How to automatically backup Microsoft Outlook PST Data File

The older version of Microsoft Outlook used to offer an inbuilt backup feature called “Outlook Add-in: Personal Folders Backup.”  This feature is no more available for the newer versions of Outlook. In this post, I am sharing how you can automatically back up your Microsoft Outlook PST Data File using an open-source, third-party plugin called Outlook Backup ad-Din.

This plugin can take a backup at regular intervals, and save it to the user-selected destination directory. It works when Outlook is closed, checks for the last backup date, and triggers the copy process if necessary. Just before you do this, make sure to read about how you can make the files compact.

Just before we start, Outlook can store data in two types of files – PST and OST. While both can save emails, calendars, and contacts, OST is created when using IMAP or Exchange protocol, and PST is created when configuring a POP3 account.

The biggest problem with the OST file is that you can only reuse it at the origin computer, with the same email and user profile. It means that if you want to use it on another pc, it is not possible. So, if you format your computer, you cannot use it. You can physically check the type of file by going to Account settings, and checking Data Files.

Once you download the Outlook Backup Ad-Din, install it. Make sure that you have the .NET Framework 4.0 installed on your computer, and if you are using Outlook 2010 without a service pack, make sure to install the VSTO runtime.

Related Article: How to Auto Delete email in Outlook selectively

  • Once installed, it will be available on the ribbon bar as “Backup”
  • Open the settings window of the add-on, and configure it.
  • Choose the pst-files
  • Time interval (in days)
  • Target Folder
  • and Location of the file “backupexecutor.exe”
  • Click on the Save button, and exit Outlook

As soon as you exit, the backup process will start. It will create backup copies of Outlook PST data files. Copy the files to another computer. Outlook should be able to figure it out.

Group Policy Support for Outlook Backup Addin

If you want to use this Outlook backup addon in your organization, it supports group policy. To install the GPO template, copy the ADMX folder and its contents from the installation folder to %systemroot%\PolicyDefinitions.

Open Group Policy, and create a new policy using the template available at:

User Configuration\ Policies\ Administrative Templates\ Outlookbackup addin settings

Here you can define prefix types, countdown, destination, and so on.

If you decide that you no longer want to use Backup Executor, make sure to use the BackupExecutor.exe /unregister command. The program is available in the installation folder.

However, if you delete it directly, make sure to delete the following registry keys located at:



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