Do you know where your emails are saved? Are you sure they’re being backed up? You may be surprised to find out that your emails are not where you expect them to be.
In this post, I’ll show you how you can find out where your Outlook data is stored so that you can ensure that they are actually part of your backup plan.
How does Outlook save emails on your computer?
Outlook does NOT save each email as a separate file. Instead it saves all the emails into one PST file (or if you’re using Exchange or Office 365… one OST file).
All your emails are in one file. If you lose that one file, you lose all your emails!
- That’s not strictly true because you can have multiple files e.g. one for old emails and one for current emails, but the general idea still applies. Your emails are stored in a few files and if you lose one file, you will lose hundreds or even thousands of emails.
It is important that you know where these files so that you can back them up regularly.
Where are Outlook’s data files stored?
Depending on the version of Outlook you are using (and whether you are using POP3, IMAP, Exchange or Office 365), Outlook will save your data in either Documents folder or the hidden appdata folder.
Luckily it is easy to find where.
In Outlook 2010 or later, click the File tab, then click Info in the left pane. Select Account Settings and then Account Settings again. Then click the Data Files tab.
In Outlook 2007 and older versions, click Tools – Options on the command bar. Then click the Data Files tab.
All your data files will be listed as shown in the diagram.
Make sure that you back them up regularly and your emails will be safe.
Many users around the web have reported that Outlook 2013 stops sending emails after they upgraded their computers to Windows 10. The emails simply sit in the Outbox. The following steps can be used to solve the problem:
Description of Problem
After upgrading to Windows 10, Outlook 2013 can no longer send out emails. The email stay in your Outbox and the following error is displayed.
Error 0x800CCC13 Cannot connect to the network
(For some reason doing a test Send & Receive from the Outlook Account Settings screen still works!!… but most real emails will not go out).
It appears that (on some computers) the upgrade to Windows 10 corrupts a few settings files that are used by Outlook. You can use the following steps to fix the problem.
In the Windows Search Bar, type CMD. You should now see Command Prompt displayed in the search results.
Right Click and click Run as Administrator. A command prompt (C:\<some_path>\> will be displayed.
Type SFC /scannow and press enter.
The scan will take some time to run but once it is done you should find that your emails start working again.
Did this work for you, let us know by leaving a comment below.
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It’s hard to believe that 6 months have already gone by for year 2013… and the next 6 months will pass by even faster.
To ensure that we all continue to be organized and productive for the rest of the year, we decided to share with our readers the 5 essential tips to be organized, productive and safe from embarrassment at work.
If you missed out on any of the following tips earlier, this is your chance to look at them and apply it to your work for the rest of year.
Tip 1: Avoid filing emails in the Outlook Deleted Items folder
It is strange but we found out that a lot of people file their emails in the Deleted items folder (outlook’s rubbish bin).
Yes, the deleted items is referred to as a “folder” in Outlook but it is not for the purpose of filing/storing emails which you would want to refer to later.
We do not store anything in the rubbish bin in the real world to grab it out later right… then why do it in the virtual world.
Tip 2: Easy Email Search Tricks in Outlook
Jumping from folder to folder in Outlook was old-school style of finding emails which wasted a lot of your precious time. Outlook has improved its search over the years so finding emails is now easy particularly if you know some tricks to help you get more accurate search results.
Tip 3: Mark Outlook Emails Read only after you actually read them
Every morning, the first thing we do in Outlook is skim through the new emails in the inbox to see which ones need our immediate attention and which ones can be dealt with later.
But while you click through each email, Outlook marks this emails as “Read” and removes the bold highlight… this makes the emails less visible to you and moves them further down as you continue receiving emails through the day. You could end up losing sales because you forgot to reply to the email, end up with frustrated customers due to lack of response and find an inbox that is stacked up with non-responded emails.
Here is a simple setting in Outlook which lets you set a minimum time that you need to be on an email before it is marked as read (I have set mine to 5 second).
Tip 4: Use Outlook Search Folders to never miss an Important Email from your Boss/Client
How many times have you not responded to an email from your Boss or an important client because the email got buried under other 100’s of emails in your Inbox?
Probably because you clicked on the email and Outlook marked it as Read as discussed in Tip 3.
You can easily solve this by using a feature built directly inside Outlook called Search folders.
Tip 5: Avoid Common Emailing Mistakes that make you look unprofessional and waste precious billable time
Please raise your hands if you are guilty of committing any of the following mistakes:
- Forgot to attach a document to an email message.
- Clicked Reply when you meant Reply-All and wasted precious time re-sending the email to each recipient
- Click Reply-to-All when you meant Reply and disclosed information to unintended recipients.
- Forgot to write a subject.
- Emailed someone using the wrong email address (for those of us with more than one email address).
- Fired off an angry message that you later regretted.
This may seem small errors but if you are running a business, these seemingly “small errors” can make you look unprofessional and waste precious billable time.
To keep you (our readers) organized and productive for the rest of the year, we will share some more popular tips in the next post.
I hope you find this tips useful.
Let us know what are your plans for the second half of the year to have a better Outlook by leaving a comment below.
Do you read the content of your email to yourself while you are actually typing the email?
How many times have you used Outlook to send out emails with correctly spelt but the wrong words in them?
I’m sure this is the same with everyone, as we type the content of our email, we usually read to ourselves what we are typing, but often we say the correct word to ourselves but type the wrong word.
In the earlier post this week, I showed you how you can avoid common spelling mistakes using Outlook’s Autotext.
Here is another great way to avoid spelling mistakes…
Get Outlook itself to READ OUT the email to you!!!
Let’s look at the example we discussed in the earlier post again:
“Our sincere apologize for any inconvenience caused”
The word “apologize” was spelled correctly but was incorrectly used. The correct word was “apologies”.
These mistakes are easy to pick up if you use Outlook’s built-in (but well hidden) feature that will read the email aloud to you.
Windows already has the ability to read text back to you. Here’s how you can add a button inside Outlook to read out selected text to you.
Note: The following tip works in Outlook 2010 and 2013 only.
- Create a new email.
- Right Click on a blank area of the Ribbon
- Click Customize Quick Access Tool Bar
- Choose Commands not in Ribbon in drop down
- Scroll and select Speak
- Click Add
- Click OK
Outlook will add a new button to your Quick Access Tool Bar as shown below.
How to use the button to get Outlook to read the email aloud to you
- Create a new email
- Type some text
- Select the text that you want read out to you.
- Click the new button that was added in the previous steps.
Outlook will read the email out to you.
You may also want to add the “Speak Selected Text” button to your Inbox so that you read emails that you are reading in your Reading Pane.
Go to your Inbox and follow the steps above to add the button.
Finally you can also open an email that you have received and follow the same steps so that you can hear any email that you have received or already sent.
This simple tip has improved the quality of our emails here at Standss… hope it does the same for you.
At times, we are so busy responding to emails that checking the spelling and grammar is really not an option… Outlook spell checker does a great job of identifying spelling mistakes… but what about correct spelling but incorrect words?
Let me tell you a recent story to explain this further:
Recently I noticed that one of our Sales Rep sent an email with the phrase:
“Our sincere apologize for any inconvenience caused”
All the words were spelled correctly so spell check did not identify any mistakes… but the word “apologize” was incorrectly used. The correct word was “apologies”.
This is one of the common phrases used by the sales team so to ensure that the same mistake was not repeated, we used Outlook’s AutoText to insert the correct phrase as they type the email.
What is AutoText?
The easiest way to illustrate this is with an example. We setup an entry in Outlook for “Our sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused”. Now as the user starts typing the phrase, Outlook will automatically prompt if you want to insert the saved phrase…
All you have to do is press Enter if you want the phrase entered. Otherwise you can just keep typing whatever you want and the prompt disappears.
Setting up your own entries is super easy.
- Type the phrase that you want (in an email).
- Select the text using your mouse.
- Click Insert on the ribbon.
- Click Quick Parts > AutoText.
- Click Save Selection to AutoText Gallery to display the following screen.
- I used the default options for AutoText but you may want to change the Name or Category.
- Click OK.
The next time you start typing the phrase, Outlook will offer to complete it for you.
Try it out, it’s a great way to save you time correcting spelling errors while you focus on your real work.
If you know of other ways to ensure that your emails are spelling-error-free, share it with us by leaving a comment on this blog.
Your email inbox is where you spend most of your time and it is one busy place to be especially if you are receiving hundreds of emails per day.
Not all emails you receive need immediate actions or responses so you might want to defer it for a later time.
If you just leave the email in your inbox, you are likely to forget because it might just get buried under all the emails that you continue receiving throughout the day.
So how can you ensure that you are reminded to work on an email later when you are ready?
Here are a few ways to automatically get reminded to work on an email that you have received but do not need/want to work on till some date/time in the future.
Option 1: Flag the email with a reminder
This is an OK option if you don’t mind keeping the email in your Inbox (If you want to move the email out of your Inbox, option 2 might be more suited for you).
- Right click on the email, click Follow-up and then click Add Reminder.
- Enter the relevant information in the screen and click OK.
The problems with this method are:
- The email actually stays in your Inbox which can be a distraction and affect your productivity.
- You can’t add any notes to the original email (unless you are using Email Notes for Outlook)
Option 2: Convert the Email to your Calendar or Task List (drag-and-drop)
Many Outlook users do not realize this but you can convert an email to a Task or Calendar by dragging it to the Task or Calendar folder.
A new Task or Calendar Item will be created and opened with the email content in it. You can set the appropriate date to be reminded.
I prefer to drag-and-drop using the right (instead of left) mouse button. This gives 3 options when I drop the email:
- Copy here as Task with Text
- Copy here as Task with Attachment
- Move here as Task with Attachment
I choose either Copy or Move with Attachment options. This way the new Task has the email attached to it. I can simply double-click the attached email to respond.
I hope you find this tip useful in getting more organized.
Do you know of other ways to better manage your emails in Outlook?
Share it with us by leaving a comment below.
With almost 80% of business correspondence now taking place by e-mail, you NEED a good system for filing your e-mails.
The simplest way to organize your emails is to duplicate your paper filing system inside Outlook.
Like other Outlook users, I’m sure most of you were also printing and filing copies of important emails into folders for different clients or products, and it worked quite well because all your filed documents for a particular client or project were in one place and accessible for future reference.
That is the same system you need to implement for your email filing in Outlook, create separate folders for each client or project and file your emails (incoming and outgoing) to this dedicated folders.
Filing your e-mails like this has a lot of benefits… even if you print out copies of critical e-mails for future reference.
- BENEFIT 1: You don’t have to learn anything new to use this filing system (chances are your office has been filing your paper files using this system for years)
- BENEFIT 2: You can quickly see all e-mails for a client or project in ONE PLACE. You can use Outlook’s built in sorting to see the time-line of e-mails etc.
- BENEFIT 3: It is super-easy to export or archive projects. By filing in this way, you can use Outlook’s built-in tools to easily export e-mails out into a separate file if you need to. You can now file an electronic copy of all e-mails with your Word and Excel documents once a project is completed.
WARNING! Your e-mail filing system may FAIL … and a solution
This e-mail filing system clearly works. If it didn’t, you wouldn’t be filing your paper files this way.
Yet most users are not able to continue filing their e-mails this way for very long. Why?
The reason is simple.
- It takes too much effort to drag each and every e-mail out of the Inbox and into the correct folder.
- It’s too easy to forget to go to the Sent Items folder to move e-mails out of there into the correct folders.
- It’s not as easy to delegate e-mail filing as it is to delegate paper filing.
QuickFile 4Outlook is an inexpensive email organizer that works inside Outlook by adding two buttons called QuickFile and Send&File to your Outlook. It doesn’t change Outlook in any other way and it won’t change the way you have always used Outlook.
QuickFile mail organizer is a fantastic time-saver for anyone who wants to use a client or project based filing system in Outlook.
If you have your own test methods of filing emails that has worked?
Share it with us by leaving a comment below.
In Outlook 2007 (and below), finding contact information (such as phone numbers, emails) was quick and easy thanks to the Find Contact drop-down on the toolbar.
This was lost in Outlook 2010/2013 as the toolbar was replaced by the ribbon but you can still get the “Find a Contact” option on the Outlook Quick Access Toolbar.
What is the Quick Access Toolbar? This is a row with few buttons that appear on the top-left-hand corner of the outlook screen. These icons will be displayed irrespective of which tab of the Ribbon you are on… and you can add your own icons/commands to it.
To add “Find a Contact” to the toolbar:
- Click on the arrow pointing downwards (as red circled in the image above)
- Tick “Find a Contact” from the drop-down list.
Your toolbar will now show the Find a Contact option as show below (the screen maybe slightly different depending on your version of Outlook).
Now if you need to make a call and don’t remember the person’s phone number, just type the contacts name (any part of the name) and outlook will provide a list of contacts matching your search.
Select the contact and press Enter. The contacts information (phone number, email etc) will be displayed.
Did you find this tip useful or do you have a better way of finding contacts quickly in Outlook 2010/2013?
Let us know by leaving a comment on the blog.
As you type a few characters of an email address or name in the Outlook email TO/CC/BCC field, Outlook automatically provides suggestions of contacts/email addresses that match what you have typed.
With hundreds of other things on mind, it is difficult to remember each contacts email address so the Auto-Complete feature does a great job of remembering this for you.
BUT… People’s email addresses change or you may have stopped communicating with certain people – yet their old email addresses keep showing up in the list.
Even worse, if you typed the wrong email address of the contact and sent the email, outlook saves this address and it appears as a suggestion every time you type characters that match it.
So here’s a quick tip on how to maintain Outlook’s Auto-Complete list:
Deleting Single Entries
It’s easy to delete individual items from the list. Say you want to delete the email address which you mistyped previously, simply type the first few characters matching that address in the To: field to display the list. Then use the arrow keys on the keyboard to move to the email addresses and click Delete.
Deleting the Whole List
Use with Caution because there is no way of getting the list back!
You can also completely delete the list to start from a clean slate by following the steps below: (Instructions apply to Outlook 2013/2010 unless specifically stated)
- Click the File tab
- Click Options
- Click Mail.
- Under Send messages, click Empty Auto-Complete List.
This should now clear all email addresses.
I hope you find this tip useful.
Have you ever mistakenly sent out an important/confidential email to the wrong person as a result of using Outlook’s Auto-Complete list?
It happened to me once, so here’s how I ensure that I always send the email to the right person.
Outlook 2010/2013 has a Conversation view which groups all related emails sharing the same subject together. Although this seemed like a great idea, there have been mixed response to this feature.
I personally did not like the conversation view as it was frustrating finding and responding to emails quickly.
But there are a lot of users who seem to like the Conversation view and I may have not given myself enough time to get used to it…
Here’s how you can turn on or off the Conversation view in Outlook (The instructions below are for Outlook 2013 unless specifically stated):
To Turn on Conversation View:
- Open Outlook
- Select the folder to which you want to apply the conversation view, for example your Inbox
- Click on the View Tab
- In the Messages ribbon group > tick the check box for Show as Conversations. The following message will be displayed:
- Click All mailboxes If you would like to apply the conversation view to all mailboxes or click This folder if you want to apply it to the current folder only.
This will now change your selected folder to conversation view with all related emails grouped together.
To Turn off Conversation View:
- Follow the exact steps above and untick the checkbox for Show as Conversations
- On the prompt that appears, select whether you want to remove the conversation view for the current folder or all mailboaxes.
This will now return your selected folder to normal view.
What are your thoughts about the Conversation view?
Let us know by leaving a comment below.
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