TECH GUIDE - How to backup Microsoft Outlook

TECH GUIDE - How to backup Microsoft Outlook

According to a recent research study, less than 20% of small to medium sized businesses make efforts to backup their data. Combined with the fact 82% of those asked conceded they could not function without their data, this doesn't make a lot of sense does it? But it's not that people are being deliberately negligible. It's more a case that they just don't know what to do.

Take email for example. Email is one of the most important data sets a small business could own. Emails include critical correspondence between clients, important contact details and calendars and information that is vital to the day-to-day running of the company. To lose your emails would have a serious impact on your future productivity yet many people don’t know how to backup their email properly. They think that if their computer’s hard-drive were to crash they can just pull them back from somewhere on the disk. Not so.

One of the most popular applications used for business email today is Microsoft’s Outlook programme. It’s been around since 1997 as an email application but over the years it has developed into a business critical tool that also includes a calendar, task manager, contact manager, note taking, a journal and web browsing function. Some business people have even joked that they ‘outsource’ their memory to Microsoft Outlook. It lets them know what to do, where to be and at what time.

Having a backup solution for Outlook has never been more important for the modern professional. Below is a step-by-step process for locating the critical file used by Outlook to store your emails, calenders and contact details. It’s called the .PST file.

For people using XP machines:

Open C:\Documents + Settings\ “name”\Local settings\Appdata\Microsoft\Outlook\Outlook.pst

For people using Vista or Windows 7 machines:

Open C:\Users\”name”\Appdata\Local\Microsoft\Outlook\Outlook.pst

To ensure you have a second copy of this file should your hard-drive crash, make regular backups of this file and store them away from your computer. The .PST file is a compressed version of every email you have sent and received, your calendar and any contact details you have saved.

You can create ongoing backups of this file with Professional PC backup. It is an automated, offsite solution for protecting this vital business asset. Just open the backup software, click on the Backup Set tab and navigate through your file structure to locate the file. Put a tick in the box and you’re now automatically protected.  

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