Backing up your Outlook files

By Sandra Clitter  

The other day, we had a tip for the group of users who do NOT use Outlook as their primary mail program. Today, we have a helpful hint for those who DO use Outlook (as I do).

I don’t know about you, but I could lose a lot of files on my computer and still be OK – AS LONG AS I still had my Outlook file(s). Most every important document that I work on is e-mailed to someone at some point in time. I can probably count on one hand the other ‘critical’ files I have (those which don’t get e-mailed ever): Quickbooks would be #1, then my timesheet and a couple of Access databases. After that, the level of importance drops radically. I would be devastated if I lost my 5000+ songs for my iPod (I could probably restore those from the iPod itself), but my business wouldn’t come to a screeching halt – the plane rides would just get ALOT longer :-).

My ‘other’ critical files (i.e. those which are NOT Outlook) can fit on a flash drive – no problem. I can copy them to an external drive in seconds. My Outlook file (and archives) on the other hand are humongous. They are many GB…not just a few MB. And trust me, if those files went ‘poof’, I would be beyond devastated. So, it makes it all the more important for me to copy/copy/copy!!! How about you?

Luckily, I have a pretty good backup system. I test restoring files on occasion (probably not as often as I should, but I do test it out). Many people, however, do not have a good backup system, or want to keep a copy of their Outlook files for their own safekeeping. It is easy to do (no more difficult that copying/pasting from Windows Explorer to whatever external storage you would like to use)…as long as you can locate the actual Outlook file on your computer (or server). Aha! That’s the problem!!! Where is the file?

I ran across this article which has a great description of how to locate/copy/restore your Outlook.

I BEG OF YOU!!! Save copies of your Outlook files elsewhere (out of your office/house). You’ll be amazed if you ever have to use them in a catastrophic circumstance…your Outlook contains a vast array of your work history. As you can see from this article, it only takes a second to do.

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