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I'm making a backup of my Outlook folder. In Outlook I pressed export to a .pst file. Will this backup all my contacts and mails stored locally? And what with the .ost file, is this needed?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

(1) While exporting, did you select export "Outlook Data File (.pst)" option and then selected the entire Outlook Data File - Profilename (with "include subfolders" option checked) under "Select the folder to export from" on a next window?

here are Outlook 2010 screenshots:

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(2) Regarding .OST file, from the Outlook data files help page:

The primary distinctions between the two types of Outlook data files are:

-- The Outlook .ost files are used only when you have an Exchange Server account and choose to work offline or use Cached Exchange Mode.

-- The Outlook .pst files are used for POP3, IMAP, and HTTP accounts. When you want to create archives or back up your Outlook folders and items on your computer, including Exchange Server accounts, you must create and use additional .pst files.

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Perfect explanation Jags :) – tom Aug 9 '11 at 12:34

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