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How to Backup Your Email Client to Prevent Data Loss

If your computer is connected to a local area network then it is more than likely your email messages will be stored and backed up on a server that stores email messages with the Microsoft Exchange program. This is a common practice among organizations that have more than one PC connected to the network. The messages are stored on a dedicated server in the event of data loss.

Backing Up Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express

If you are using email clients such as Microsoft Outlook Express and Microsoft Outlook and your computer is not connected to a network or dedicated server for email, the process of backing up your email messages is much different.

If you are using a standalone PC and collect a large number of emails over time, the database grows and takes up RAM (Random Access Memory) which significantly slows down your PC's performance. Additionally, the database can become corrupt and you will lose all of your data as a result of the problem.

To back up your email messages in Outlook you have to locate the .dbx database files that the email client creates when you set up folders for your email messages. These files are usually found in the Windows directory.

How to Back Up the Microsoft Outlook Email Client

You should back up your emails, contact list, and calendar in Outlook on a regular basis. You can do this by following some simple steps.

  • Click on "File" on the Toolbar: Click on "File" on the main toolbar in Microsoft Outlook and then proceed to choose "Import and Export" from the pull down menu. When the Import and Export Wizard box opens click on "Export to a file" from the menu that appears in the box. Click "Next."
  • Export to a File: In the "Export to a File" window click on "Personal Folder File" and then click on "Next." This will open the "Export Personal Folders" window.
  • Export Personal Folders: In the "Export Personal Folders" window click on the folders that you want to backup to export all of your emails, contacts, and calendar. You can use the "Include Subfolders" option to include those folders as well. This option also lets you save data based on keywords, date, and sender. When you are finished click "Next."
  • Define Backup Location: Indicate where you want to save your backup in the "File" section of this window and then click "Finish." Before the program starts the backup, it will allow you to set the encryption and provide you with a way to password protect the backup. When you are finished click "OK."

It is a good idea to save the backup emails to a CD or other portable device in the event your PC crashes and you have to reinstall the files.

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