Tech Tips Home
The Best Tech Tips And Daily Deals
Newsletter On The Internet!

WorldStart Tech Tip And Store Search
Email: Password: Login Remember Me

Like what you see here? Subscribe to the Tech Tips newsletter!   Email: Subscribe

How Do I Back Up Outlook Contacts And Emails?

Thursday, February 28th, 2013 by | Filed Under: E-Mail Help, File & Disk Management

Betty from Southern California writes:

My hard disk recently crashed. Fortunately I had several different back-up systems in place so I lost none of my documents, pictures, and music. I did lose all my email contacts and saved email. I use Outlook 2010. Under my Outlook Inbox I had many folders into which I would drag the email messages I wanted to save. I had assumed that these would be in my documents directory, and would be saved with my other files and backed up. I now know that is wrong, and that my files are gone. I want to make sure this doesn’t happen again – but can’t find where Outlook saves my contacts and saved emails! Can you tell me where to look? What is the best way to save these items?

Considering how important email communication has become, both for personal and work use, it’s a strange oversight that the Microsoft Windows backup program doesn’t automatically save your Outlook messages or contacts by default. If you have a large number of contacts and important messages that need to always be available, even in the event of a hard drive crash, there is a way to backup this data, however.

Navigate to the “File” menu at the upper-left corner of Outlook and click the “Open” button at the left side of the window. Although it may seem odd, you actually reach the exporting options by clicking the “Import” button, which is marked with an icon of two arrows pointing in different directions.. If you are using the earlier 2007 edition of Outlook, instead click “Import and Export” in the “File” menu.

Opening The Export Wizard

When the import and export wizard pops up on the screen, click the option labeled “Export to a File” and select the “Next” button.

Selecting Export Options

If you want to back up all your email messages, or even just messages in one specific folder, select the “Outlook Data File (PST)” option (this is instead labeled as “Personal Folder File” in Outlook 2007). To backup your contacts rather than actual email messages, choose the “Comma Separated Values (Windows)” option. Click “Next” to move to the next screen of the export wizard.

Selecting The Export File Type

Select which folder or type of file you want to export in the list of options at the center of the window. For instance, click “Contacts” to backup all your saved email contacts, or instead click “Inbox” to save all the messages saved in that folder. If you’ve created various sub-folders in your Inbox that contain messages you need to save, be sure to select the check box labeled “Include Subfolders.” Click “Next” after choosing the appropriate option.

Choosing A Folder To Export

Click the “Browse” button and then double-click the folder where you want your messages or contacts to be saved. While you can back up the data to any folder on your computer, you should instead save the file to an external location, such as a USB flash drive. Click “Finish” to back up your Outlook data.

Finishing The Export Process

If you later experience a problem that causes you to lose your emails or contacts, return to the “Import” screen in Outlook and select “Import From Another Program or File” instead of “Export to a File.” Double-click the backup file you saved previously to restore your email messages or contacts.

~ Ty Arthur

Tags: , , ,

2 Responses to “How Do I Back Up Outlook Contacts And Emails?”

  1. K.Vee.Shanker. says:

    Hi Ty Arthur,

    Thanks for your useful tip.

    I like to know whether, one can open these .pst files through a reader – without the Outlook program?

  2. […] combined is 1.72 GB – much smaller than what would be required to back up my entire drive.  You can also choose to export your e-mails into a data file from an e-mail client like Outlook or Liv… If you save that file in documents, you can copy it along with the rest of your documents. As far […]

Leave a Reply

Like these tips? Get them for FREE in your email!

WorldStart's Tech Tips Newsletter

  • Tech Tips Daily - Become a tech pro! Get the very best tech and computer help sent directly to your email every weekday!

  • Tech Tips Weekly - If you don't want our Tech Tips newsletter every day, then sign up for this weekly newsletter to get the best information of the week. Sent on Fridays.

Other Newsletters

  • WorldStart's Daily Deals - Every week, we send out great deals in our Daily Deals newsletter. Many of these deals are exclusively for our Daily Deals newsletter subscribers and can't be found with our regular specials.

  • Just For Grins - Each issue includes a couple clean jokes, some funny quotes, and a hilarious reader's story. Newsletter is sent five days a week.

Enter Email Address:


Your e-mail address is safe with us!
We only use it to send you the newsletters you request. It is NEVER disclosed to a third party for any reason, ever! Plus, if you decided you don't like our newsletters (don't worry, you'll love them), unsubscribing is fast and easy.

Free Newsletter Signup

Tech Tips Daily

Become a tech pro! Get the very best tech and computer help sent directly to your email every weekday!

Tech Tips Weekly

The week's best in tech and computer help. Get your issue sent to your email every Friday!

WorldStart's Daily Deals

The very best deals on the Internet! Get a new set of incredible sales every day of the week!

Just For Grins

Clean jokes, funny quotes, and hilarious comics. Sent 5 times a week straight to your email.


Love Worldstart? Refer A Friend!

WorldStart's Premium Membership

Tip Archive