Computing & Communications Center

Creating Personal Folders in Outlook

* Introduction

Personal Folders can be created in Outlook so that you can store, manage, and archive your email on your local computer's hard drive. By using Personal Folders, you may reduce the amount of space used on the central mail server, and avoid receiving warning messages that you are over quota.

You can check how much space you are using in Outlook. Right click on Mailbox - Lastname, Firstname and select Data File Properties.  Click the Folder Size... button. This will show you the total amount of space you are using on Exchange.

* To Create Personal Folders in Outlook 2010:

  1. Open the File tab
  2. Click the Account Settings button and select Account Settings.
  3. Click the Data Files tab
  4. Click Add...
  5. In the New Outlook Data File window, select Office Outlook Personal Folders File (.pst) and click on OK.
  6. In the Create or Open Outlook Data File window, navigate to the folder where you would like to store the personal folders file; typically your Documents folder.  Click OK.

To use your Personal Folders, select the messages you want to move and click and drag them to your Personal Folders in the Folder List pane.

* To Create New Folders Within Personal Folders to Organize Your Messages:

  1. Right click on Personal Folders in the Folder List pane.
  2. Select New Folder...
  3. In the Create New Folder window, enter the name of the folder in the Name field and click on OK.

It is important to remember that any messages in your Personal Folders are stored on your local computer's hard drive. If your computer's hard drive ceases to work or the .pst file is deleted, those messages will be lost. To protect yourself from data loss, make certain to back up your .pst file regularly to your personal network share or physical media such as a CD/DVD, USB flash drive, or external hard drive.

Microsoft does not support the use of Personal Folders over network share. The following article explains why personal folder files (.pst files) are unsupported over a local area network (LAN). The .pst files are not meant to be a long-term, continuous-use method of storing messages in an enterprise environment. Please see the Microsoft Knowledge Base article for additional details.

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Last modified: May 13, 2014, 14:14 EDT
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