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OL98: (IMO) How to Back Up Outlook Data

The information in this article applies to:

  • Microsoft Outlook 98

NOTE: These procedures only apply if you have installed Outlook with the Internet Mail Only option. To determine your installation type, on the Help menu click About Microsoft Outlook. In About Microsoft Outlook you should see "Internet Mail Only" if you have the Internet Mail Only option installed.


This article describes how to back up data created in Microsoft Outlook 98 including e-mail messages, contacts, appointments, tasks, notes, and journal entries.

This article covers the following topics:

  • Making a Backup Copy of a Personal Folder File
  • Exporting Personal Folder Data
  • Importing Personal Folder Data
  • Backing Up Outlook Settings Files

More Information

Making a Backup Copy of a Personal Folder File (.PST file)

Outlook stores its data in a personal folder (PST) file that is created at the time you set up your mail account. The default display name for the these files as you view them in the Outlook Folder List is Personal Folders. If you are using the default name, the Folder List entry will read, "Outlook Today - [Personal Folder]." You can customize these display names.

To back up the entire Personal Folder file, follow these steps:

  1. Open Outlook. To locate the PST file where Outlook items are stored, right-click Outlook Today in the Folder List and on the shortcut menu Click Properties for "<folder name>" where folder name is the display name of the current PST, and then click Advanced.
  2. In Path, note the location of the PST file. In Windows, the default path for this file is:
C:\Windows\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\outlook.pst 

The path you see in this box may be different on your computer. The PST can be stored anywhere on your hard drive. If you have defined other PST files for storage of Outlook items and want to back them up, use the same procedure to locate the path to each PST.

  1. On the File menu, click Exit to quit Outlook.
  2. Make a copy of the file you noted in step 2. For more information about how to perform this task in Windows, see your Windows printed documentation or online Help. If you are using a backup program, consult its documentation for the method you should use to include the PST file in your backup set.

The Personal Folders Advanced Properties dialog box in step 2 allows you to perform other operations on the PST file. For example, you can customize the label of the PST by editing the Name. you can also reduce the size of a Personal Folder file by clicking Compact Now.

Exporting Personal Folder Data

To export an individual Outlook folder such as Contacts or Calendar, follow these steps:

  1. On the File menu, Click Import and Export.
  2. Click Export To File, and then click Next.
  3. In "Create a file of type" click "Personal Folder File(.pst)", and click Next.
  4. In "Select the folder to export from", click the folder you want to export. Click to select Include Subfolders if it applies, and then click Next.
  5. In "Save exported file as" click Browse to select the location of the PST to receive the data you are exporting, or type the path and file name, and then click Next.
  6. Click Finish.

Importing Personal Folder Data

To import a personal folder file into Outlook, follow these steps:

  1. On the File menu, Click Import And Export.
  2. Click "Import from another program or file", and then click Next.
  3. In File To Import, click Browse to locate the PST file you want to import and then click Next. If you know the path, type it in the box.
  4. In "Select the folder to import from", click the folder containing the data you want to import. If the folder contains subfolders, and you want to include this data in the import process, click to select Include Subfolders. If the destination for importing is the currently selected folder, click "Import items into the current folder"; otherwise, click Import items into the same folder in"; this will create matching items in the destination folder you select.
  5. Click Finish.

Backing Up Outlook Settings Files

If you have customized settings which you want to replicate on another computer using Outlook, you may wish to include the following files in your back as well as the Personal Folders 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>.htm - This file stores the HTML autosignature.
  • <Profile Name>.rtf - This file stores the Rich Text Format Autosignature.
  • <Profile Name>.txt - This file stores the Plain Text format Autosignature.

    NOTE: If you use Word as your e-mail editor, signatures are stored in the as Autotext entries. This file should be backed up as well.

Custom views are integrated to the folders on which they were created. If you export items from one Personal Folder to another, the views are not maintained.


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