How To Save Outlook Data File

Dear Computer Lady,

My Dell Inspiron desktop computer is 6 years old and came with Vista. Now Vista is on the way out. I have saved a lot of family pictures, genealogy and other “important stuff” on Outlook Mail. I was assured by a friend that a technician can transfer everything to a new computer.

I would like to save ALL the things on Outlook 2007 to my WD 1.5T remote hard drive.

I wonder if Is it possible for me to save this to my remote hard drive, just so I don’t lose it all…just in case. If so, how computer savvy must one be?

Thank you! Betsy

Dear Betsy,

Actually, your Outlook (Not Outlook Express or, but Microsoft Office Outlook) mail and everything in it is in one file that is easy to backup. All you have to do is find it.

Outlook stores all your messages, contacts and calendar entries in one file called a post office file. It ends with .pst. Here is how to find your .pst file:

Start Outlook.
On the Tools menu, click Options.
On the Mail Setup tab, click the Data Files button.
Note the path and file name of your .pst file. For example, C:\Exchange\Mailbox.pst indicates a .pst file that is named Mailbox.pst located in the Exchange folder on your drive C.
Click Close, click OK, and then click Exit and Log Off on the File menu to quit Outlook.

Now that you know where the file is located, you can copy it to your remote hard drive.

On the Start menu, point to Programs, and then click Windows Explorer.
Browse through the files to the location of your .pst file.
Drag to copy your .pst file to the location that you want.



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Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
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    • Rhino
    • January 6, 2015

    Actually, a pst file is “not” a post office file although one could (would?) be forgiven for thinking it is so.

    It is in fact an abbreviation for personal storage table which is an open proprietary file format used to store copies of messages, calendar events, and other items within Microsoft software such as Microsoft Exchange Client, Windows Messaging, and Microsoft Outlook. The open format is controlled by Microsoft who provide free specifications and free irrevocable technology licensing.

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