Outlook Backup and Dual-Boot File locations

Last reviewed on April 14, 2014

For Microsoft Outlook 2007, see Microsoft Outlook 2007 Backup and Dual Boot File Locations. Includes file locations in Vista and Windows 7. Outlook 2010′s backup information is at Microsoft Outlook 2010 Backup and Dual Boot File Locations.

Where is my Microsoft Outlook data stored, people often ask? Your Outlook folders are either in a mailbox on a Microsoft Exchange Server or in Personal Folders .pst files on your system. You may also have a Personal Address Book .pab file if you use an older version of Outlook, however we recommend you import it into your Contacts folder as it is no longer supported.

Backup and dual-booting between Windows versions all involve using the same files. There is no backup process built into Outlook. To back up, simply exit Outlook, then copy the files you want to back up. Below we provide a chart of Outlook 2000/2002/2003 file locations, followed by notes on particular files and where they might be found in earlier versions.

These files are also the ones that you’d want to copy back and forth between machines if you need to use the same information at the office and at home, for example. If you have Outlook profiles, name them the same on both machines, so you can use the same .fav and .rwz files. Then use Tools | Services (or Tools | Accounts) to point the Personal Folders and Personal Address Book services to the files that you’ve copied. (TIP: You can use the Briefcase to help automate the process of copying the files.)

See Moving Outlook to a New Computer for the steps needed to move Outlook files to a new computer.

See How to move the IMAP personal folder (*.pst) for the proper way to move IMAP and Internet Subscription folders.

If you dual-boot, use the same profiles in each operating system. Your profile can point to the same .pst, .ost and .pab files, but you would need to copy the .fav, .rwz and .rtf files and the Outlprnt file.

Outlook 2000-2003 File Locations | Personal Folders Files | Offline Folders File
Personal Address Book | Other Files | Accounts | Tools | Notes | More Information

Outlook 2000/2002/2003 File Locations

Where do you find these files? You can always start by using your operating system’s Search or Find command to locate the particular file types. On Windows 2000 or XP, you may need to use Tools | Folder Options | View in Windows Explorer and select Show hidden files and folders.

Under Outlook 2000 and later versions, most files will be in a subfolder under the Application Data folder on your system, though the exact location of the Application Data folder can vary. On a Windows 98 system without individual user logins, look for \Windows\Application Data. On a Windows 98 system with individual user logins, look for \Windows\Profiles\<user name>\Application Data and \Windows\Profiles\<user name>\Local Settings\Application Data. On a Windows NT system, look for \Winnt\Profiles\<user name>\Application Data and \Winnt\Profiles\<user name>\Local Settings\Application Data. The Personal Folders .pst file on an NT system or a Windows 98 system with user profiles will be located by default in the second set of Application Data folders.

When using Windows 2000/XP, Outlook stores *.pst, *.ost, *.msnpst, *.pab, *.oab, and extend.dat in C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook. Extend.dat and MSN Connector message stores cannot be moved. See How to move the IMAP personal folder (*.pst) for the proper way to move IMAP and Internet Subscription folders.

All other Outlook configuration files are stored in C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook and cannot be moved.

Tip: Copy and paste these lines in Windows Explorer address bar to open the folder:

To access the folder holding the toolbar, VBA, rules, and nickname files, paste:
%USERPROFILE%\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook
To see the message store files, paste:
%USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

Vista and Windows 7 uses C:\Users\username\AppData for data storage, with the Local and Roaming subfolders. Outlook 2007 File Locations has more information on the files stored in the Local and Roaming subfolders.

Note: Storing Personal Folders on a network file share is not recommended and may cause corruption and data loss.

Type of FileName or ExtensionOutlook Profile SpecificSubfolder under
\Application Data\Microsoft
Personal Folders.pst filesOutlook (default, but .pst files can be anywhere on system)
Personal Address Book.pab filesOutlook (default, but .pab files can be anywhere on system)
Offline folders used by Exchange server, MSN’s Outlook connector, and MOOL..ost filesOutlook (default, can be moved to anywhere on the system)
MSN’s Outlook Connector folders (MSN accounts set up prior to 1/2005).msnpstOutlook
Outlook Bar shortcuts.fav filesXOutlook
Rules Wizard rules (Outlook 2000 and earlier versions).rwz filesXOutlook
Nicknames for AutoResolution.nick filesXOutlook
Nicknames for AutoComplete (Outlook 2002/2003).nk2 filesOutlook
Customized print settingsOutlPrntOutlook
Customized toolbar settingsOutcmd.datOutlook
Customized system folder viewsViews.datOutlook
Macros and VBA programsVbaProject.otmOutlook
Navigation bar customizations (Outlook 2003).xml filesXOutlook
Send/Receive group settings (Outlook 2002 and later).srs filesXOutlook
Signatures.rtf, .htm, and .txt filesX (only in Outlook 97)Signatures
Stationery.htm filesStationery
Templates.oft filesTemplates
Dictionary.dic filesProof
Junk and Adult Senders lists (Outlook 2000 and 2002)Junk Senders.txt
Adult Senders.txt
Outlook
Outlook 2003 Safe and Blocked senders listsStored in mailbox as a hidden message
Installed Add-insextend.datOutlook– This file does not need to be backed up, Outlook will create a new copy.

Personal Folders Files

If you are not connecting to Microsoft Exchange Server, all your Microsoft Outlook data is stored in one or more Personal Folders (.pst) files.

In Outlook 97 and Outlook 98 or Outlook 2000 in Corporate/Workgroup mode, check the properties for Personal Folders in Tools | Services (or Tools | Account Settings) to determine the exact location on your system.

In Outlook 98 or Outlook 2000 in Internet Mail Only mode, right-click on Outlook Today or the top level of any other set of folders and then choose Properties.

Some people like to export a folder, such as Contacts, to a separate backup .pst file. That’s fine for the data, but it does not back up any folder customizations such as views and custom forms. If you want to back up those, too, copy the entire folder to a new .pst file instead of using the export feature.

Also see:

Offline Folders File

If you do use Microsoft Exchange Server, you may have an offline folders (.ost) file. You shouldn’t need to back it up, since you can always refresh it by synchronizing with the server. However, be sure you understand the procedure for Recovering data from offline folders. If something ever goes wrong with your Exchange Server mailbox, this technique can save time and information, but you must apply it before you try to connect to the server again.

Personal Address Book

The Personal Address Book (.pab file) can be used to store addresses in Outlook 97 and Outlook 98 or Outlook 2000 in Corporate/Workgroup mode. Again, check Tools | Services to see if you’re using a PAB and where it’s located.

Note that the PAB is deprecated and may not be supported in future versions. For this reason you should import the contents to your Contacts folder and remove it from your profile.

Other Files

You may want to back up the .fav, .rwz and .rtf files, normally found in the \Windows folder under Outlook 97 and Outlook 98, one for each profile on your machine. These are the Outlook Bar shortcuts, Rules Wizard rules and rich-text format AutoSignature files, respectively.

Under Outlook 97 and Outlook 98, the Outlprnt file in the \Windows folder contains your custom print settings.

Some other miscellaneous files, not necessarily worth backing up:

  • *.adr — Field mappings for Outlook import/export
  • Extend.dat — Information about installed add-ins. Will be recreated if you delete it.
  • Outitems.log — Outlook items to be placed automatically in the Journal
  • Offitems.log — Office items to be placed automatically in the Journal
  • Outform.dat — Information about Outlook forms (not sure what it does)
  • Outlook.box — Custom control toolbox for forms design.
  • Frmcache.dat — Outlook forms cache file. See How the Microsoft Outlook forms cache works.

Accounts

Account information is held in the user’s Windows registry, not in a file. If Outlook 98 or 2000 is in Internet Mail Only mode, you can use the Tools | Accounts | Export to export account details, but not passwords.

Tools in the Spotlight

DataNumen Exchange Recovery

DataNumen Exchange Recovery repairs and recovers corrupted Microsoft Exchange offline storage (.ost) files. Exchange Recovery can scan orphaned OST files and recover mail messages and other items, including folders, posts, appointments, meeting requests, contacts, distribution lists, tasks, journals and notes. The recovered items are saved in PST format readable by Outlook, Other important features: recover attachments and deleted items, recover oversized 2GB OST files, support to convert OST files into PST files.

OutlookBackupPro

Backup, restore and migrate your Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007 data and settings easily with OutlookBackupPro. OutlookBackupPro is pre-configured to save all important Outlook files and settings - you do not have to go through a list of configuration steps with this software. Just backup - restoring is as easy as creating a backup: select what to restore, and OutlookBackupPro does the rest.

PST Backup Attender

PST Backup Attender is a light-weight, PST file backup utility that can be used to locate, manage and back up PST files on user computers. Its efficient method of backing up the contents of PST files to the network and keeping this information synchronized, eliminates the need to store PST files on the network, a practice not recommended and unsupported by Microsoft. Additionally, PST Backup Attender can be used to enforce simple retention policies based on certain age and content criteria. Deployed through Group Policy, PST Backup Attender consumes minimal resources and installs and runs without any end-user interaction.

Tools

ABF Outlook Backup

Backup and restore Outlook data files, interface options, and settings. Backup and restore operations can be run from the command line, with your favorite Windows scheduling program for unattended operation. Supports Outlook 2010, 2007, 2003, 2002, and 2000.

BackRex Outlook Backup

BackRex Outlook Backup is a backup and restore tool for Microsoft Outlook. It allows you to backup address book, mail and other folders, mail accounts, message rules, signatures, stationery, and all personal settings. Backup jobs can be scheduled to run on a regular basis. Supports Outlook 2000, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2010.

Backup Outlook

Save all your Outlook settings including Emails, Contacts, Tasks, your Calendar, Notes, Journal entries, Email accounts, Outlook rules, Signatures and many more

Backup Outlook Data Files using a Batch (.bat)

How to use a Windows batch file to backup your Outlook data files.

BackupMyFolder!

With BackupMyFolder! For Outlook, you will be enable to configure in one click the folders you want to backup, configure when to do the job and get a full history of previous backup runs. BackupMyFolder! for Outlook 200x and 2007 is FREE

EdgeSafe PST2PST Backup

EdgeSafe PST2PST Backup is a PST backup solution for organizations that backs up PST files even if Outlook is open. Featuring simple native PST recovery, and central management for the PST file backup / Outlook Backup process. EdgeSafe PST2PST Backup is composed of EdgeSafe Control Station software and EdgeSafe PST2PST Backup Agent and targets organizations that have Outlook email information stored on desktops and/or notebooks (in Outlook's local PST file), and want to protect the mail information efficiently into a central location or portable USB disk.

Folder Backup for Outlook

Use Folder Backup to preserve Microsoft Outlook data, with 1-Click Backup from Microsoft Outlook toolbar and manual backup when needed. Instant backup and recovery of a selected Outlook folder in just a few clicks. Restore only those items that have been removed or updated. Compatible with Windows 8, Microsoft Office 2013 and Office 365. Free and Pro versions available.

MailStore Home

MailStore Home is the free email archiving and backup software for all private users. Over the years, emails can become scattered among different computers, programs and mailboxes. Archive your internet mailboxes such as Gmail or Yahoo Mail or any mailboxes using POP3 or IMAP; Microsoft Outlook 2000, XP, 2003, 2007, 2010; Outlook Express and Windows Mail; Microsoft Exchange Server and Hosted Exchange; Mozilla Thunderbird and SeaMonkey; EML and other email files. # .EML and other email files * Mozilla Thunderbird and SeaMonkey * .EML and other email files.

MessageExport for Outlook

MessageExport for Outlook is an add-in that helps you get your email out of Outlook in particular way. MessageExport lets you save selected or new email messages to different formats, including PDF, EML, MSG, GIF, TIF, HTML, MHT, CSV, txt, and others. MessageExport can convert, name and save Outlook email in a single operation. Includes a timer function, so MessageExport can run every xx minutes to process new emails in a specific Outlook folder and save it in text format, on a network folder.

OutBack Plus

Backup your Outlook Personal Folders (.pst files) in a compressed, zip compatible, archive for a smaller and more easily managed file. All of your critical Outlook control files are included in the backup - Signatures, Stationery, Wizard Rules, etc are preserved for easy recovery. OutBack Plus allows you to restore the backup data to the same or another machine. Automatic reminder to backup after a set number of days - according to your needs. Also backs up Documents and Desktop folders, Internet Explorer Favorites, Cookies, offline folders and Firefox Browser data. Works with all versions of Outlook, including Outlook 2010 32- and 64-bit.

Outlook 2003/2002 Add-in: Personal Folders Backup

The Personal Folders Backup download creates backup copies of your .PST files at regular intervals, in Outlook 2002 and later versions, making it easy to keep all of your Outlook folders safely backed up.

Outlook Backup Email

Outlook Backup Emails is a handy tool to backup and restore Microsoft Outlook .pst files . The backup can be done manual or automatic at specified time intervals. It also work with Outlook Express and other email clients, and can be a good tool to move between pcs the Microsoft Outlook email by unexperienced users.

Outlook to Outlook

Outlook to Outlook moves email, contacts, and calendar items quickly and easily from your PC running Microsoft Outlook to your new PC running Microsoft Outlook.

Safe PST Backup

Backup Outlook PST files automatically using Safe PST Backup. It is a user-friendly Free tool to back up and archive email. Create backup of Contacts, Calendar, Tasks or other Microsoft Outlook Personal folders with a few clicks. The backup will be done in the background regardless of whether Outlook is running or not. Safe PST Backup solution uses incremental backup model to back up and transfer only changes made to Outlook items. Schedule and automatically back up Outlook at specified time intervals or back up selected PST files manually. Get more with Enterprise Edition. Version 2.20

Stellar Phoenix Mail Backup

An efficient mail back up utility which allows to backup all the objects like emails, contacts, notes, calendars etc. in Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express and Windows Mail in most safe manner. The mail backup utility provides option to take incremental, differential and full backup and allows you to save backup at any location. Some of the other main features of backup software are : schedule backup process, preview of emails which could be recovered, feature to restore complete as well as selected emails etc.. Moreover backup software works with Windows mail and different versions of Outlook and Outlook express like 2010 (32 bit), 2007, 2003, 2002.

Notes

If your network is set up so that you can use Outlook at any machine (“roaming profiles“), your Outlook files may be in a different location. Try using Start | Find to locate each type of file. If you don’t see any .pst files after you search, you may need to adjust the settings in Windows Explorer to show hidden and system files. Choose Tools | Folder Options, then switch to the View tab, and select Show hidden files and folders.

Personal Folders .pst files are among the files that are normally not included in a Windows 2000 (or later) offline files synchronization. However, you can edit the system policy that controls the file types so that .pst files can be included. See Error Message Files of This Type Cannot Be Made Available Offline.

Written by

Diane Poremsky
A Microsoft Outlook Most Valuable Professional (MVP) since 1999, Diane is the author of several books, including Outlook 2013 Absolute Beginners Book. She also created video training CDs and online training classes for Microsoft Outlook. You can find her helping people online in Outlook Forums as well as in the Microsoft Answers and TechNet forums.

3 responses to “Outlook Backup and Dual-Boot File locations”

  1. Kyle

    I like EdgeSafe PST2PST as it take incremental backup of PST, and also retains backup history without inflating storage space.

  2. Bill Stevens

    I have outlook 2000 Product ID 54193-OEM-1695581-47891 have used it for many years and now I am not able to access email accounts to set up a new email. I do not have my disc. Please help

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