Backing up Outlook Data


This section tells you how to back up Outlook data such as your address book, email messages, settings and preferences. You may want to perform these steps if you are reinstalling your computer, moving to another computer or if you simply want to back up your Outlook data.

Backing Up Your Settings and Preferences
You might want to make a backup file of your settings and preferences if you are going to reinstall Outlook or if you are going to move to another computer or just want to have a backup copy. To back up your Outlook preferences and settings, (as well as preferences and settings for other Office applications), do the following:

From the Windows XP Start Menu, select All Programs > Microsoft Office > Microsoft Office Tools > Microsoft Office Save My Settings Wizard.  When I did this the name was New Settings File.OPT


Follow the instructions provided by the wizard.

NOTE: The Save My Settings wizard backs up only your preferences and settings, such as your email account setup, display preferences and so on. To back up data such as email messages, your local address book, tasks, and so on, see the next section.

To restore your settings, run the Save My Settings wizard again and select the option to restore the settings.

Backing Up Email Messages and Address Books
Rhodesaz recommends that you regularly backup critical email messages (messages that contain important information that you never want to lose). Also, if you maintain some email addresses in a local address book, you'll need to back that up if you are moving to a new computer or just want to save them.  Just in case!

Follow these steps to backup email messages or address books from Microsoft Office:

In Outlook, select File > Import and Export... The Import and Export Wizard appears.

In the Choose an action to perform dialog box, select Export to a file and then click Next.

In the Create a file of type: dialog box, select Personal Folder File (.pst) and click Next.

Follow the instructions provided by the wizard to complete the process. Make a note of the location and name of the file that you specify for the backup file.

When you are finished with the wizard, you can put the file you created on a CD for safekeeping. Unless you specified some other location and/or filename in the wizard, the backup file will usually be named backup.pst in the C:\ Documents and Settings\YOUR_USERNAME\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft \Outlook (where YOUR_USERNAME is the name you use to login to Windows XP. 


Restoring Email Messages and Address Books


To restore your email or address book data:
In Outlook, select File > Import and Export... The Import and Export Wizard appears.

In the Choose an action to perform dialog box, select Import from another program or file and then click Next.

In the File type to import from: dialog box, select Personal Folder File (.pst) and click Next.

Follow the instructions provided by the wizard to complete the process. When asked to specify a file, use the file that you created when you backed up your data.
 

You may want to transfer your PST and OPT files onto a cd just in case.  Just like you transfer your important files to a cd every month.  (Word documents, Excel spread sheets, pictures etc.)