Export or backup email, contacts, and calendar to an Outlook .pst file

Thanks to customer feedback feedback this article was updated on March 9, 2016.

Step 1: make sure you're using a desktop version of Outlook: 2007, 2010, 2013, or 2016.

This is what the ribbon looks like in Outlook 2016.
  • If your ribbon has a File option in the top left corner, then you're using a desktop version of Outlook and you're in the right place! See one of the procedures below.

  • If your ribbon doesn't have a File option in the top left corner, see What version of Outlook do I have? to determine your version of Outlook and to get to the right export instructions. Or, see How to get Outlook for your desktop.

Choose from the following list of export instructions. To learn how to import items, see Import email, contacts, and calendar from an Outlook .pst file.

Office 365: Export Outlook items to a .pst file

If you have an Office 365 mailbox, you can use Outlook 2007, 2010, 2013, or 2016 to move all of your email, contacts, and calendar items from one email account into your Office 365 mailbox. How to get Outlook for your desktop

Here's what an Office 365 mailbox looks like in Outlook on the web; Outlook on the web is different from Outlook on your desktop.

What the ribbon looks like in Outlook on the web.

After you get Outlook for your desktop, do these steps:

  1. Add your "source" email account to Outlook on your desktop. Wait a bit for all of your email and contacts to show up.

  2. Add your Office 365 email account to Outlook on your desktop.

    After you add your Office 365 email account to Outlook on your desktop, Outlook will automatically sync with your Office 365 account. You'll see the contents of your Office 365 mailbox appear in Outlook on your desktop.

  3. Next, choose from the export instructions in this article (below) to export your email from the source account to a .pst file.

    For example, if you have Outlook 2010 on your desktop, choose "Outlook 2010: Export Outlook items to a .pst file".

  4. Choose from the import instructions to import your email to Office 365.

    For example, if you have Outlook 2016 on your desktop, choose "Outlook 2013 and Outlook 2016: Import Outlook items from a .pst file".

    Because Outlook is syncing with your Office 365 email account, when you import your email using the instructions, the email will go directly into your Office 365 email account.

Outlook 2013 and 2016: Export Outlook items to a .pst file

  1. At the top of your Outlook ribbon, choose File.

    This is what the ribbon looks like in Outlook 2016.
  2. Choose Open & Export > Import/Export.

    Choose Open & Export, and then choose Import/Export.

  3. Choose Export to a file.

    Choose Export to a file.

  4. Click Outlook Data File (.pst), and then click Next.

  5. Select the name of the email account to export, as shown in the picture below. Only information for one account can be exported information at a time.

    Make sure that the Include subfolders check box is selected. This way everything in the account will be exported: Calendar, Contacts, and Inbox. Choose Next.

    Choose the email account you want to export.

  6. Click Browse to select where to save the Outlook Data File (.pst). Type a file name, and then click OK to continue.

    Note:  If you’ve used export before, the previous folder location and file name appear. Type a different file name before clicking OK.

  7. If you are exporting to an existing Outlook Data File (.pst), under Options, specify what to do when exporting items that already exist in the file.

  8. Click Finish.

  9. Outlook begins the export immediately unless a new Outlook Data File (.pst) is created or a password-protected file is used.

    • If you’re creating an Outlook Data File (.pst), an optional password can help protect the file. When the Create Outlook Data File dialog box appears, type the password in the Password and Verify Password boxes, and then click OK. In the Outlook Data File Password dialog box, type the password, and then click OK.

    • If you’re exporting to an existing Outlook Data File (.pst) that is password protected, in the Outlook Data File Password dialog box, type the password, and then click OK.

Now that your Outlook data is in a .pst file, it's portable. For example, you can save the .pst file to OneDrive, and then download it to your new computer. Or you can save it to a usb flash drive, plug the drive into your new computer, and then import your email, contacts, and calendar to Outlook.

Outlook 2010: Export Outlook items to a .pst file

  1. At the top of your Outlook ribbon, choose the File tab.

    In Outlook 2010, choose the File tab.

  2. Choose Options.

    Choose Options.

  3. In the Outlook Options box, choose Advanced.

    Choose Advanced.

  4. Under the Export section, choose Export.

    On the Advanced page, choose Export

  5. Click Export to a file, and then click Next.

  6. Click Outlook Data File (.pst), and then click Next.

  7. Select the name of the email account to export, as shown in the picture below. Only information for one account can be exported information at a time.

    Make sure that the Include subfolders check box is selected. This way everything in the account will be exported: Calendar, Contacts, and Inbox. Choose Next.

    Choose the email account you want to export.

  8. Click Browse to select where you want to save the Outlook Data File (.pst) and to enter a file name. Click OK to continue.

    Note:  If you have previously used the export feature, the previous folder location and file name appear. Make sure that you change the file name if you want to create a new file instead of using the existing file.

  9. If you are exporting to an existing Outlook Data File (.pst), under Options, specify what to do when exporting items that already exist in the file.

  10. Click Finish.

  11. The export begins immediately unless a new Outlook Data File (.pst) is created or the export is to an existing file that is password protected.

    • If you are creating a new Outlook Data File (.pst), an optional password can help protect the file. When the Create Outlook Data File dialog box appears, enter the password in the Password and Verify Password boxes, and then click OK. In the Outlook Data File Password dialog box, enter the password, and then click OK.

    • If you are exporting to an existing Outlook Data File (.pst) that is password protected, in the Outlook Data File Password dialog box, enter the password, and then click OK.

Now that your Outlook data is in a .pst file, it's portable. For example, you can save the .pst file to OneDrive, and then download it to your new computer. Or you can save it to a usb flash drive, plug the drive into your new computer, and then import your email, contacts, and calendar to Outlook.

Outlook 2007: Export Outlook items to a .pst file

  1. In Outlook 2007, at the top of your ribbon choose File.

    In Outlook 2007, choose the File tab.

  2. Choose Import and Export.

    Choose Import and Export.

  3. Select Export to a file, and then click Next.

    Choose Export to a file and then choose Next.

  4. Click Personal File Folder (.pst), and then click Next.

  5. Select the name of the email account to export, as shown in the picture below. Only information for one account can be exported information at a time.

    Make sure that the Include subfolders check box is selected. This way everything in the account will be exported: Calendar, Contacts, and Inbox. Choose Next.

    Choose the email account you want to export.

  6. Click Browse to select where you want to save the Outlook Data File (.pst) and to enter a file name. Click OK to continue.

    Note:  If you have previously used the export feature, the previous folder location and file name appear. Make sure that you change the file name if you want to create a new file instead of using the existing file.

  7. If you are exporting to an existing Outlook Data File (.pst), under Options, specify what to do when exporting items that already exist in the file.

  8. Click Finish.

  9. The export begins immediately ... unless you're creating a new Outlook Data File (.pst) or you're exporting is to an existing .pst file that is password protected. In those cases you'll get this dialog box:

    If you don't want to password protect your .pst file, choose OK.

    Choose OK if you don't want to password protect your file. Otherwise:

    • If you want to password protect your .pst file: enter the password in the Password and Verify Password boxes, and then click OK. In the Outlook Data File Password dialog box, enter the password, and then click OK.

    • If you are exporting to an existing Personal File Folder (.pst) that is password protected, in the Outlook Data File Password dialog box, enter the password, and then click OK.

Now that your Outlook data is in a .pst file, it's portable. For example, you can save the .pst file to OneDrive, and then download it to your new computer. Or you can save it to a usb flash drive, plug the drive into your new computer, and then import your email, contacts, and calendar to Outlook.

What data is exported?

  • When Outlook exports email, contacts, and calendar info to a .pst, it makes a copy of the information. Nothing leaves Outlook. You'll still see and have access to your email, contacts, and calendar in Outlook.

  • When Outlook exports emails, it includes any attachments to the emails.

  • Outlook does not export meta-data such as folder properties (views, permissions, and AutoArchive settings); message rules; and blocked senders lists.

When should I export (backup)/import a .pst file?

  • You want to move email from one email account to another email account.

    For example, let's say you have an old Yahoo email account, jakobsol77@yahoo.com. And you want to move your email to a new Office 365 email account, jakobsol78@contoso.com.

    Using Outlook on your desktop, you can add both accounts to Outlook. Wait a while for all of your email to show up (if you have a lot, this can be a long time). Then, use Outlook to export the email from your Yahoo account to a .pst file. Finally, import the .pst file to your Office 365 account.

  • You're moving from PC to PC: You're moving your email from one computer with Outlook on it to another computer with Outlook on it.

    For example, let's say your old computer has Outlook 2007 and you just got a new computer with Outlook 2016. Export your email data from Outlook 2007 (described in this article) and import it to Outlook 2016.

  • You're moving from PC to Mac: For example, when you're moving your email from Outlook on a PC and importing to Outlook 2016 on a Mac.

  • You want periodic backups: When you want to periodically backup all of your email, contacts, and calendar to a safe place. After you create the .pst file, copy it to a safe location, such as a USB flash drive, another hard drive, or cloud storage such as OneDrive or Dropbox.

    There's no automated way periodically backup everything (old and new). Auto-archive only backs up old items, and it moves them rather than making a copy.

  • If you only want to backup your contacts, see Export contacts from Outlook. It explains how to copy your contacts to a .csv file.

Other topics about exporting or backing up Outlook data

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