New computer/ backing up emails from MS Outlook

By CluelessBloke ยท 4 replies
Feb 8, 2011
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  1. Hi,

    I've actually been looking for a solution to this for quite a while, but with no success, so hoping some of you knowledgeable people can advise.

    I have a new computer arriving today, and need to backup all my emails from MS Outlook. It's a work computer, and I have 5 years worth (and roughly 5,000 emails) that I need to backup so I can import them back to Outlook once installed on the new computer.

    The emails are spread across about 8 different POP3 email accounts, and some are stored in folders I've created (as sub-folders) of 'inbox'.

    I really cannot risk losing these emails.

    Does anyone know how to back them all up safely?

  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,166   +986

    Which version of Office / Outlook are you using?

    Outlook keeps EVERYTHING (eg; contacts, email, calendar) in one gigantic file; the *.PST

    This file is in your %userprofile%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\*.pst
    The Local Settings\ is a hidden directory and you will need Admin rights to make it visible and accessible to your user-login.

    To capture that file, 1) quit Outlook, 2) copy the PST to some external media (aka USB Thumbdrive)

    hmm; import - - not sure on that, but usually you can
    a) delete the PST on the new system
    b) copy the external USB copy back into the proper location.
  3. Mizzou

    Mizzou TS Enthusiast Posts: 823

    You can also use Outlook itself to export the entire contents of your mailbox(s) to a new Pst, just be sure to specify to include all subfolders at the start of the export operation. That way you'll get Contacts, Calendar, Inbox as well as any other folders that you've created.

    One advantage to doing this is that you can then open the new Pst on your current system to verify that it's contents match the original source as well as verifying the integrity of your current Pst. Since the actual file location for Outlook Pst files can vary depending on version, Operating System, etc. you can Import the Pst on your new system and allow Outlook to store to whatever the default location happens to be ... tends to make things easier.

    Here's a general article from the Microsoft support that provides an overview to the process including the transfer to a new system.
  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,166   +986

    SUPER!!! :wave:
  5. CluelessBloke

    CluelessBloke TS Member Topic Starter

    Thanks a lot guys- I'm currently using Office 2007. I'll give this a try this evening or tomorrow morning and let you know how I get on.

    Thanks again

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