Back Up and Restore an Email Account with Microsoft Outlook

For Microsoft Outlook 2016

We show you how to back up and restore your emails, contacts, and calendars with Microsoft Outlook.

Not only can you create backups of your important data, but you can also restore your mailbox contents when you change your email address or set it up again, such as after a domain transfer or an upgrade to services like Microsoft Office 365.

Backing Up an Email Account

  • Start Outlook and click on File.
  • Click Open and Export.
  • Click Import/Export.
  • In the Import/Export Wizard, select Export to file and click Next.
  • Select Outlook Data File (.pst) and click Next.
  • Now select the emailfolders to back up.
    Hint: If you want to back up the entire mailbox contents (recommended), select the email address itself and make sure the Include subfolders option is checked.
  • Click Next.
  • Click Browse to specify the location and name for the export file.
  • Select the location and specify the file name for the export file. Confirm your settings with OK.
  • Now you can decide how Outlook should handle duplicates. If in doubt, we recommend that you leave the default settings here to replace duplicates with exported elements.
     
    • The Replace duplicates with exported items option will overwrite existing data with the new version of an item being exported.
    • The Allow duplicate items to be created option allows copies of existing data to be added over repeated exports.
    • The Do not export duplicate items option causes only the data that has been added since the last export to be saved.
  • Click Finish.
  • If you want to protect your data from access by third parties, you can now save the file with a password. Enter the desired password in both fields and click OK. If you don't need a password, just leave the field blank.

Outlook will now export your data.

Restoring Emails

  • Start Outlook and open the Import/Export Wizard ( File > Open and Export > Import/Export ... See steps 1-3 above)
  • Select Import from another program or file and click Next.
  • Select Outlook data file (.pst) as the file type to import and click Next.
  • Select the folder whose contents you want to import. If you want to restore the entire contents, select Outlook data file at the top and enable the Include subfolders option.
  • You can now specify where the data is to be imported (leave the default setting in case of doubt).
     
    • The Import items to current folder option inserts the contents and the saved folder structure into the folder you opened before starting the import function. For example, you can test the import without changing your general folder structure or its contents.
    • The Import items to the same folder in: (default) causes the contents to be automatically inserted into the same folder of the Outlook data file specified in the drop-down menu. Folders that do not yet exist are created.
  • Click Finish to start the import.

Once the import has completed, you can manage your emails as usual.