What’s the Best Way to Backup PST Incremental?

The import/export wizard and add-in feature can backup Outlook PST effectively. However, these measures cannot create an incremental backup. Luckily there is one solution that can help you backup PST incrementally.


By Maggie Updated on September 4, 2023

Share this: instagram reddit

User case: Outlook's .PST files incremental/delta backup

Outlook .PST files are usually very big. Doing a daily backup of the whole file to our remote backup server takes too long.

Are there any solutions (local or cloud) which allow an incremental backup of Outlook's .pst files?

Thanks in advance for any advice,


- Question from Microsoft Community

About PST (Outlook data files)

A PST (Personal Storage Table) file is a kind of file used by Microsoft. It holds copies of emails, calendars, and more from Microsoft tools like Outlook, Exchange, and Windows Messaging. PST files are easy to move between different software. They are saved on the computer itself. It's crucial to backup PST files in case the computer's data drive becomes damaged and can't be fixed.

PST Files

Do I need to backup PST files?

Backing up your Outlook PST files is important for various reasons:

1. Upgrading to a New Computer: When you switch to a new computer, you'll need to move your PST file to the new machine.

2. Migrating to a Newer Outlook Version: If you upgrade to a newer version of Outlook, you must export your PST file from the old version and import it into the new one.

3. Dealing with Crashes or Corruption: If Outlook crashes or your data becomes corrupted, restoring your PST file from a backup is necessary.

Having a backup of your Outlook PST file is a crucial part of using this email client. This article offers 2 traditional ways to backup Outlook PST files, and one best solution to backup PST incremental.

The traditional way to backup Outlook PST file

# 1. Backup with Add-in feature

Outlook 2016 Backup Add-in is a reliable and free tool to make Outlook 2016 backup PST automatically. Here are the exact steps to back up Outlook PST file using the Microsoft Outlook Backup add-in tool.

Step 1. Download the Outlook 2016 Backup Add-In v1.7. (direct link). Unzip the downloaded zip file. Double-click OutlookBackupAddIn.msi to install the add-in. After the installation is complete, launch Outlook.

Step 2. From the menu bar, click BACKUP Settings.

BACKUP Settings


Step 3. Select the PST data files that you want to back up. In the Interval option, specify the time you want to backup (eg. 2 days). Then choose the backup destination. After that, click Save to confirm.

Backup PST File

Step 4. When you quit Outlook 2016 for the first time, the first automatic Outlook backup will be taken.

# 2. Backup Outlook PST manually with Import /Export Wizard

The Export and Import feature is a manual Outlook backup method. It can be used to back up Outlook PST files on your local computer or to transfer Outlook data to another computer.

Step 1. Open Microsoft Outlook and sign in with your account as required.

Step 2. Click the File, and select Open & Export > Import/Export.

Step 3. In the pop-up Import and Export Wizard window, select Export to a file option and click Next.

Export to A File

Step 4. Then select Outlook Data File (.pst) as the export type and click Next.

Outlook Data File

How to do Outlook PST incremental backup

The above 2 methods are traditional ways to backup PST files. However, unfortunately, both two cannot execute an incremental backup, which will largely occupy more backing up time and storing locations and create generous multiples. Hence, one solution that can complement is using professional email backup software. I recommend AOMEI Backupper Professional. The incremental and differential backup feature offered is incredible and fantastic.

▶Schedule backup: This software enables you to customize your backup needs, you can backup your PST file in daily/ weekly/ monthly/event trigger and USB Plug-in mode as you like.
▶Flexible backup scheme: It offers 3 backup methods, you can first create a full copy of your entire data, then you can only backup the changes through incremental and differential backup. Once you enable its automatic backup cleanup, this software will delete old backup images to free up storing space, eliminating your troubles when the location is full.
▶Various email services supported: It seamlessly integrates with popular email services such as Microsoft 365, Gmail, Outlook Mail, Yahoo! Mail, iCloud Mail, Zoho Mail, Hush Mail, GMX Mail, and Hot Mail, among others.

How to backup PST incrementally with AOMEI Backupper

Here is the full guide for you to execute Outlook PST incremental backup with this wonderful email backup software. Before you start, please make some preparations:

▶Open Outlook, type email and click Connect, then follow the on-screen instructions to add the Outlook account containing PST files.

▶Download AOMEI Backupper Pro via the below free link. This version is compatible with Windows 11, 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, and XP. If you are a server user, please refer to AOMEI Backupper Server.

Download Free Trial Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Launch AOMEI Backupper Pro on your PC and then select Backup > Outlook Backup.

Outlook Backup

Step 2. Click Add Outlook data and select the Outlook account containing PST files you want to backup. Then click OK.

Add Outlook Data

Step 3. Then in the next window, select the second box to specify where you want to save your PST files. You can choose a local path, Share or NAS devices, and cloud drive as you need.

Select Backup Destination

Step 4. Then at the bottom of the page, choose Backup Scheme, set the schedule backup mode and backup scheme as incremental. Choose OK to continue.

★Tip:  You may need to create a full backup the first time when using this feature. Since then you could only backup the changes via incremental or differential backup.

Backup Scheme

Step 5. Then select Start Backup to prompt backup PST incremental.


If you want to backup PST incremental, the traditional ways may not be expected. So you can try the AOMEI Backupper Pro. This software can not only backup PST files but also allows you to customize your backup needs. This useful tool also performs email backup optimization when doing backup jobs.

Maggie · Editor
Maggie is a technical editor from AOMEI and troubleshoots technical problems against data protection. She has received professional and systematic technical training. With a focus on user experience, security, and problem-solving, she always puts herself in the readers' shoes and provides them with valuable technical insights.