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 Outlook Today, choose Properties and then press 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. Click on the File tab, then choose Info from the left menu.
  2. Click on Account Settings button and choose Account Settings from the list.
  3. Select the Data Files tab, then click Add....
  4. Choose a location and filename for your Personal Folder and save it in the Outlook Date File format and click Ok.
  5. To archive emails or entire email folders, select the desired messages or folders and drag them to your Personal Folder in the Navigation pane.

* To Create Personal Folders in Outlook 2003 (XP) or Outlook 2007 (Vista/7):

  1. Go to File -> New -> Outlook Data File...
  2. In the New Outlook Data File window, select Office Outlook Personal Folders File (.pst) and click on OK. If you use an older version of Outlook on a different computer, select Outlook 97-2002 Personal Folders File (.pst) instead.
  3. In the Create or Open Outlook Data File window, navigate to the folder where you would like to store the personal folders file. This folder is usually the 'My Documents' folder (XP) or 'Documents' folder (Vista/7).
  4. In the Create Microsoft Personal Folders window, click on OK.

If you use Personal Folders, having the Folder List pane visible will be very helpful. To show the Folder List pane, go to the View menu and select Folder List.

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 another location such as personal or departmental network storage on \\toaster or other media such as a CD.

Microsoft does not support the use of Personal Folders over a LAN or over a WAN link. The following article tells you why personal folder files (.pst files) are unsupported over a local area network (LAN) or wide area network (WAN) link. 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: Sep 27, 2011, 17:14 EDT
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