Microsoft Outlook provides a mechansim to save the contents of Mail Folders as a file on your disk, which you can use as an archive or backup of your email messages and also enables you to copy the files and open them in Outlook on other machines. These are known as personal folders (.pst) files.

Here’s the process I used on Outlook 2007, which may work with other versions of Outlook too but I’m not sure whether this works in Outlook Express.

Creating a .pst file

1. On the File menu, click Import And Export.

2. Click Export to a File, and then click Next

3. Click Personal Folder File (.pst) , and then click Next

4. Click the folder that you want to export to a .pst file and then click Next

5. Click the Browse button, and then select the location to save the .pst file

6. In the File Name box, type a descriptive name which will be used as the title of the mail folder when the file is opened in Outlook. (The password is optional – you don’t need to specify a password) and then click OK.

How to open a .pst file data in Outlook

1. On the File menu select Open and then Outlook Data File and browse to the required .pst file

2. The file when opened in Outlook appears as an additional folder in the Mail Folders list as shown, using the name specified when the file was created. This folder can be used in the same way as other folders – emails which are copied to the folder are automatically written to the file.

Close the .PST file

1. To close the file, simply RMB (right mouse button) click on the Folder name and select Close

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