Your PST file contains all your Outlook email, so you need a safe and reliable way to back it up on a recurring basis.
A little backtracking, for those of us who haven’t run across this term before. If you use Microsoft Outlook for your email, your PST files contain all your messages, calendar events, contacts, and other data. As the PST file is critical, you need a way to back it up on a regular basis in case something goes kerflooey with the live file. You can then always retrieve the backup, whether to locate an individual e-mail that’s been lost or deleted or to recover the entire PST file in case it gets corrupted. Outlook itself offers no way to back up the file, but you can turn to a couple of free utilities to do the work.
Microsoft provides a free program called Personal Folders Backup, which sets itself up as an add-in for Outlook and can automatically back up your PST file at regular intervals. The drawback with Personal Folders Backup is that it works only with older versions of Outlook up to the 2010 edition. But no cause for worry. Those of us who run Outlook 2013 or 2016 can use a third-party tool called Safe PST Backup. This utility can also automatically back up your PST file on the fly at specific days and times and to the location of your choice.
In the olden days of Outlook, I used the Personal Folders Backup program since it was simple and got the job done. Since upgrading to Outlook 2016, I’ve been using Safe PST Backup, which has also proven to be an effective tool. Let’s first look briefly at Personal Folders Backup for those of you running an older flavor of Outlook and then we’ll take a tour of Safe PST Backup.
Personal Folders Backup