For those of us who keep our calendar, a complete list of all of our tasks, our one and only address book, and a wealth of reference material in Outlook, our Outlook data is precious. Therefore, backing up that data is crucial. It is important to note is that all of the Outlook data is housed in one single file, probably named Outlook.pst on your computer. If you archive your Outlook data, there will also be a second file called something like Archive.pst. Backup those two files, and if the hard drives goes down, your data is still safe.

Microsoft offers a tool which will automatically backup your data. You can get the backup tool free by going to and searching for “Personal Folders Backup.” I found the tool at this address.

To configure the tool, open Outlook and click on the File menu. Click on “Backup.” When the box opens, click the “Options” button. Here you will be able to decide how often your data will be backed up. You can also choose the location for your data backup.

I do not choose the default location for my backup. Instead, I set the location to my “Current Projects” folder. That way, when I backup my Current Projects, which I do weekly, I am making a copy of my Outlook data.

When the scheduled day comes for the data backup, the tool kicks in when Outlook is closed. I don’t need to remember to backup the data. The backup tool handles the remembering for me.

Serious Outlook users depend on the data housed in the program. Protecting that data is essential. With the Outlook backup, that data is safe.