Back Up Your Outlook PST to Prevent a Total Loss of Email

Last Updated Oct 17, 2011 12:39 PM EDT

Despite repeated warnings from security experts, many people fail to maintain a reliable and consistent backup strategy for their PCs unless they happen to have an IT staff that does it for them. And that's a shame, because there are so many easy ways to back up a computer -- mirroring your data to a second drive, backing up to an external drive, or using a cloud-based backup solution, just to name a few.

Even if you don't have a robust backup of your documents and other data, I bet you'd agree that one thing you could not live without is your email. Think about what would happen if your PC died tomorrow, taking Outlook's inbox and stored messages with it. If the first word that comes to mind is "catastrophe," I have a solution for you.

Backup my mail is a simple backup tool that does just one thing -- it sets up a regular backup of your Outlook PST files to a second location. PST files, of course, are the way that Outlook stores your inbox and saved mail, particularly if you have POP accounts, as well as your calendar and contacts. Lose a PST file, and you lose everything of value in Outlook.

The program is free, open source, and simple to configure. Just tell the program where to put your PST files, such as on a second drive or in a cloud location like Dropbox, and specify a backup schedule. Backup my mail can ensure you have a safe backup on any cadence you like, such as every few days or even every few hours.

The program works with both Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010, and is a great way to ensure that you don't lose your mail, even if it's literally the only data on your PC that you care enough to back up.

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