Transferring Email to Outlook's Local Folders

This documentation page covers transferring your email to personal folders on your computer using Microsoft Outlook.

Before you back up your email by transferring your mail onto your computer with Microsoft Outlook, make sure you delete all e-mails and folders that you do not want to save. This will decrease the amount of work you need to do to back up your e-mails and decrease the time it will take to transfer your emails onto your computer.

  1. Open Microsoft Outlook to access your email account.
  2. Select Home >>> New Items >>> More Items >>> Outlook Data File.
  3. Select Office Outlook Personal Folders File (.pst) and select OK.
  4. Type in a name for your Local Folder and hit OK.
  5. Type in a descriptive name for your Local Folder.  This is the name that will appear in your Outlook screen. Select OK.  Note: This step gives you the option of entering a password for the Local Folder.  This is not reccommended since there is almost no way to retrieve the password if you forget it.
  6. Your Local Folder should now appear in the side of your Outlook window.
  1. Select File >>> Open >>> Import.
  2. From the Import and Export Wizard window select Export to a File and hit Next.
  3. From the Export to a File window select Personal File Folder (.pst) and hit Next.
  4. From the Export Personal Files window select your email account from the listed items.  Make sure Include Subfolders is checked.  This will transfer all of your folders and not only your inbox.  Once this is done hit Next.
  5. From the Export Personal Files window choose a location to save your Local Folder (whatever location works for you).  Also, check Replace Duplicates with Items Exported to make sure that you have the most up-to-date emails.
  6. Once you’ve backed up your emails, you can then delete the emails off the server to free up space – but check you can access the backed up emails first (see the section “Viewing your Email” below). To delete the emails on the server, go into your inbox and delete the messages (repeat for sub-folders that you have created). Deleted items will be moved to the “Trash” folder, so you will need to go to this folder and delete the messages in it to remove them completely (and free up space).

Now that you’ve backed up your email onto your computer, you may go back any time to view your old emails. To do so, all you need to do is open up Microsoft Outlook and your backed-up mail will be accessible in the folder into which you just transferred it.

Even after you are no longer able to access your old email account, anything you’ve stored in Microsoft Outlook under “Personal Folders”, since it is stored on your computer, will remain available.