It’s not rare that incidents like system crashes cause data loss. If you are using your Outlook with an Exchange account, it’s not a cause of worry as Exchange data is not affected by the crash of your system. Otherwise—when you use Outlook independently on your machines—you may lose all your emails and other data after such unfortunate incidences. Keeping this in mind, many experts suggest backing up the Outlook data, especially when you have very critical information there in it. Here we will show you how you can back up Outlook PST file data easily.

Backup by copying the PST file

MS Outlook stores its data in Outlook Data File (PST). To back up the Outlook data including emails, you need to manually copy and paste the PST to the backup location—another drive in the same computer, a removable storage device, or another linked computer.

pst file location compacting

You can note the location of the PST file from the Data Files tab of the Account Settings dialogue box (to open this, double-click Mail in Control Panel, and then click Data Files). Also, you can copy the location of the PST file from the Filename field in the Outlook Data File dialogue box (to open this, select the PST file and click Settings). You can use the Windows File Explorer to reach the PST location, from where you can copy the PST file to paste in the destination location.

Note: If the Outlook Data File is very large, compact it by clicking Compact Now (in the Outlook Data File window). Doing so will save the storage space.

Export specific Outlook folders/items to PST (to backup only the important items)

The Import and Export Wizard of MS Outlook helps to export folders and items from PST file to another one. The advantage is that you can select the folders and filter for the items you want to export. So it is the best option if you want to back up only the important data.

selection filter


Note: You can open the Import and Export Wizard from the File menu (click Open & Export > Import/Export in Outlook 2016/2013).

Covert/Migrate PST files to Different Formats/Destinations

Third-party tools like PST Repair, even though not a backup application, helps you convert or migrate PST files to PST, MBOX, DBX, email servers, Office 365, web mails, and many other popular formats and destination. It even repairs corrupt PST files and helps you to recover important contacts from Outlook PST files, let’s see how:

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  1. In the home screen, select whether you want to process a single file or multiple files, then click on the Browse button to select a PST file. Click on the Next button after adding the file.
  2. add the PST file

    Note: By using the search button, you can locate a PST file.

  3. Once the scanning process is over, you will have all the list of all items on the let side of the screen. By clicking on the individual emails and items you can have its preview on screen.
  4. scanning process completed

  5. Click on the Save button to start with the conversion/migration process.
  6. start migration process

  7. Now, you need to select the format, email servers or anything you prefer. Click on Next after the selection.
  8. select the format

    Note: Here, I am recovering a corrupt PST file, so I have selected PST file as the saving format.

  9. In this step, apply filters to customize the process as per your requirement. Click on Next to proceed.
  10. apply filters to customize the process

  11. Next, manage the recovered PST by selecting the split option, and adding a prefix to the file. Click on Next when done.
  12. manage the recovered PST

  13. Now provide a destination to the file by clicking on the Browse button. This step provides you the option to exclude a particular folder and opt for your saving presences. Click on the Finish button once done.
  14. provide a destination

  15. The saving process will start, wait for the process to finish and click on OK.

save  the file

Note: To stop the process, click on the Cancel button.

The process was easy, and while working on this tool I encountered many advantages like:

  • You can search for the PST if you don’t know its location
  • Can save the file to PST and many other destinations
  • Can migrate PST file to email servers
  • Can use filtering options to save only the required data
  • Can follow the saving procedure for all the versions of Outlook
  • Can recover data from corrupt PST files


As a precaution against email data loss, many Outlook users want to back up their PST files. They can do this simply by copying the PST file to a safe location. They can use the export to feature of Outlook if they want to back up only some specific folders/items. Also, they can use third-party tools like Outlook PST Repair (though not a backup tool) to save the PST files in various destinations.

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