Office 365 Personal Backup strategy

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Outlook version
Outlook 2013 64 bit
Email Account
What is the recommended outlook backup strategy for office 365 personal? I have recently moved from a corporate exchange environment to a completely personal environment. It was much harder that I would have thought. My personal e-mail service is with gmail and it was especially hard to get a galaxy phone to sync with outlook but thanks to Diane's web site and forums I figured it out using the "Go Contact Sync Mod" utility to sync the calendar and contacts. The lack of category support on 365 was especially annoying because that is how I segmented my contacts. Again, there is a workaround for that but it is also a pain.

Here is what I'm doing now for backing up:

1. I use an IMAP account for e-mail so the phone and outlook sync. I backup the .ost file to a separate hard drive.
2. I periodically "export" the .ost file to a .pst file and then backup that file to a separate hard drive.
3. I also have legacy .pst files that I use and I backup these files to a separate hard drive. I tried importing some of the folders from the old .pst files into the new .ost and it crashed outlook. I found I had a very old format of .pst and then created a new .pst account and moved all the old folders to a new .pst but it still crashed Outlook so I just keep them separate for now.

I have a couple of questions:

1. Is there anything wrong with the above strategy? If I lose my laptop can I recreate my outlook with the .ost or .pst? I would hate to find a flaw in the strategy during a laptop rebuild.
2. Is there a utility that will periodically and automatically export a .pst from the .ost so I can have all the external drive backups done in the backgroud?
3. When I export the .ost to a .pst file do I lose any info like categories on contacts?

Thanks in advance for the help.



Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
Step 1 is not necessary. only the profile & account that created the ost can open it. If you don't trust gmail not to lose your account, then export to a pst.

Step 3 would import the pst into the gmal server. it should work but if there are calendar and contacts in the pst, that could be behind the crashes. If you want the mail uploaded to gmail, try moving a folder at a time - make a copy of the pst, open the pst in outlook and drag folders over, waiting for them to sync up.

I have a macro that exports calendar and contacts rom an ost file - it could be converted to do all folders. You won't lose categories on items but will lose the colors. Upgrade to color categories will add the to the master list with random colors.

The plan is fine if you are paranoid that gmail will delete your account or otherwise lose your mail. IMHO, it's overkill. :) If there are things like receipts you want to insure are safe, drag and copy to a pst file.
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