How to save Outlook emails on your hard drive
The cloud is all well and good, but sometimes it’s best to have the security of locally stored emails. Whether you’re running a business, or just want to keep a complete record of your electronic correspondence for other reasons, storing your emails on a hard drive is a good idea – and is relatively simple to do. If you’re using Microsoft Outlook on a Mac or PC, here’s how to save your emails on your hard drive.
Outlook makes it easy to save your emails, contacts and much more – and gives you two options of doing it. The first is the easiest, as Outlook bundles everything in an easily generated Personal Storage (.pst) if you’re on Windows, or Outlook for Mac file (.olm), if you’re on an Apple computer. Microsoft Outlook is pretty much the same whether you’re using a Mac or a PC: the only difference is in the type of file exported. Despite that, this tutorial will cover both methods.
How to backup your Outlook emails on a Mac
- As you’d expect, your first task is to boot up Microsoft Outlook. Before beginning the backup process, make sure your computer is connected to the internet and your inbox is up to date. That way, your eventual backup will contain as many of your emails as possible.
- On a Mac, go to the File tab, and then navigate down to Export.
- From there, you’ll be shown a new window that asks which type of file you’d like to export. To ensure that all of your data, including your contacts and emails, gets backed up, make sure the toggle marked as “Outlook for Mac Data File (.olm)” is checked – along with Mail, Contacts, Calendars, Tasks and Notes. If you’re not bothered about backing up any of these, feel free to uncheck them.
- Once you’re happy your data will be included in the backup, click Export.
- You’ll then be asked to save your .olm backup. We suggest you store it on your hard drive in an easy to remember location, but if your files are extra-sensitive it’s a good idea to back them up to an external hard drive, too.
- And you’re done! You now have a safe record of your emails. However, it’s important to back-up regularly, meaning you’ll lose even less if your Outlook account does go down.
How to backup your Outlook emails on a Windows machine
- After booting up Microsoft Outlook, make sure your inbox is completely up to date. That way, your eventual backup will contain as many of your emails as possible.
- After clicking on File and then Account information, you’ll then see a window with all your account information.
- Go to the second tab marked “Open and Export”, and then click on the option for Export. You’ll be given a choice of two files. Make sure you select .pst.
- Make sure the file is saved to a location you can easily access and if your emails are extra sensitive, you can also add a password to your .pst file. After that, you’re free to save the file wherever you like, although we’d suggest saving it to your hard drive and, if possible, an external hard drive too.
- And you’re done! You now have a safe record of your emails. However, it’s important to back-up regularly, that way you’ll lose even less if your Outlook account does go down.