How to backup email that is configured as IMAP?-Outlook 2013/2016

Summary: Backing up Outlook data is a wise thing to do even if your profile is configured with an IMAP mailing server which anyways maintains a copy. In case of any event such as deletion of Outlook profile, mailbox corruption, etc., this backed up data comes in handy. In this post, we’ve discussed ways on how to backup Outlook emails of Outlook 2013 and 2016, configured as IMAP.

Outlook 2010 and onwards, when configured with an IMAP mailing server, maintains a local replica (copy) of the mailbox data residing on the server. This copy on the local storage is saved as the Offline Storage Table (OST) file, which contains all the mailbox data such emails, appointments, tasks, contacts, calendars, and notes. This OST file lets the users to work on their mailboxes, even if the machine’s connection with the mailing server gets disrupted. In case of any issue with your Outlook profile, one of the key techniques of ensuring the safety of data in the OST file is to save IMAP emails locally or archive IMAP emails of Outlook 2016 and other versions.

So, if you’re looking for ways on how to backup Outlook emails or how to store emails in Outlook, read this post. Here, we’ve mentioned two methods – manual and automated, to backup email in Outlook 2010, 2013, 2016, and above versions.

How to Backup Outlook Emails?

To back up and save IMAP emails locally, you need to convert them to PST format. Exporting emails and other data to PST regularly ensures that all your critical data are backed up and your OST file stays light and away from the risks of corruption. Having the backup in PST file will help you prevent losing Outlook 2010/2013/2016/2019 mailbox data in situations such as deletion of account, corruption in mailbox, etc.

Method 1: Backup IMAP OST File Manually via Outlook

You can use Outlook’s built-in utility Import and Export wizard to convert OST to PST.

Note: Moving an OST file to another machine isn’t supported, but that restriction doesn’t apply to PST files. Converting an OST file to PST enables you to move OST mailbox data to another computer.

Here’s the procedure to convert OST to PST format via the Outlook 2013/2016 inbuilt Import-Export wizard:

  1. Launch Outlook and from the top menu select File > Open & Export > Import/Export.
  • From the wizard that opens up, select Export to a file.
  • Click Outlook Data File (.PST), and then click on the Next button.
  • Select the name of the email account to export. Only information for one account can be exported at a time.
  • Make sure to check the Include subfolders checkbox. This way everything in the account will be exported: Calendar, Contacts, and Inbox.
  • Click on the Next. Thereafter, choose a destination to save the exported file. 

Method 2:  Use an Automated OST to PST Converter Tool

You can use an automated OST to PST converter tool such as Stellar Converter for OST that can help you back up IMAP emails and other data in OST to PST file in a few simple steps. This reliable Outlook email backup software comes with a completely DIY interface, quickly exports all the OST file data to PST format, and saves it at a desired location. In addition, this software also lets you search & save individual email messages, convert encrypted OST files to PST, and fend off many Outlook errors.

Steps to Convert OST to PST by using Stellar Converter for OST Software

  • Download and install Stellar Converter for OST software.

Free download

  • Launch the software. When the ‘Select OST File for Conversion’ box opens, click Browse and choose the OST file that you want to back up.

Note: If you don’t know the OST file location, click Find to search and select the file.

Free download
  • Once the OST file is selected, click Convert to start scanning and conversion procedure.
  • After the scanning process is complete, you can preview emails and other mail items. Select all or specific emails/folders that you want to back up and convert to PST.
  • Now, choose Save Converted File on the Home tab for saving the selected email folders.
  • In the Save As dialog box that appears, select PST from the ‘Save As’ options, and then click Browse to select a destination path to save the resultant PST file, and then click OK.

Now, all the selected emails/folders are backed up in a PST file.

  • Click ‘OK’ to begin exporting mailbox items

Wrapping Up

There can be various reasons that may require you to backup or archive local OST folders. But to back up the OST file, you need to convert the OST file to PST format. You can use the Outlook Import and Export wizard to convert and back up OST data to PST. However, performing manual method can be time-consuming and requires technical knowledge. To simplify the process, use the reliable and efficient Stellar Converter for OST software for backing up Outlook 2013/2016 emails into PST file in a few simple clicks. This tool is purpose-built to perform OST to PST conversion.

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