Top 4 Ways to Backup Outlook Live Emails on Your PC

Want to backup Outlook mails to avoid losing important data? Read this article to get 4 effective methods.


By Lily Updated on June 20, 2023

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Why backup Outlook live emails?

Introduced by Microsoft in 2012 following the discontinuation of, emerged as a web-based personal information manager application. It integrates emails, calendars, contacts, to do and tasks services for its users.


Even though has the same level of security as Microsoft 365, online hacking is the most common threat to webmail accounts. Account hacking is the most common form of cybercrime today because of the rapid advancements in technology and malicious behavior. A user's or an organization's entire situation could be complicated if they lose an account whose important emails were stored in a single cloud location.

Also, the inaccessibility of the cloud emails is largely caused by service or internet outages. As a result, you need to back up your emails using the platform in case something goes wrong.

Way 1: backup emails via Outlook web app (OWA)

The most recent integrated feature “Export mailbox” in the email application (introduced in the year 2020 only) lets users export their mailboxes to the PST file format. Let's follow the steps below to fully comprehend this manual backup.

1. Sign in to Outlook web app using your Microsoft account.

2. Now, select the View all Outlook settings option by clicking the Gear or Settings icon on the right.

View All Outlook Settings

3. Click on the General option in the left panel. Then, navigate to Privacy and data > Export mailbox option under Export mailbox section.

Export Mailbox

4. The export process will begin as soon as the user selects the Export mailbox option. According to the user interface, this export may take approximately four days to complete. Following the export, users will be able to download the exported PST file from their Inbox folder.

Way 2: backup certain crucial emails through forwarding

Users will only benefit from this method if the number of important emails to be protected is very small (less than 100). These emails may contain private account information, passwords, or other business data. As a result, users are able to easily forward these emails to other account holders they trust in order to safeguard information in multiple locations.

To forward an email (with attachments), users simply open it, select the Forward option in the top ribbon, enter the recipient's email address, and then select Send.

Forward Email

Way 3: backup emails using Outlook desktop app

The “Export” feature in Outlook desktop app can help you backup email messages. Learn how to export Outlook emails to PST as follows:

1. Click File > Open & Export > Import/Export in Outlook.

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

Export to a File

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

PST File

4. Click Next after selecting the email folder under the target account from the box labeled "Select the folder to export from." Check the box Include subfolders as necessary.

Select Folder

5. The default location for the backup file is C:\Users\Username\Documents\Outlook Files. Or on the other hand click Browse to choose another area. Additionally, give the backup file the name you need. Next, select Finish.

Save as

6. If you want to protect sensitive files, enter and confirm a password, then click OK to begin the export process.

Way 4: backup Outlook mails with the best Outlook backup tool

To backup Outlook emails, the best Outlook backup software – AOMEI Backupper Professional can also give you a hand. It provides all-encompassing backup options:

  • You can backup Outlook's emails, contacts, notes, calendars, and tasks with this program.
  • It works with the Outlook as well as Gmail, Hotmail, and any other email accounts that are added to Outlook client.
  • Supported backup devices include cloud drives, USB flash drives, NAS devices, and external hard drives. You can easily backup Outlook emails to thumb drive as you wish.
  • The "Schedule Backup" feature lets you automatically back up your email data.
  • To cut down on backup time and backup image size, you can use incremental or differential backup.

Learn how to backup Outlook emails using AOMEI Backupper by downloading it right now:

Download Free Trial Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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1. In Outlook, add the email account you want to backup.

  • Go to Start > Outlook, enter your email address, and then click Connect to add your first email account.

Add Account Oulook

  • Go to Start > Outlook > File > Add Account if you want to add a new email account.

Add Account

2. Start AOMEI Backupper on your PC after installing it. Then, click Backup and select Outlook Backup.

Outlook Backup

3. You can give this backup task any name you like. Select the email folder(s) under the target email account as the backup source by clicking Add Outlook Data.

Add Outlook Data

Add Email

4. Choose a path as the backup image's destination.

Select Destination Path

5. Select the Options, Schedule Backup, and Backup Scheme options that best suit your backup task. To begin backing up your Outlook data, click Start Backup.

FAQs on Windows Outlook live emails

1. How long does Outlook Live keep emails?

Outlook Live offers ample storage capacity, allowing you to keep your emails for an extended period. By default, it retains emails indefinitely unless you manually delete them.

2. How do I backup live emails to a flash drive?

To backup live emails to a flash drive, you can try the best Outlook backup software mentioned above, or export your emails to a .pst file and manually save it on the flash drive.

3. How do I save Outlook live email to a hard drive without PST?

While the .pst file format is the most common way to save Outlook live emails, you can also consider using third-party backup tools like AOMEI Backupper, which provide alternative methods for creating backups directly to a hard drive.

4. How to open Outlook emails that are saved to an external hard drive?

To open Outlook emails saved on an external hard drive, you can follow these steps:

  • Connect the external hard drive to your computer. Launch Microsoft Outlook.
  • Go to the "File" tab and select "Open & Export" followed by "Open Outlook Data File."
  • Browse to the location of the .pst file on the external hard drive and select it.
  • Click "OK" to open the .pst file, and you will be able to access your saved Outlook emails.


There are four ways offered in this article to help you backup Outlook live emails on your PC. You may pick up one way that best fits your need. To be honest, the first three methods all have disadvantages:

  • Outlook web app requires a long wait of 4 days for completion of the mailbox export process.
  • The forwarding feature is only suitable for backing up a small number of emails.
  • Outlook desktop app only allows you to backup one folder at once and it cannot be run automatically.

 Luckily, AOMEI Backupper breaks the limitations. It enables you to backup multiple folders at once, run automatic backup and the backup process won’t take a long time. Actually, AOMEI Backupper can do far more than that. It is also a professional cloning program that enables you to clone dynamic disk to basic. Just give it a shot!

Lily · Editor
Lily Green joined AOMEI in 2018 and has since become a professional in the areas of data protection and data transfer. She is committed to helping users protect their precious computer data and troubleshoot Windows system errors. She consistently stays vigilant about the latest trends in technology, guaranteeing that the given information aligned with the ongoing advancements in the field.