Protecting Data in Personal Folder Files in Outlook

Personal Folder Files or PST files are some of the most important files used by the Outlook application as they store all the vital email data as well as data such as appointments, contacts, tasks, etc. Protecting this data can take the form of backing up entire PST files or just updated folders. Either way, a user has to know how to protect all the data that is being stored in the PST files so that there is no loss of data in case of any damage or corruption in the files.

The simplest way of protecting data stored in PST files is to make a back up copy of the entire file and store it in multiple locations. For example, one could store one copy on an external media such as a CD or a zip disk. One could also store it in another location of the same hard disk and so on. This ensures that no matter what the problem – hardware or software problems or a natural calamity that destroys the equipment – it is possible to have at least one copy from which the user can restore all the important PST data and thus repair Outlook.

Identifying where the main PST file is located is the first big challenge. From the Mail setting in the Control Panel, one can access the Personal Folders service and note down the name as well as the location of the PST file used to store all the data. Once the location of the file is known, you could use My Computer or Windows Explorer to make multiple copies on zip disks, CDs and in different locations on the same computer. If there is any corruption in the main PST file being used due to sudden power outages or hardware failures, you could delete the damaged file, copy the most recent back up copy into the same location as you had noted earlier and thus repair Outlook. You could rename the file and this now becomes the main PST file that you can continue working with.

On the other hand, you might want to take only occasional back ups of folders such as the Contacts folder or the Calendar folder that are also updated only occasionally. You will then have to use the Import and Export feature of Outlook. You can get to this feature from the main File menu. After selecting Import and Export, click on Export to File and Next. You can choose the main Personal Folders file or PST file and then again click on Next. From here you can specify the folder that you want to export and the name you want to save it under.

If you would like to use the same feature to import the back up copy of the folder, go to the Import and Export feature from the main File menu. Select Import from another program or file and click on Next. Select the Personal Folder file or PST file and again click on Next. At this stage, you will have to specify the name and location of the PST file that you would like to import. This could be a file on an external media or in another location on the same hard disk. You will also be required to specify the folder into which the PST file is to be copied. This way you can easily restore the contents of a particular folder.

There is always concern that if the external media used to store back up copies of PST files get damaged or corrupted, there is no way one can repair Outlook or restore old data. The fact is there are powerful recovery software such as DataNumen Outlook Repair from DataNumen that have been developed by professionals with PST recovery experience of many years and will help in restoration of PST data from damaged media.

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