks, notes, and journal entries data in Messaging Application Programming Interface (MAPI) folders. MAPI folders can be stored in one of the two following locations:

# In a personal folders (.pst) file on your hard disk drive.
# In a mailbox that is located on the server if you are using Outlook with Microsoft Exchange Server. (This article does not address using Exchange Server)

If you back up data that you created in Outlook, you can do the following depending on your situation:

# Restore data that is lost or damaged because of a hardware failure.
# Restore data that has been lost because on unexpected events.
# Move or transfer data to a different hard disk drive that is either located on the same computer or on a different computer.
# Move or transfer data to a from the original hard disk drive to a hard disk drive that is located on a different computer.


How To Make a Backup Copy of a .PST File

If you are not using Outlook with Microsoft Exchange Server, Outlook stores all of its data in a .pst file. If you want to back up or to export a particular folder, such as a Contacts or a Calendar folder, go to the "How to export .pst data." section .

Use the following steps to back up the whole .pst file:

1. Quit any messaging programs such as Outlook, Microsoft Exchange, or Microsoft Windows Messaging.
2. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
3. Double-click the Mail icon.
4. Click the Show Profiles button.
5. Click the appropriate profile, and then click Properties.
6. Click the Data Files button.
7. Click the Personal Folders Service that you want to back up. By default, this service is called Personal Folders. However, this service may have been named something else.

Note You may have more than one Personal Folders service in your profile. If this is true, you must back up each set of .pst files separately.

If there are not any Personal Folders services in your profile and you have been able to store information such as messages, contacts, or appointments in Outlook, your information is most likely being stored in a mailbox on an Exchange Server. If this is true, see the "Data on a Microsoft Exchange Server" section.

8. Click Settings, and then note the path and file name that is listed.

Note The .pst file contains all data that is stored in the MAPI folders that are used by Outlook in that file. If the file may be too large to place on a floppy disk. If this is true, use a CD-ROM or other portable drive device. You can reduce the size of a .pst file when you click Compact Now.

9. Close all of the Properties windows.
10. Make a copy of the file that you noted in step 5 by using Windows Explorer or My Computer.

You may have to restore a .pst file from a removable media, such as a floppy disk drive, a portable drive device, a CD-ROM, a magnetic tape drive, or any other storage media. To do so, copy the backup copy of the file that you just created from the storage media back to the computer hard disk drive.

When you do this, make sure that the Read-Only attribute is cleared. If this attribute is selected, you may receive the following error message:

The specified device, file, or path could not be accessed. It may have been deleted, it may be in use, you may be experiencing network problems, or you may not have sufficient permission to access it. Close any application using this file and try again.


How To Export .pst File Data


Use the following steps to export an individual folder:

1. On the File menu, click Import And Export. If the menu item is not available, hover your pointer over the chevrons at the bottom of the menu, and then click Import and Export.
2. Click Export To File, and then click Next.
3. Click Personal Folder File (.pst) , and then click Next.
4. Click the folder that you want to export the .pst file to, and then click Next.
5. Click the Browse button, and then select the location to save the .pst file.
6. In the File Name box, type a descriptive file name for the .pst file, and then click OK.
7. Click Finish.

How To Import .pst File Data Into Microsoft Outlook

Use the following steps to import a .pst) file into Microsoft Outlook:

1. On the File menu, click Import And Export. If the menu item is not available, hover your pointer over the chevrons at the bottom of the menu, and then click Import and Export.
2. Click Import from another program or file., and then click Next.
3. Click Personal Folder File (.pst), and then click Next.
4. Type the path and the name of the .pst file that you want to import, and then click Next.
5. Select the folder that you want to import, or select the top of the hierarchy to import everything, and then click Finish.


How To Transfer Outlook Data From One Computer To Another Computer

You cannot share or synchronize .pst files. However, you can use the steps in the "How to import .pst file data into Outlook" section to copy data from Outlook to a .pst file. You can use a CD or DVD-ROM, portable media, or copy files to another system over a LAN/WAN link for use on another computer. Remember the following requirements when you work with .pst files:

# When you copy .pst files from a CD- or DVD-ROM, verify that the Read-Only attribute is not set on the .pst file. To verify this setting, right-click the .pst file that you copied from the CD- DVD-ROM, and then click Properties. Make sure that the Read-Only” check box is not selected.

# Connecting to .pst files over LAN/WAN links is not supported and problems connecting to .pst files over such links can occur.

If you need to make a secondary .pst file to store data for transfer between two different computers, or for backup purposes, use the following steps:

1. On the File menu, point to New, and then click Outlook Data File.
2. Type a unique name for the new .pst file, for example, type Transfer.pst, and then click OK.
3. Type a display name for the Personal Folders file, and then click OK.
4. Quit Outlook.

If you just want to copy a .pst file that is in Outlook, use the following steps:

1. In Outlook, right-click the folder you wish to copy and click Copy “foldername”. For example, to copy the Calendar, right-click the Calendar folder, and then click Copy “Calendar”.
2. In the Copy Folder dialog box, click your Transfer Folders, and then click OK.
3. You can repeat the steps as needed for other folders.


How To Back Up Personal Address Books

Although contact information can be kept either in an Exchange Server mailbox or in a .pst file, and is accessed through the Outlook Address Book, the Personal Address Book creates a file that is stored on your hard disk drive. To make sure that this address book is backed up, you must include any files with the .pab extension in your backup process.

Use the following steps to locate your Personal Address Book file:

1. If you are running Microsoft Windows 95 or Microsoft Windows 98:

Click Start, point to Find, and then click Files or Folders.

If you are running Microsoft Windows XP, 2000 or Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me):

Click Start, point to Search, and then click For Files or Folders

(Windows XP = All Files and Folders)

2. Type *.pab, click My Computer in the Look In box, and then click Find Now.

Note the location of the .pab file, and include it in your backup.

If you need to restore this address book either to the same computer or a different computer, use the following steps:

1. Close any message-related programs such as Outlook, Microsoft Exchange, or Windows Messaging.
2. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
3. Double-click the Mail icon.
4. Click the Show Profiles button.
5. Click the appropriate profile, and then click Properties
6. Click the Email Accounts button.
7. Click Add a New Directory or Address Book, and then click Next
8. Click Additional Address Books, and then click Next.
9. Click Personal Address Book, and then click Next.
10. Type the path and the name of the Personal Address Book file that you want to restore, click Apply, and then click OK.
11. Click Close, and click then OK.

NB - The Outlook Address Book is a service used by the profile to facilitate using a Contacts folder in a Mailbox, Personal Folders File or Public Folder as an e-mail address book. The Outlook Address Book, itself, contains no data that needs to be saved.

How To Backup Microsoft Outlook Settings Files

If you have customized settings that you want to replicate on another computer by using Outlook, you may want to include the following files in your back up as well as the personal folders (.pst) file:

# Outcmd.dat - This file stores toolbar and menu settings.
# <Profile Name>.fav - This is your Favorites file that includes the settings for the Outlook bar.
# <Profile Name>.nk2 - This file stores the NickNames for AutoComplete.

Note If you use Microsoft Word as your e-mail editor, signatures are stored in the Normal.dot file as AutoText entries. You should back up this file also.

Folder design properties include permissions, filters, description, forms, and views are integrated into the folders on which they were created. If you export items from one personal folders (.pst) file to another, design properties are not maintained. To back this information up, see the "Copy the design of a folder" topic in Microsoft Office Outlook Help.

If you have created customized signatures that you want to replicate to another computer by using Outlook, you may want to back up all custom signature files located in the following folder:

Drive:\Documents and Settings\Username\Application Data\Microsoft\Signatures

where Drive represents the drive that Outlook was installed to and Username represents the user name that Outlook was installed under.

Each individual signature has its own file and uses the same name as the signature you used when you created it. For example, if you created a signature named MySig, the following files are created in the Signatures folder:

MySig.htm - This file stores the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) auto signature.

MySig.rtf - This file stores the Microsoft Outlook Rich Text Format (RTF) Auto signature.

MySig.txt - This file stores the plain text format Auto signature.

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Kind Regards

Marc Liron

Marc Liron - Microsoft MVP (2004-2010)
www.marcliron.com
http://blog.marcliron.com

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