Introduction

This article describes how to locate and backup Microsoft Outlook files.


The Personal Folder file (.pst / PST) is the place where Outlook stores its data (when you're using Outlook without Microsoft® Exchange Server).


Each Personal Folder file contains all of your Outlook folders, including the Inbox, Calendar, and Contacts. You may have a single .pst file (often called "Internet Folders" or "Personal Folders" in your Folder List), and you may also have an additional .pst file that you use to archive messages (named "Archive Folders"). By backing up these PST files you will be backing up all your Outlook information.

In older versions of Outlook: you can find the location of the main PST file by right-clicking on the Outlook Today icon found in your Outlook shortcuts, or the Outlook Today icon found in your folder list and then left-clicking "Properties". Once the Properties dialog box is displayed, click the "Advanced" button. The "Path..." shown indicates where your Personal Folder file can be found.


For newer versions of Outlook: (in this example, Outlook 2013), left-click


File tab in ribbon bar > [Info] > [Account Information - the default] > Account Settings icon > Account Settings menu-item > Data Files tab in the dialog that opens > choose relevant account (if more than one)

In both cases, make a note of the path listed, then navigate to the same path\folder in SyncBack using the Browse facility for the Source box (or, Paste it in, if you Copied it).

Note that a profile configured with that folder as Source will copy the entire folder contents, unless you specify otherwise. If there are files in that folder you do not want to copy, you can de-select them via 'Choose Subdirectories & Files' button on the Simple settings page. Note that Outlook often creates temporary files in that location also, with random names, so you may not be able to permanently de-select such files by name. You can however specify in that Choose... dialog to either Include or Ignore New Folders or Files (if it says Include..., click to toggle to Ignore...), which may help, but if you do so, and then later on create a new PST in the same folder, remember to go back and select it!


Open Files

Note that SyncBackLite/SE/Pro can copy open / locked files, but SyncBackFree cannot. This means when copying your Outlook data files with SyncBackFree you must close Outlook (and any programs that may also be using the file, e.g. Copernicus or Google Desktop Search) before running your profile. You can configure your profile to Auto-close Outlook, but it cannot close programs like Copernicus and Google Desktop Search as they are services and not applications. A workaround is to have a Run Before program to stop the service (net stop servicename), and a Run After program to restart the service (net start servicename). To see which program has a file open, this article may help, but bear in mind (as stated) that the process that was locking the file at the time may no longer be locking the file at the time you check.