Outlook Client: Backup by Exporting

To backup emails in Outlook 2013 and 2016, perform the following steps.

Step-by-step guide

  1. Open your Outlook, and click File > Open & Export > Import/Export. Select Export to a file, and click Next.

  2.  Select Outlook Data File (.pst), and click Next.
  3.  Select the email account that you want to back up, and make sure you click the Include subfolders box. This will export the contents of all folders, including mail folders (Inbox, Outbox, Drafts, etc.), Contacts, Calendar, Tasks, Notes, and Journal.


    It's not possible to select multiple folders, so if you want to back up a few folders, you will have to repeat the process for each one individually.

  4. Click Next.
  5. Click Finish when the wizard suggests saving a copy of your .pst file to the default location: C:\Users\<username>\Documents\Outlook Files\backup.pst.
  6. To save your Outlook backup to another place, click the Browse button, select the desired location, and click OK.


    If you've exported your Outlook data before, the previous folder and file name will appear. To prevent overwriting the previous backup, be sure to type a different file name and once done click OK.

  7. When creating a new .pst file, Outlook will suggest protecting it with a password. In this case enter and confirm a password, and then click OK.

Type in previously used password when exporting to an existing .pst file that is password protected.


If exporting to an existing non-protected .pst file, Outlook will begin the export process immediately without showing the password dialog box. Keep in mind that exporting a big .pst file may take a while, and the progress bar will stay on the screen until the backup process is completed. Once the progress bar is full your back up is complete and ready to be restored on another computer or account.

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