Join David Rivers for an in-depth discussion in this video Locating your .PST file, part of Migrating from Outlook 2003 to Outlook 2007.
Microsoft Outlook automatically stores your email messages, contacts, appointment, your tasks, notes, even journal entries, in one of the following two locations. It might be in a personal storage folder, also known as a PST file, right on your hard drive, or if you use Outlook with Microsoft Exchange Server, potentially, it's in a Mail box that's located right on the server. Typically, if you're using Outlook in a work environment like a large organization, it's your IT department that manages the Exchange Server and backing up of your PST files.
Of course, you can use a backup of your PST file to restore or remove your Outlook data if you experience a hardware failure, or if you lose data unexpectedly, or if you have to transfer data from one computer to another computer, such as you might need to do when migrating from Outlook 2003 to Outlook 2007. Now before you can make a backup of your PST file, you'll need to know where to find it and the location depends on your version of Windows and whether or not you're on an Exchange Server.
So, if you use Outlook with a Microsoft Exchange Server, remember the default delivery and storage location is the Exchange Server mailbox and it's the Administrator who usually handles the backups of the mailboxes on the server, but some administrators like to store Outlook data in a PST file right on your hard disk drive. So, how do we find out? Well, right here in Outlook and whether or not you're using Outlook 2007 or 2003, you'll go up to the Tools menu and select Account Settings. Now if you're using Outlook 2003 and you go to the Tools menu and E-mail Accounts is not available - and that's a possibility, it's possible that the network administrator has removed the option to protect the account information.
So, if you don't see it there, contact your network administrator for some help. Next, with the Account Settings showing, we'll go to the Data Files tab and down below you'll see one or more files listed. We are going to look at the Name column. If the Name field contains the word Mailbox followed by the email name, Outlook stores your data in folders on the Exchange Server. So, you'll need to contact the administrator for more information about how backups are handled. If the field contains the words personal folder or the name of a set of personal folders or PST files, Outlook stores new messages, contacts, et cetera, and other data in a PST file right on your hard drive.
So, now it's time to actually locate the file. We'll just close this up and we'll go into Windows Explorer. Now in Windows Vista or Windows 7, the default location is on your hard drive, then you'll double-click Users, find your user name, double-click there, then double-click AppData, double-click Local and there you'll find Microsoft. You'll double-click that folder and then, finally, as you scroll down, you'll see Outlook. dDouble-click there and that's where you'll find your PST file.
So, you'll see a list of files and you'll see their types over in the type column and the PST file, for you, could be called Outlook or it might be in the actual name of your own personal file. So, what you're really looking for is the extension, the PST file, and that's the file that you want to be able to back up. Now if, for example, you're using Windows XP, the default location for your PST file is a little bit different. It's on the C drive, under Documents and Settings, then your user name, then local settings, then Application data, then Microsoft, then Outlook.
So, now that you know where to find PST file, you're ready to back it up. We'll do that next.
- Comparing the Outlook 2003 and 2007 interfaces
- Creating macros for increased efficiency
- Changing the default startup folder
- Using keyboard shortcuts
- Transferring mail and other items between Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007
- Backing up a mailbox
- Performing common tasks with the Quick Access toolbar
- Sharing calendars
- Previewing email