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Backing Up Outlook Email


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I work with many computers that use Outlook 2003 to manage email.

Emails are retained on the hosting company server and the POP3 protocol is used to download messages.

I use the following procedure to backup and restore Outlook 2003 email from one computer to another:

  1. Copy contents from (default) "%UserProfile%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook" of computer with email messages to (default) "%UserProfile%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook" of other computer for which same email account is to be used. The contents of "%UserProfile%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook" are in the form of .pst files.
  2. In Outlook 2003, configure POP3 email account settings on the computer emails had been copied to, using the same value data as what was used on the computer that originally contained the email messages.

The problem that occurs is that after Outlook data files from "%UserProfile%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook" and POP3 account information is setup up on a different instance of Outlook, all emails for the set up account are redownloaded from the hosting server. This results in duplicate emails.

How can email data AND information as to which email have or have not been already downloaded from the email server be backed up and restored in Outlook 2003?

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Your method appears sound, but try it in reverse: set up the pop3 account first, let the messages/custom folders, etc. download fully from the server, then close Outlook and restore (overwrite) the existing .pst file from your backup. You might lose new messages, however. And heaven help you if you forget to restore the .NK2 file . . . many users rely upon it as their address book.

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The problem I described seems to be common for Outlook 2003 users that retain messages on a hosting server, use the POP3 protocol to download messages, and transfer a current .PST file to another instance of Outlook 2003.

After some hours of research, I believe a may have found a solution.

The solution seems to be proposed by in posts #2 and #18 of thread:

http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic8927.html

I have not yet tested the proposed solution.

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