Question: I want to make a backup of my Outlook data. Where is it stored on my computer?
Answer: Backing up your Outlook data is complicated by the fact that Microsoft does not make it easy to find the data. By default Outlook stores its data in a single file named “outlook.pst”. However the location of that file can vary substantially based on the version of Outlook, the version of Windows you are using, and your computer Username. To help users backup their valuable Outlook data Microsoft provides a free utility program that can be easily downloaded from the Microsoft web site.
Free Microsoft Backup Utility
The free utility, named “Personal Folder Backup,” allows you to create a complete backup of your Outlook.pst file and to place it in the folder of your choice, with the file name you want. An easy way to download this utility is to go to the Microsoft web site (web site here) and in the Search Box in the upper right hand side type “outlook backup” This will take you to the main page for downloading the utility and for learning more about how it functions.
Using the Backup Utility
After installing the backup utility you can launch it from within Outlook. With Outlook running click on the “File” option on the Menu Bar at the top of the screen. You will now see an item labeled “Backup” about two-thirds of the way down the list. Click on “Backup”. This will launch the utility in a small box near the center of the screen. Click on the “Options” button and set the Reminder Interval (number of days) and the File Location.
The default location where the backup is stored is a rather deeply buried folder where Microsoft also stores the main Outlook data file. You should change this location to an easier to find folder such as your “My Documents” folder or create a new folder named something like “Outlook Backup” within the “My Documents” folder. Then when you want to back up your Outlook data to CD, DVD or external hard disk drive you know exactly where to find it.