The main purpose of this page is to demonstrate how to back up your Microsoft Outlook's personal data such as emails and contacts. These two, depending on your Outlook setup, are stored in a file usually called Outlook.pst. In this page, we are going to learn how to change the default directory of this file from the System Drive C to our Data Backup Drive D. As shown in our previous data backup pages, this method, which we have called the Default Backup, safeguards your personal Outlook data against any unwelcome changes that may affect your system drive. And because Outlook's data storage depends on its different setup options, we have divided this tutorial into two sections: Outlook Setup and Outlook Backup. Thus, if you open the Windows control panel and double-click the "Mail" icon, and depending on your version of Windows and Office, you should see a window like this:
1- Click on the "Email Accounts" button above.
2- Under the "Email" tab click the "New" button.
3- Select the option "Manual setup or additional server types" and click "Next." Here, you should get a window that looks somewhat like this:
Microsoft Exchange Server:
This option is used mainly to set up a shared web email service, which is used by businesses for their employees. The email data here is normally stored on the server and does not apply to the subject at hand.
Outlook.com or Exchange ActiveSync compatible service:
Outlook.com, formerly known as Hotmail, does give you the option to store your data locally on your computer. For this purpose, the screen of your settings should like this, with the only differences of our name being "AbelPcWorld" and user name "APW."
Under the "More Settings" tab, your configuration should be like this:
In the "Outgoing Server" tab, "My outgoing server (SMTP) requires authentication" should be checked.
The "Advanced" tab should be setup like this, with emphasis on the incoming and outgoing server numbers:
All the settings in the above window should be as they are save for the "Delivery" options, which can be customized as we are going to explain in our next and last setup step.
With Version 2010 and under you can also explore setting up Outlook.com using Microsoft Office Outlook Hotmail Connector.
POP or IMAP:
POP vs. IMAP. In this last option, you can set up another email of your choice, such as the one provided by your local internet provider or web server. And the main difference between the two is that POP email is stored both locally on your computer and on the email server while IMAP email is stored on the server only and the messages are not stored on your computer. The advantage of IMAP is that you can access your emails from anywhere on the web as your messages stay "safe" on the server. However, this conflicts with our mission here to back up our data locally. And this is where the "Delivery" option above comes in place. You can set up your email here as POP and tell Outlook to leave copies of your messages on the server for however how many days you want; the default is 14.
This is a win-win in Outlook with the POP option; you can leave your messages on the server for the duration of time you desire and have them stored locally as the "Outlook.pst" file mentioned above, which brings us to the second and crucial part of our subject: Outlook Backup.
(Note that if you want to set up your local provider's email, which most people use as their default, you can follow the same steps as above and change the POP and SMTP settings as well as you user data, all of which can be supplied by your internet provider.)
1- In your "Data Backup" drive, create a folder where you want to designate the default location of the "Outlook.pst" file. We can name this folder "Outlook," for instance. Normally, the location of this file is here:
C:\Users\your windows user name\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook\Outlook.pst
This location should be the same under Windows Vista, 7 and 8, and the names in red pertain to you. Note that the name of the file for your default email should be "Outlook.pst," but if you add more email accounts the name of the file will show as "your email user name.pst." This file contains both your email messages and contacts. Therefore, if you have already been using Outlook before this backup procedure, I would copy this file from its original location in the C drive shown above to the "Outlook" folder you created in the first step. Thus, your emails and contacts are preserved when you move to the next step.
2- Open the control panel and double-click the "Mail" icon and you should get the same window as in the first screen shot above.
3- Click on the "Data Files" button.
4- Click the "Add" button."
5- Browse to the Outlook data file located in the "Outlook" folder created above and click "OK."
Now the default location of your Outlook email and contacts should be changed to the new location and will remain the same no matter what mishaps your system drive C might undergo. Importantly enough, however, and as a second line of defense, you should frequently deem backing up your Outlook data file to some external storage of your choice. Better safe than sorry!