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Manage your mailbox V: Retrieve, back up, or share messages

Copying and pasting PST file

If your computer crashes or if you don't have access to the e-mail server for some reason, wouldn't it be nice to have backup copies of your important messages somewhere else (like on a CD)? You can do this by copying a PST file. You can then move the copied file (and the messages it contains) to another computer or to a CD.

Making a copy also makes it easy to share e-mail messages with, say, a newly hired co-worker or the person who takes over a project for you.

Here's one way to create a backup copy of a PST: You start in Windows Explorer and make a copy of the file there. You'll need to close Outlook before you do this.

Callout 1 Right-click the file in Windows Explorer and click Copy.
Callout 2 Move the pointer to the location where you want to paste the copy of the file, right-click, and click Paste.
Callout 3 The result: The copied file is pasted with the original file name and the word "Copy" so that you know it's a copy.

Tips     We've included links to more information about the following tips in the Quick Reference Card at the end of this course.

  • There's a tool called the Outlook Personal Folders Backup Tool that you can download to help you back up PST files.
  • Also, because we're talking about copies, here's something to keep in mind: If you've copied the PST to a CD or similar storage device, you'll need to copy it onto another computer before Outlook on that computer can access the messages it contains. Outlook cannot read messages on a CD.
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