How can I easily backup Outlook?
February 20, 2009 2:56 AM   Subscribe

Is there an easier and less manual way to export your calendar, contacts, tasks and notes in Outlook?

Every month, I perform the following:

1. Create a folder with the current date
2. Export Outlook's calendar to a PST within that folder.
3. Export Outlook's contacts to a PST within that folder.
4. Export Outlook's tasks to a PST within that folder.
5. Export Outlook's notes to a PST within that folder.
6. Zip up the folder.
7. Upload it to a backup side and another computer.

The exporting of the data from Outlook to a file is easily the most time consuming part. Especially since it takes 10 clicks per task to get it into a PST file. As such, I can't help wondering if I'm doing it the most efficiently.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can speed up the exporting of this data?

(I don't want to purchase or use a backup service as I have my own storage area and feel more comfortable with something under my control. Nor would I like to backup to an alternative proprietary file format.)
posted by mr_silver to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Is there a particular reason why you want to back up each of the above separately rather than all at once? If not, install the Outlook backup tool and set it to back up your entire PST whenever (or wherever) you like.

Using this tool, you can also you can also backup manually by choosing Backup from the file menu. When you close Outlook it will back up the entire PST to a location of your choice.
posted by gfrobe at 3:20 AM on February 20, 2009


it's been a little while, but i'm pretty sure auto-archive can handle all outlook objects.
posted by rhizome at 3:37 AM on February 20, 2009


1.) Make sure Outlook is closed
2.) Copy your Outlook.pst file (do a file search on your computer to find where it is) to another folder
3.) Zip the other folder
4.) Start up Outlook.

I've got a batch file that copies the file to the other folder out on the network, and since mine's not big enough to worry about, I don't zip it. It's still manual but way less manual.
posted by deezil at 8:32 AM on February 20, 2009


Thanks for the comments so far. I break them down for two reasons:

1. I don't want to backup emails or journals. That would make the archives huge.
2. If I have only one PST and it corrupts, then I'm SOL. If I have multiple files for each of the types, then I've still got a good chance.
3. When I want to restore one contact or one note, opening a huge PST is overkill.

Zipping up the PST is no use, it's about a 1GB in size. The steps I have produce a backup which is only about 2MB.
posted by mr_silver at 9:27 AM on February 20, 2009


auto-archive lets you select which objects you'd like to have copied, so you'd deselect email and journals.
posted by rhizome at 11:52 AM on February 20, 2009


2. If I have only one PST and it corrupts, then I'm SOL. If I have multiple files for each of the types, then I've still got a good chance.

You're stil SOL if the one PST you want data from is corrupt. No difference at all. Zip. Nada.

3. When I want to restore one contact or one note, opening a huge PST is overkill.

Do you restore items frequently? Because, if not, why would it bother you if it takes an extra 60 seconds (based on personal experience)?

Seconding the Outlook Backup Tool mentioned above, if you can't tell.
posted by IAmBroom at 1:54 PM on February 20, 2009


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