How to create a new Outlook Data File (PST) to backup emails?

In this guide, we will be using email account,, to show how we can create an Outlook Data File (PST) to backup emails. This is useful when you have too many emails stored on the server and running out of disk space. By creating the Outlook Data File, you can move some of the old emails from the server onto your local device. Thereby, freeing up server space for new emails.

To create an Outlook Data File, click on New Items > More Items > Outlook Data File …

Outlook Data File

Choose Outlook data file (.pst), click OK.


Type in the name of your file and choose the location. In this example, the file is named backup.pst. The file location is C:\demo.

After clicking on OK, you should see backup added to the left panel.


To create folders to organise the emails, right click on backup, and click New Folder …

New Folder

Type in the folder name, e.g. Inbox 2020.

Inbox 2020

In the following example, we have created several folders to store Inbox and Sent emails in 2019 and 2020. All you need to do to backup/ move the emails is to drag the emails from into the folders under backup.


After you have moved the emails to the backup, you may want to make a copy of it to an external storage, e.g. USB Thumb Drive/ HDD for safekeeping. If you have forgotten where you have saved the backup file, click on File.


Then click on Info > Account Settings > Account Settings …

Account Settings

You will be able to see the file location. Click on Open File Location … to bring up the Windows Explorer.

File Location

Now you know where the emails are stored. You can then copy the PST file(s) to your preferred external storage. Make sure to close Outlook first before copying.

Windows Explorer

If you do not need the old emails in backup, you can close the Outlook Data File. Right click on backup, then click Close “backup”.

Close backup

To open the Outlook Data File again, click on File > Open & Export > Open Outlook Data File. Go to the file location where you created/ saved the backup file, select the PST file and click OK to open it.

Open Outlook Data File
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