How to Save Emails to an External Hard Drive

Written by aubrey kerr
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How to Save Emails to an External Hard Drive
Back up e-mails to an external hard drive (external hardrive image by Photoeyes from

Computers have been known to crash, so it's a good idea to save e-mails to an external hard drive. If you use an e-mail program like Outlook or Outlook Express, you can use the export wizard to create periodic e-mail backup files that can be saved to an external hard drive. For any e-mail client, you'll need to locate your e-mail data files and copy them to an external drive for safe keeping.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Plug in your external hard drive and connect it to your computer.

  2. 2

    Locate your e-mail data files. Some programs store data in the application folder. Check your program's "Help" file if you can't find your e-mail data. If you're using Outlook or a program with an export function, skip this step.

  3. 3

    Make a file on the desktop to temporarily store your e-mail files.

  4. 4

    Open your e-mail program and go to "File." Look for an "Export" option. If you see one, click to begin the automated export wizard.

  5. 5

    Choose the files you want to back up. In Outlook you'll want to back up the ".pst" files. You can select all the email folders or just certain ones.

  6. 6

    Export the email files to the backup folder you made on the desktop. If you're manually copying the files from the application folder, make a copy by right-clicking files and selecting "make copy" then drop them into the folder.

  7. 7

    Take the backup folder you just filled with e-mail data and drag it to your external hard drive. Open the folder to make sure all the files transferred.

  8. 8

    Delete or move the temporary copy you created on your desktop.

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