How to Backup Outlook Data (Mail, Calendar, Contacts,Tasks) in Outlook 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007 or 2003

If you are using Microsoft Outlook as your personal organizer (Tasks reminder, Calendar, Mail application), then you have to backup its contents very often, to avoid loosing Outlook data when your computer crashes or if you want to transfer its contents to a new computer. 

First of all you must know that all Outlook personal folders are saved in one file on your computer (e.g. Outlook.pst) and if you backup (copy) this pst file to another location on your computer (e.g. your external USB disk), then you 'll have a reliable backup of your Outlook data.

Secondly, we should clarify that the most reliable and proper way to backup & restore Outlook data, is to manually copy/paste the Outlook data file (e.g. Outlook.pst) to another location instead of using the “Import / Export” capability given by Microsoft Outlook. This happens because when you are using Outlook's "Import/Export" capability to export Outlook data to a file,  you’ll lose significant Outlook settings like:

– Message rules.
– Junk E-mail and Blocked Senders,
– Folder and Items properties or views,
– Auto Complete cache (suggested contacts), etc.

In this article I‘ll show you how to properly backup Outlook (Mail, Calendar, Contacts,Tasks) in Outlook 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007 or 2003 versions. *

Notice*: If you are using Outlook 2003 or 2007, then you can use the Microsoft Outlook Personal Folders Backup tool to automate the Outlook backup process. (Detailed instructions can be found in this tutorial: How to use Microsoft Outlook Personal Folders Backup tool to backup Outlook)

How to Properly Backup Outlook 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007 or 2003 Data (.pst)

To backup your Outlook's data, follow the steps below.

Step 1: Locate Outlook Personal folders data file (.pst) on your computer.

Notice:  Before proceeding to find the the Outlook data file (.pst), proceed and Enable the Hidden files view.  (From Control Panel > open Folder Options and at the View tab, check the “Show Hidden files, folders and drives” option).

– First of all,  locate where Outlook stores its data (the .PST Data file). Usually (by default) Outlook data are stored in one single data file (e.g. Outlook.pst) at the following location on your computer: *

  • Windows XP:
    C:\Documents and Settings\<your username>\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook
  • Windows Vista or 7:
    C:\Users\<your username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook
  • Office 2016, 2013 or Outlook 2010: If you 're using Outlook 2010, 2013 or Outlook 2016, the Outlook data files are stored, by default, at this location:
    C:\Users\<your username>\Documents\Outlook Files\<YourEmailAddress>.pst

* Important: Before proceeding to backup Outlook PST files, (Step 2), confirm where Outlook's data file(s) are stored on your disk, by following the instructions below:

How to Confirm (Locate) Outlook PST Data file location:

– To confirm and locate where Outlook stores, your Outlook Data (Mail, Calendar, Contacts,Tasks):

In Outlook 2007, 2010, 2013 & 2016: (For Outlook 2003 click here)

1. From Outlook's main menu go to File > Info > Account Settings. *

* In Outlook 2007 go to: Tools > Options, click the Mail Setup tab, and then click E-mail Accounts.



2. In Account Settings window, choose Data Files tab and click to Open File Location.



3. Continue to Step 2.

Outlook 2003
–  To confirm and locate where Outlook 2003 stores, your Outlook Data file (.pst):

1. From Outlook's main menu, choose Tools > Options

Backup Outlook


2. In Options window choose Mail Setup tab.



3. In Mail Setup tab, choose Data files



4. In Data Files window, choose Open Folder.


5. Continue to Step 2.

Step 2: Backup your Outlook PST Data files.

– When you find the Outlook PST data files on your disk – as described in the previous step – you should see the following screen:



– As you can see, on your screen there is a file named “Outlook.pst” *. This file contains all Outlook folders such as Calendar, Inbox, Tasks, Sent Items, Outbox, Deleted Items, and user-created folders.

* Note: "Outlook" is the default file name of an Outlook data file in Outlook 2010, 2007 & 2003 versions. In latest Outlook versions (2016 & 2013), the Outlook Data file has the name of your email address (e.g.

– To backup all your Outlook data:

1. Close all open Outlook windows.
2. Copy the Outlook.pst file in another location on your computer (e.g. your external USB hard disk drive) and that’s it.

– By copying Outlook PST file(s) to another storage media, you 'll always have a reliable backup copy of your Outlook Data until today. To keep this backup updated, you must repeat the above procedure often.

– If you want to restore the Outlook PST file on another computer (or new after a new Windows installation), then read the instructions in this tutorial: How to Restore Outlook PST Data files.

– If you want to open the Outlook PST file on another computer, then read the instructions in this tutorial: How to Open Outlook PST Data files.

That it! Let me know if this guide has helped you by leaving your comment about your experience. Please like and share this guide to help others.

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