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Making a Backup Copy of Messages with Outlook 2010 and up

Sometimes your goal may be to make a backup copy of messages (that is, you want to leave the messages where they are and make copies of them). You can do that by exporting messages to a PST file. Remember, this action won't reduce mailbox size because copying doesn't move anything out of your mailbox.

  1. Go to the File tab and click Options. Choose Advanced from the left and click the Export button.
  2. In the first screen, select Export to a file and click Next.
  3. Select Outlook Data file (.pst) under Create a file of type and click Next.
  4. From the list that appears, select the folder that contain the messages that you want to export and click Next.
  5. Under Save exported file as, click Browse and select the PST file that you want to export the messages to.

    Note: If you don't have an existing PST file to export to, you can create a new one by typing a new name in the File name box. Outlook will create a PST file for you when you click Finish. For example, you could type My Backup.

  6. Under Options, verify that Replace duplicates with items exported is selected. If you were to export messages to the same PST file on another occasion, these options would allow you to control how duplicates are handled.
  7. Click Finish to start the export (if you have a lot of messages to export, this step may take a while).You can add an optional password at this step. Leave the password fields blank if you don't want one. Click OK.

To see the copied messages, you'll need to open the PST file from within Outlook:
Here's how to do that:

  1. From the File tab, (click Open & Export in 2013/2016), then click Open Outlook Data File .
  2. In the Open Outlook Data File dialog box, locate the PST file that you created above, click to select it, then click OK to open it. It will appear in the list at left as Outlook Data File (regardless of what you called it).
    To change the name, right-click the Outlook Data File and select Data File Properties. Click Advanced and change the name. Click OK, then OK again.
  3. To see the copied messages, click the right arrow next to the appropriate Personal Folder file in the Navigation pane and click the folder that you archived in the steps above.
    To remove the Outlook Data File from view, right-click it and choose Close \Outlook Data File\.