September 09, 2004|By JAMES COATES

Q: Is there a shortcut method to saving Microsoft Outlook e-mail to a personal folder on your hard drive?

A: The easiest way to back up entire Outlook e-mail files, including the entire inbox of messages, is to install a utility that Microsoft does not include in Outlook. It is, however, available for download in Microsoft's downloads area at

Go there and use the search term Personal Folders Backup. This takes you to a list of the backup tools for the various versions of Office, including 2000, 2002 and 2003. Click your version and you'll get a download page. The download is tiny at 160 kilobytes and it alters your software to add a Backup command under File.

Henceforth a user can select a mailbox, then click on File and Backup and point toward any part of the hard drive or a removable storage device to receive the backup copy.

Don't ask me why this isn't built into the software instead of merely offered as an optional add-in. Maybe they don't think their customers can handle the process of finding a folder to use for backups?

Most likely though, it's done so that corporate computer managers can regulate whether employees are allowed to make their own copies of a company's incoming (or outbound) e-mail. Whatever the reason, the fix is a snap but must be done by hand.

Jim Coates can be reached at or Chicago Tribune, Room 400, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago IL 60611. The Chicago Tribune is a Tribune Publishing newspaper.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.