Save Outlook e-mail to your hard disk

Move specific messages out of the primary Personal Folders file in Microsoft Outlook 2003 and 2007 and into a folder on your hard drive or removable medium.

Last week, somebody contacted me about a problem they were having with Outlook:

"I work for a general contractor and have multiple projects going on. When I get e-mails pertaining to particular jobs, I place them in Personal Folders that I name with the job name. When the project is completed, I would like to move the folder onto my hard drive without losing the date.

"I have over 242 e-mails for one job alone. When I move them, they all come up with the date that I transferred them and the subject matter is gone. There has got to be a better way of saving old e-mails without losing important data. It would be impossible to go back to find a particular e-mail after transferring them. The sender info is gone as well."

The steps for moving specific messages into a folder on your hard drive or other storage device are the same for Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2003. Click File > New > Outlook Data File. Choose either Office Outlook Personal Folders File (.pst) or Outlook 97-2002 Personal Folders File (.pst) and click OK.

Next, choose the location for your new folder, give it a name (the default is "Personal Folders(1)," but you can probably come up with a more descriptive name), and click OK. Enter the name in the Create Microsoft Personal Folders dialog box, add a password if you wish, and click OK again.

Microsoft Outlook 2007 Create Microsoft Personal Folders dialog
Give your new e-mail folder a descriptive name and add a password, if necessary. Microsoft

Now drag the messages you want to store locally out of their current Outlook Personal Folder subfolder and into the folder you just created. The messages will remain intact, with all dates, attachments, and other content unchanged.

About the author

    Dennis O'Reilly began writing about workplace technology as an editor for Ziff-Davis' Computer Select, back when CDs were new-fangled, and IBM's PC XT was wowing the crowds at Comdex. He spent more than seven years running PC World's award-winning Here's How section, beginning in 2000. O'Reilly has written about everything from web search to PC security to Microsoft Excel customizations. Along with designing, building, and managing several different web sites, Dennis created the Travel Reference Library, a database of travel guidebook reviews that was converted to the web in 1996 and operated through 2000.


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