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A lot of small businesses rely heavily on emails stored in Microsoft Outlook. Can you imagine how bad it would be if you lost all of your emails? How much information do you receive and store on a weekly or even a daily basis? For some of us, it would take a considerable period of time to recover from such a loss.

That’s why it’s so important to make sure that you have a comprehensive backup of all of your key files. Luckily, it is very easy to backup your Outlook data (including emails, contacts and your calendar).

alien copying his emails onto a CD backup

Important takeaways for backing up your files

  • Backup at least once a month
  • Put it on an external hard drive

Also think about having short and long term backups (for example, backup on to your desktop or network daily, to an external hard drive at least once a month and think about consider having a 3rd external backup too to cover your bases if your computer and your hard drive get taken out of action).

How to backup your Outlook files

This method is basically the same in every version of Outlook. If you’d like to see this step by step in action then take a look at the YouTube videos at the bottom of this post.

To export

1)    Open outlook

2)    Go to file

3)    Select options on the left hand side

4)    Go to advanced

5)    Select ‘Export Outlook information to a file for use in other programs’

6)    Select export to a file and click next

7)    Select outlook data file (.pst)

8)    Select the folders you want to backup and click next

9)    If you want to, change the location of where this file will be saved

10)  It is advisable to copy this file to another location, such as an external drive

To import

1)    Make sure your backup file is on your desktop, or your external hard drive is connected

2)    Open outlook

3)    Go to file

4)    Select open

5)    Click import

6)    Select import from another program or file

7)    Select Outlook data file (.pst)

8)    Browse to find the correct file

9)    Leave the option ‘replace duplicates with items imported’ selected (should be this way automatically) and click next

10)  Make sure ‘include all subfolders’ is selected and click finish

11)  Make sure you leave Outlook until  all the folders are updated (there will be a message at the bottom of the window to say that outlook is updating)

Video tutorials

A quick and clear tutorial on exporting from  Outlook 2010:

Importing from Outlook 2010:

Exporting and Importing from Outlook 2007:

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