How to Backup IMAP Email in Outlook 365 – 2 Ways Included

From this article, you can master the best way to solve how to backup IMAP email in Outlook 365/2016/2019, thus keep your emails safe from any terrible issues.


By Clytze Updated on April 19, 2023

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User case


Need to backup IMAP account in Outlook

Hi, please be patient, I'm not overly IT literate. I have an IMAP email account which I access via outlook (up to date) but no longer need to use, but I do need to backup the IMAP folders.  My provider has provided a link to a MS webpage but the graphics and instructions do not match my version of outlook. It includes instructions to use the tools tab and select export, I don't seem to have (or can't find) that option. Is there any suggestion? Thanks for reading and any solutions offered.

- Question from Microsoft Community

If you're using Outlook 365 as your email client and have set up your email account as an IMAP account, it's important to regularly backup your email data to ensure that you don't lose them in case of a system failure or other unforeseen events. In this article, I'll take a look at how to backup IMAP email in Outlook 365, including the different methods you can use. Just keep reading if you have the same needs.

How to backup Outlook IMAP emails in 2 effective ways

Here I have mentioned some methods that you can use to backup IMAP mailbox in Outlook 365.

Method 1: Exporting Emails from Outlook

One of the easiest ways to backup your IMAP email in Outlook 365 is to export your mailbox data to a PST file. Here's how to do it.

1. Open Outlook 365 and select the email folder that you want to backup.

2. Click on the "File" tab in the top left corner of the screen.

3. Select "Open & Export" from the left-hand menu and then click on "Import/Export".


4. In the Import and Export Wizard, select "Export to a file" and then click on "Next".

Export A File

5. Choose "Outlook Data File (.pst)" as the file type and select the emails folder that you want to export. You can also choose to include the subfolders.

PST File

6. Choose a location on your computer where you want to save the file and enter a name for the file.

Save As

7. Click on "Finish" to export the emails to the file.

Here are some limitations of the export feature that you need to understand:

  • You can't save all your IMAP account data at once. You can only download one folder at a time. The whole process takes a long time and needs to be repeated several times.
  • With Outlook, you can only backup your emails in PST file format. Even with any other email client, there is no option to save emails in a different file format.
  • The procedure is not easy to follow for many users and the process is complex and time consuming.
  • For all the reasons mentioned above, I recommend you to choose an automated solution that suits most people.

Method 2: Backup IMAP email in Outlook using a third-party backup software

If you want a more comprehensive backup solution for your IMAP email in Outlook 365, you can use a third-party backup tool. There are several such tools available in the market, but there’s one called AOMEI Backupper Professional stands out in particular. This professional mail backup software allows you to backup your email, contacts, calendar, and other data from Outlook and store it in a safe location on your computer. And it has the following benefits:

  • It enables you to backup all of your emails, contacts, notes, calendars, and tasks in your email account no matter Outlook, Gmail, Hotmail, and any other email accounts added into Outlook client.
  • You can choose different devices as the backup location, such as backup Outlook emails to thumb drive, Dropbox, local/external hard drive, USB flash drive, and NAS device, etc.
  • Its Schedule Backup feature allows you to set different time frequencies to run email backups, such as "Daily", "Weekly", "Monthly" or "Event Triggers".

To get started, please download this powerful Outlook email backup software. Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, XP and Vista are supported.

Download Free TrialWin11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Open Outlook, type the IMAP email account and click Connect, then follow the on-screen instructions to add the IMAP account including the emails you want to backup.

Add Account Oulook

Step 2. Open AOMEI Backupper Professional. In the main interface, click Backup > Outlook Backup.

Outlook Backup

Step 3. Click Add Outlook data and select the IMAP emails in Outlook you want to backup. Then click OK.

Add Outlook Data

Step 4. Then click the box below to select a backup destination to store your backups.

Select Backup Destination

Step 5. Click Start Backup to start IMAP emails backup. By now, the main steps to backup Outlook emails have been completed. You can still customize your backup settings.

 Schedule Backup: You can set different  backup frequencies, like“Daily”, “Weekly” or “Monthly” . Make sure the option “Wake the computer to run scheduled task” is checked.

Schedule Backup

 Backup Scheme:  You can choose full backup, incremental backup or differential backup according to your needs, and Enable Automatic Backup Cleanup to delete old backups regularly. This feature can prevent disk storage full issues to happen.


In this tutorial, you can learn how to backup IMAP email in Outlook 365 to protect your data. Whether you choose to use the built-in Export feature in Outlook 365, or a third-party backup tool like AOMEI Backupper, you can have peace of mind knowing that your data is always protected, no matter what happens.

While AOMEI Backupper is a professional data protection tool, you cannot only backup emails, but also you are supported to backup Windows 11, create bootable USB on Windows 11 from ISO, etc.

Clytze · Editor
Clytze, an editor at AOMEI Technology, is passionate about safeguarding your digital world. She dedicates her expertise to empower users like you in data security and recovery. She firmly believes that everyone should have the tools and knowledge to protect their digital assets through computer backup, seamless disk cloning, and efficient file synchronization. Clytze is your trusted guide on the journey to data safety.