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POP/IMAP email backup with Outlook


In preparation for your email backup using Outlook, please create a folder for the backup data – preferably not a standard Windows folder. We suggest, C:\Backup Nothing to stop you storing your email backup onto an external drive or network share.

If your Outlook is set up with POP and Outlook stores data in a .PST, you can simply, exit Outlook and copy the data file directly to your backup device\folder.

Backed up .PST naming convention suggestion


If you have several email accounts to backup and you do this often, it would be a good idea to use an easy to recognise name for each backed up email address.

The name could be in the format of the email address and date (or the other way round). For example “colum@megganet 2-11-22” or “2022-11-02 colum@megganet.com” Colons (;) and back slashes (/) are not permitted in filenames.

Start the backup procedure


Select ‘File‘ > ‘Open & Export‘ then ‘Import/Export‘ as shown in the pic below.

Select Import/Export from this menu

Export to a file


Select ‘Export to a file‘ form the list of options.

Select Export to a file and select Next >

Export Data File (.pst)


Select ‘Outlook Data File (.pst)‘ and select ‘Next >‘.

Select Outlook Data File (.pst) and select Next >

Export the Data file


Select the data file you wish to export and select ‘Next >‘. The name of my data file is ‘colum@meganet.com’ and the name of your data file will be different.

Select the data file you wish to export and select Next >

Also, make sure that you tick the ‘Include subfolders‘ as this should also backup all your sub folders.

Select backup folder and backup name

Browse to the appropriate folder and create a name for your backup

In the example above, the data file is called ‘Outlook 2022-01.pst’ This shows that the file is an Outlook data file. The date is in reverse format so that when you view a folder and sort by name, the backups will be listed in the correct order.

Verify the location and file name and select ‘Finish

Since we are doing a full backup, We can levee the pre selected radio button at ‘Replace duplicates with items exported‘. Select an appropriate backup folder and name your backup and select ‘Finish‘.

Selecting a backup folder


Make sure you choose a folder on a drive which will have enough room to contain the backup. You can check the size of the Outlook data file by going to the folder it is stored in and checking its property’s. Another way to check its size is to open Outlook, Right mouse click the data file (on the left) and select property’s.

Check the size of an Outlook data file

Check data file size

Select ‘Folder Size…‘ on the left.

As you can see in the above pic, the Total size of the data file is 1558823Kb or 1558.824Mb or 1.558824Gb.

Choose a password to protect your backed up data file

Password protect your backup data file and select OK


Once you select OK, the backup will start. The backup procedure may take some time depending on the amount of data being backed up, the speed of the backup device and the performance of the computer.

Repeat the procedure for all the email addresses you need to backup.


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