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I want to back up the OutLook mailboxes from one system, then restore them to a different one.

I am using MS-OutLook 2007 in Windows XP, but I am unable to find *.PST files in the usual location:

C:\Documents and Settings\abc\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

I also selected a "Folder" -> Right Click -> Properties, but under the General tab there is no "Advanced" button available.

How shall I take the back up of my mailboxes?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

You can export your mailboxes to separate .PST files. Under the "File" menu, choose "Import and Export...," then follow the options to export to a .PST file (sometimes referred to in OutLook as "to another program or file" depending on which revision you're using).

You'll be presented with a common "Save as" dialogue box that you can use to select the target directory. After transferring the resulting .PST file(s) to the other computer, you'll be able to import from there using relatively the same process (except you'll be "Importing" this time instead of "Exporting").

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Regarding which directory the folders are stored in, you have the right idea for where they should be stored, but it is possible that someone in the past set up your OutLook mailboxes to be stored at some other location. Under the "Tools" menu you should be able to find it under "Accounts" or something like that (sorry, Microsoft keeps changing the names of these items so I can never remember what they're supposed to be called) and then choosing the "Data files" tab (which will reveal the path to each mailbox file).

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Thanks for the tip. But I get the error, "Personal Storage Usage is disabled on this computer." –  SyncMaster Jul 19 '11 at 6:12
Is this in a Microsoft Exchange environment (corporate), or your home environment? If it is Exchange, you don't have a PST, so you can't find it and copy it, and it sounds like they have inhibited you from making a copy of your e-mail. –  KCotreau Jul 19 '11 at 6:16
When MS-Exchange is in the picture, you'll need to look for .OST files instead of .PST files (they're usually stored in the same directory as your .PST files), which you can certainly copy (although I'm unsure of the process to bring them into another installation elsewhere). –  Randolf Richardson Jul 19 '11 at 6:29
@Randolf Richardson You cannot export an OST, nor can you move it to another computer (I have tried, but believe it is tied to the SSID, or something, but it definitely did not work even with the same user). There are some paid third-party tools that can convert them to PST's, but you can't do it natively. –  KCotreau Jul 19 '11 at 6:33
@Randolf Richardson Thank you very much...I should hit it today. Copying an OST is one thing, making it work in another profile is another least I was never able to make it work. It could be just something I don't know. –  KCotreau Jul 19 '11 at 6:50

Now that we know it is a corporate Exchange environment, I can tell you that there are no PST files, which is why you could not find it. It is all held in a central database on the Exchange server. Then they disabled your ability to export it locally using group policy.

Talk to IT, and ask them if they have any problems with you having a PST copy. They could easily export it for you from the Exchange Management Shell.

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+1 for recommending the use of official channels ("Talk to IT..."). –  Randolf Richardson Jul 19 '11 at 6:59
@Randolf Richardson +1 Back at you. You answered the question even if he didn't have one. –  KCotreau Jul 19 '11 at 7:02
Thanks, pal! I appreciate that. I get the impression that a lot of people aren't catching on to this upvote feature (probably because the arrows above/below the counts don't make it obvious, especially to new users). –  Randolf Richardson Jul 19 '11 at 7:07

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