Using a PST File to backup Outlook

What is a .pst file?

A .pst file is Microsoft Outlooks file type for storing numbers of emails.
  • .pst files are stored on your computer as a single file … but they are actually an archive of many emails, and even other Outlook data (Contact details and calendar appointments can also be stored alongside emails)
  • .pst files keep the folder structure. So if you put emailing into folders inside a PST file, they will remain in those folders, even if you shift the .pst file to another computer.
  • .pst files require Microsoft’s outlook software to open and view. Outlook is not a Webshield product, so we offer no warranties if you use it. Microsoft will offer support and warranties for their own software should you require it.

How can I create a .pst file?

Note: every time you setup an email account in Outlook, Outlook will create an associated .pst file for that email account. If you are using outlook for your existing email addresses, you will already have .pst files on your computer. To create a new .pst file, which is separate from the ones associated with your email accounts you should follow these steps:
  1. From the Inbox, select New Items > More Items > Outlook Data File.
  2. Enter a File name.
  3. If you wish to password protect the new pst backup file, then check the Add Optional Password box.

  4. Select OK. Type a password in both the Password and Verify Password text boxes and select OK again. If you set a password, you must enter it every time that the data file is opened — for example, when Outlook starts or when you open the data file in Outlook.
Once created the PST file will appear as a folder in the left hand column. You can drag and drop emails and folders into it.

Finding and moving the .pst file?

Note: every time you setup an email account in Outlook, Outlook will create an associated .pst file for that email account. If you are using outlook for your existing email addresses, you will already have .pst files on your computer.

Starting with Outlook 2013, the location of PST files moved to the Documents folder. Outlook 2013 and 2016 now store PST files at the following location: C:\users\username\Documents\Outlook Files 1) Open the Account Settings 2) Click on the “Open File Location” Once you have found the file you can copy that to a backup media (USB stick or DVD disk). Microsoft have their own guide on an alternate method for exporting and importing .PST files Here