Tag Archives: PST

How to backup your Outlook Data file (To avoid data loss)

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

Microsoft Outlook is the most common email client used by thousands of users around the world.

For most users, it is the central place for storing all your emails, appointments/tasks, contact details etc so… how often do you remember to maintain and backup your datafile?

Very few Outlook users know until it is too late that… Outlook does NOT by default save your email, task and calendar data in a folder that you would ever think of backing up.

Unless you are in a corporate network using MS Exchange, all your Outlook data is stored in one Personal Folder file called PST (Personal Storage Table).

  • This file has a .pst extension and is saved somewhere on your computer.
  • This one file probably contains all your Outlook folders, e-mails, contacts, tasks, calendar items, journal entries and notes inside it.
  • (Unfortunately) This file is NOT saved to your Documents folder (at least not by default) so chances are you are not backing it up.

If this file becomes damaged or corrupted, this could hamper the normally operation of Outlook and even cause data loss, therefore it is important that you make regular backups.

So where is this file on your computer?

The exact location depends on the version of Outlook and Windows. To find out where your Outlook data is:

  • Go to your Inbox and make sure that the list of folders is displayed
  • Right-click the top-level folder and select Properties
  • Click the Advanced button. The full path to the data file will be displayed in the box labelled FileName.
  • Just make sure that file is part of your computer backup plan.

If you are using more than one PST (e.g. a separate file for archives), then you need to do the above for each of your Outlook data files.

I hope that this little tip helps keep your Outlook data protected.

Remedy for Issues like Slow, Crashing or Freezing Outlook

By standss - Comments ( 1 ) Friday, May 18th, 2012

Outlook like any other program is also suspectible to failure.

For most of us, Outlook is a “treasure(Data) chest” with so much valuable information related to our work, business, clients etc.

In an earlier post, we have discussed the importance of maintaining your Outlook Data files especially if you have been using it for a long time or you could suddenly (i.e. without warning) end up with a corrupted Outlook data file with Outlook no longer able to open your emails.

If you find that your Outlook is slower than normal, crashes or freezes often, one of the first troublshooting steps you should try before doing uninstallation and reinstallation of Outlook is creating a New Profile. A new profile is also recommended when you are upgrading to the latest version of Outlook.

You can follow the steps below to create a new profile:

  • Ensure that Outlook is closed
  • Open Control Panel
  • Open the Mail Setup dialog box: If you use the Category view, look for the Mail Setup dialog box in the User Accounts category.
  • In the Mail Setup dialog box, click Show Profiles.
  • On the General tab, under When starting Microsoft Office Outlook, use this profile: click Prompt for a profile to be used, and then click Add.

New Email Profile

  • In the Profile Name box, type the name that you want to use for the new email profile, and then click OK.
  • In the E-mail Accounts dialog box, click Add a new e-mail account, and then click Next.
  • Click the appropriate server type for your new email account, and then click Next.
  • Type your account information in the required boxes, and then click Next.
  • Click Finish, and then click OK.

To add your existing personal data store to the new Profile:

  • After you click Finish in the profile wizard, select the new profile from the Mail dialog and choose Properties > click Email Accounts > click view or change email accounts.
  • Select New Outlook data file and find your existing PST, add it to the profile and set it as the default.
  • Click OK until you are back to the Email Accounts dialog and select the PST you just added in the “Deliver new e-mail to the following location” menu.
  • When you return to the Mail Setup dialog, choose Data Files and remove the extra personal folders from your profile.

If you open Outlook, you will now get a prompt to select the profile you would like to use.

Do you have any other remedies to solve the issues discussed above?

Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Where is your Outlook Data File?

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

I recently read an interesting article on TechRepublic about the 10 most important things to teach Outlook users.

One of the point refers to… backing up your Outlook data. I am frequently surprised by how many Outlook users just assume that their Outlook data is backed up when they backup their Documents folder. Guess what… your Outlook data is not in your Documents folder.

Unless you are part of a corporate network using MS Exchange, all your Outlook data is stored in one Personal Folder file.

  • This file has a .pst extension and is saved somewhere on your computer.
  • This one file probably contains all your Outlook folders, e-mails, contacts, tasks, calendar items, journal entries and notes inside it.
  • (Unfortunately) This file is NOT saved to your Documents folder (at least not by default) so chances are you are not backing it up.

So let me show you how to find out where your Outlook Data File is stored:

The exact location depends on the version of Outlook and Windows. To find out where your Outlook data is:

  • Go to your Inbox and make sure that the list of folders is displayed
  • Right-click the top-level folder and select Properties
  • Click the Advanced button. The full path to where your Data file is stored will provided in the box labeled Filename:

It would be a good idea to include that file as part of your normal computer backup plan. This ensures that your Outlook data is also getting backed up along with other things.

If you are using more than one PST (e.g. a separate file for archives), then you need to do the above for each of your Outlook data files.

I hope that this little tip helps keep your Outlook data protected.

Do you have your own tips on how to better use Outlook, share it with us and our readers by leaving a comment below.

Related Posts

Is your Outlook data ready to crash – Outlook will not open?

How to maintain Outlook data (PST) Files

How to protect your Outlook Data from data loss

Categories : Outlook Installation/Setup, Outlook Performance Comments ( 0 )

Improve Microsoft Outlook Performance – 2 Simple Tips

By standss - Comments ( 3 ) Friday, July 22nd, 2011

If your Outlook is slow and unstable, it can seriously affect your productivity and may even lead to increased stress levels when you are not able to get your work done on time.

In this Post, we will provide you 2 simple tips which you can use to keep your Outlook fast and stable.

1. Maintain your Outlook Data (PST) Files

If you started using (or maybe are still using) Outlook before Outlook 2003 then your PST file (Outlook data file) is allowed a maximum size of 2 GB. This may still be true even if you migrated to new versions of Outlook since then.

If your pre-Outlook 2003 data file exceeds 2 GB then Outlook will not be able to open it… there’s also no warning built in to Outlook telling you that you are getting close to this dangerous limit. You might just come to work one morning and find that your Outlook does not open and you have lost all important emails, not forgetting the stress this will lead to and the time and money spent on getting it up and running.

It is for this reason that maintaining your PST files is very important. Here are a few things you can do to keep your PST files small:

  1. Delete messages that you don’t need to keep (don’t forget the Sent Items folder)
  2. Empty the Deleted Items folder regularly.
  3. Compact your PST file occasionally to remove the empty space that remains even after you delete emails. (Click the Compact button shown in the screen above)

2. Disable Addins you don’t need

Running alot of addins (unnecessary addins) can drop the performace of Outlook making it slower. Disabling unnecessary addins is a great way to make your Outlook run faster, more reliably and take less memory.

To disable unnecessary addins:

If you are using Outlook 2000, XP and 2003:

  • Start Outlook and go to your Inbox.
  • Click Tools -> go to Options
  • Click on the Other tab
  • Click on the Advanced Options button
  • Click on the Com-Addins button. You will see your full list of addins installed.
  • Untick the checkboxes for all addins you want to disable
  • Click OK
  • Restart Outlook

If you are using Outlook 2007:

  • Start Outlook and go to your Inbox.
  • Click Tools -> Trust Center
  • On the screen that appear -> click on add-ins on the left side
  • Select Com-Addins on the Manage drop-down -> Click Go. You will see your full list of addins installed.
  • Untick the checkboxes for all addins you want to disable
  • Click OK
  • Restart Outlook

If you are using Outlook 2010:

  • Start Outlook and go to your Inbox
  • Click on the File tab > Options > Addins
  • Select “COM Add-ins” in the Manage drop-down
  • Click GO
  • Untick the checkboxes for all addins you want to disable
  • Click OK
  • Restart Outlook

I hope these simple tips will help you keep your Outlook performing faster, more reliably and keep your Outlook data safe.

Categories : Outlook Performance Comments ( 3 )

How to Password Protect Your Outlook Data File

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Here is a simple tip on how to password protect your Outlook emails from other users of the same computer.

I was recently asked (via Facebook)… How can I secure my Outlook account and let no one see my mail?

The best way to do this is to actually have a separate WINDOWS account on your computer where you login to do your work. If every user on your computer has a different Windows login then there is no need to protect your emails separately. Just remember to log out or lock your computer whenever you are away.

But… if you will be sharing the same Windows login with more than one person (or if you have setup Windows so that there is no login screen at all) then here is what you can do.

WARNING: Do NOT lose your password as there is no free way of getting it back if you forget.

To create the Password:

  1. Do one of the following:
    If you have a POP3 e-mail account, right-click the Personal Folders folder, and then click Properties For “Personal Folders”. In Oulook 2010, it will be Data File Properties…
    If you have an HTTP e-mail account (not supported in Outlook 2000), such as MSN Hotmail, right-click the Hotmail folder, and then click Properties For “Hotmail”. In Oulook 2010, it will be Data File Properties…
  2. On the General tab, click Advanced.
  3. Click Change Password.
  4. In the Change Password dialog box, type your new password and verify it by typing it a second time. The password can be up to 15 characters.Change Password Dialog box
  5. Ensure that the Save this password in your password list check box is cleared. This prevents the password from being cached, and you need to type the password each time you run Outlook. Most importantly Don’t forget the password.
  6. Click OK.

When you click the e-mail account folder, you will be prompted for your password. After you gain access, you won’t have to enter the password again for that session. If you exit and then restart Outlook, you will be prompted for the password as shown below:

Datafile Password Prompt

To Remove the Password (You will be required to remember the current password)

  1. Follow the same steps above
  2. When you are at the Change Password dialog box, enter the current password in the Old Password field
  3. Leave the New Password and Verify Password fields empty
  4. Click OK
  5. Restart Outlook

This will remove the password that you create for the Data file.

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Categories : Outlook Installation/Setup Comments ( 0 )

How to Create a New Outlook Profile

By standss - Comments ( 1 ) Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

If you face problems with your Outlook, one of the first troublshooting steps you should try before doing uninstallation and reinstallation of Outlook is creating a New Profile. A new profile is also recommended when you are upgrading to the latest version of Outlook.

You can follow the steps below to create a new profile:

  • Ensure that Outlook is closed
  • Open Control Panel.
  • Open the Mail Setup dialog box: If you use the Category view, look for the Mail Setup dialog box in the User Accounts category.
  • In the Mail Setup dialog box, click Show Profiles.
  • On the General tab, under When starting Microsoft Office Outlook, use this profile: click Prompt for a profile to be used, and then click Add.

Mail Setup

  • In the Profile Name box, type the name that you want to use for the new email profile, and then click OK.
  • In the E-mail Accounts dialog box, click Add a new e-mail account, and then click Next.
  • Click the appropriate server type for your new email account, and then click Next.
  • Type your account information in the required boxes, and then click Next.
  • Click Finish, and then click OK.

To add your existing personal data store to the new Profile:

  • After you click Finish in the profile wizard, select the new profile from the Mail dialog and choose Properties > click Email Accounts > click view or change email accounts.
  • Select New Outlook data file and find your existing PST, add it to the profile and set it as the default.
  • Click OK until you are back to the Email Accounts dialog and select the PST you just added in the “Deliver new e-mail to the following location” menu.
  • When you return to the Mail Setup dialog, choose Data Files and remove the extra personal folders from your profile.

If you open Outlook, you will now get a prompt to select the profile you would like to use.

If you find this post useful, please leave a comment on the blog.

Categories : Outlook Installation/Setup Comments ( 1 )

Is your Outlook data ready to crash – Outlook will not open?

By standss - Comments ( 4 ) Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

While checking something on my dad’s computer over the weekend, I found out that he will probably LOSE YEARS WORTH OF EMAILS soon… This is through no fault of his own and there will be no warning when it happens… Outlook will simply stop working.

Here’s how you can check to see if you may also have the same problem in the future.

Very briefly… Dad has been using Outlook since Outlook 2000.

If you are using an Outlook data file that was originally created by a version of Outlook prior to Outlook 2003, then your data file has a maximum possible size of 2 GB.

If this data file exceeds 2 GB (there is no warning as you approach this limit), Outlook will simply stop working. There are ways to recover your data but they’re not easy. (I’m glad I discovered this issue before the data got corrupted and he made me try and recover it)

What do you need to do? Find out the size and version of your Outlook data file. Full instructions are in the post on How to maintain Outlook data (PST) files that I did last week.

(I wrote about this topic last week but thought it worthwhile to stress the point in light of the discovery on dad’s computer)

Categories : Outlook Performance Comments ( 4 )

How to maintain Outlook data (PST) Files

By standss - Comments ( 3 ) Monday, May 24th, 2010

If you have been using the same Outlook data file for a long time, then you may need to check it’s size and do some maintenance… or you could suddenly (i.e. without warning) end up with a corrupted Outlook data file with Outlook no longer able to open your emails.

Background

If you started using (or maybe are still using) Outlook before Outlook 2003 then your PST file (Outlook data file) is allowed a maximum size of 2 GB. This may still be true even if you migrated to new versions of Outlook since then.

Data files created by Outlook 2003 or later have a much safer limit of 20 GB. But…if you migrated from an older version of Outlook, then chances are your Outlook data file is still in the old format.

If your pre-Outlook 2003 data file exceeds 2 GB then Outlook will not be able to open it… there’s also no warning built in to Outlook telling you that you are getting close to this dangerous limit.

What version is your Outlook Data file?

If you are using Outlook 97, 2000 or 2002/XP then you are using the old format with the 2 GB limit.

If you are using Outlook 2003, 2007 or 2010, use the following steps to find out what version data file you currently have.

  1. Inside Outlook, right-click over the top folder and click Properties.
  2. Click the Advanced button

If the format displayed says Outlook Data File(97-2002) then you are using the old format. If it says Outlook data File then you’re using the new format.

Things you can do to keep your data file small

  1. Delete messages that you don’t need to keep (don’t forget the Sent Items folder)
  2. Empty the Deleted Items folder regularly.
  3. Compact your PST file occasionally to remove the empty space that remains even after you delete emails. (Click the Compact button shown in the screen above)

I hope these few guidelines will help you keep your Outlook data safe.

Categories : Outlook Performance Comments ( 3 )