Tuesday, 15 April 2014

How to backup and restore Outlook 2013 emails, contacts, calendars and other email items

If you are using Outlook 2013 as an email account & storing your "critical" data in it then it is essential that you should keep your own PST file backup to ensure that your data is not lost in any case of unfortunate events such as hardware failure, software malfunction, virus attack etc. With the help of the updated backup, you can restore your lost data in most of the data corruption cases.   

Backup Outlook 2013 Emails

Manually Backup Outlook Emails:

Drag Emails from Outlook to a Folder: 

This option work for you if you want to backup multiple Outlook emails not a full PST file. First select the mails that you want to save and drag them to a folder in Windows Explorer. These emails will save as .msg file format with the subject as the filename. Remember you can’t open this format with any another email client because .msg format is only supported by Outlook. 

Export data to a new PST File: 

First open Outlook program and then click on File on the top of the screen 

Now click on Open & Export & then click on ‘Import and Export’ 

Now click on Export to a File and continue to click next 

Now select Outlook data file option & then click next

You will find the option of Outlook folders that you want to backup from your Outlook account. From here choose your desired folder for backup and then also click on the Include Subfolders button. This option will backup all your emails and files on Outlook

Now select the location from where you want to save your .pst file. Here you will find three options:

1. Replace duplicates with the items exported
2. Allow duplicate items to be created
3. Do not export duplicate items

Here I don’t want to export duplicate items so I will select third option & click on Finish

You have successfully created your PST file backup.

Automatic Backup Outlook Emails:

Microsoft provides a tool to automatically backup your PST file named as “Microsoft Outlook Personal Folders Backup too”. It is an Outlook add-in that automates the backup & available in Outlook 2000, Outlook 2002, Outlook 2003, and Outlook 2007. With the help of this addin, you can only backup PST files and can choose any .pst file to back up. You can also schedule as many times as you want to back them. Only a single person can use this tool, it is not for an enterprise back-up solution. When you perform backup with the addin, by default it saves back up files to a disk. This is not work for Outlook 2013. 

You can download this add-in from here:


Here is small screenshot of the tool:

Backup Outlook 2013 Contacts

If you also want to export all your contacts in to another application than you can also do this by following steps: 

1. Click File > Open & Export

2. Click on Import/Export

3. Choose ‘Export to File’ and then click next

4. Choose the ‘Comma separated value’ option & click next

5. From here choose ‘Contacts’ and click next

6. Browse the folder where you will export the CSV file

7. Now enter the name of the file & click ok 

6.     Again click next

Click finish

Check your all exported contacts

Backup Outlook 2013 Calendar

You can back up your calendar same as Outlook contacts only you need to select calendar from this screen. All other steps will be same as Outlook contacts.

Restore Outlook 2013:

Please follow below steps to restore your mails, contacts, and calendar and from a backup copy of PST file: 

First select File & then Import and Export 

Now Select Import from another program or file.

Click Next.

Highlight Personal Folder File (PST) & then click next

Now browse to your backup copy of the PST file you want to recover from your backup location.

Click on checkbox Replace duplicates with items imported 

Click Next.

Click on finish.

Hope the article will help you to successfully backup & restore your Outlook 2013 items!!

Monday, 31 March 2014

How to recover deleted emails from various Email Clients

Sometimes, we delete messages when we find it useless or sometimes we accidently delete it without any intention. If you have accidently deleted your messages then first you should check your ‘Deleted folder’ whatever is your email client either you are using desktop program like Outlook, Outlook Express, Windows Live Mail etc or you are using Gmail, Yahoo, hotmail etc. As we all know that when we delete any mail then it saves in to program's internal trash or Recycle Bin. From where you can easily retrieve any accidentally deleted items simply moving them back to your inbox. 

But always there is one another condition if you are also emptied your Deleted folder(s). In this case, you may also retrieve your messages. All these steps depend on your email client which you are using. 

Let’s move one by one:

Recover Deleted mail in Gmail 

One of the finest way to recover deleted mails is to restore your deleted message from updated backup. You can also create backup of your Gmail mails. You cannot recover deleted message if   

  • It is deleted from the Gmail trash 
  • 30 days have been passed since the deletion

First Sign in your Gmail account

Now click on trash on the left sidebar. Here is full picture of deleted mails: 

Now, restore your emails by selecting them and accordingly click on move button to move the emails to the inbox. 

In Gmail, you cannot recover permanently deleted messages. 

Recover Deleted mail in Yahoo

If you accidentally deleted your email from your yahoo accounts then you can recover it by moving emails in your Trash folder to your Inbox or other folders. 

Recovering emails from your Trash folder

1. Click Trash from left hand list
2. Select messages that you want to recover.
3. Click Move.
4. Click the folder to move the messages to.

If you also emptied your Trash folder then it gets permanently deleted from the Yahoo Mail server. For more information please check the help article

Recover Deleted mail in Hotmail 

First sign-in your Hotmail Account. 
Click on "Go to inbox" under "Hotmail highlights"
Click on Deleted Folder on the left sidebar
Now drag them into another folder
Now click on ‘recover deleted messages’ on the bottom of the screen.
This will help you to recover non-permanently deleted emails. 
In Hotmail, you can recover permanently deleted mails. 
Check the bottom line of this picture:

When you click on this link it sends a command to Hotmail to recover as many deleted emails as possible. But there is no guarantee that your mails would be recover or not.  

Recover Deleted mail in Outlook

In the top of the Outlook window, click on Tools & then click on ‘Recover deleted items’

Now you will see this Recovery window & it will display all the deleted emails that can be recovered. Now click on the mails that you want to recover:  

and click the “Recover Selected Items” button 

All the deleted mails will come back into the original folder that you deleted them from.  

Recover Deleted mail in Outlook Express

First Open Outlook Express & then click on Tools menu on the top of the window

Then Click on Options

After that Click on Maintenance.

Click on Store Folder. From the help of this step, you can give the location of where your files will get store  

Now Close Outlook Express. 
Now open Recycle Bin  
In the side menu options: “Restore most recent sent items (.bak files)”. 
Now Close the Recycle Bin. 
Right-click on the Start button and then select “Explore”. 
Find the folder that you gave in Store Folder option.   
Now open the folder that has all your deleted files.
Click Tools>> Folder Options>>select View. 
Now enable the “Display hidden and system files”. 
Uncheck the mark on “Hide extensions of known file types”. 
Now you can see Folders.dbx file and the Folders.bak. file.
Rename these file & Open Outlook Express. 
Now you will see that all messages will get restored.

Recover Deleted Email Messages from a Mac Mail

First Open the Apple Mail 
Now click on "Trash" tab in the Apple mail source pane. Alternatively, click on trash folder.
On the top of the screen select "View" on the Apple mail source pane
And then click on "Show Deleted Messages" from the drop-down menu. This option will show you all erased messages in your Trash folder.
Now select the message that you want to remove from the deleted messages folder
Now Click "Messages" on Apple mail source pane then Click "Undelete" on the drop-down menu to restore the email back to the Apple mail Inbox folder.
Congratulations you have successfully restore your all deleted mails!!

There all are different methods to recover deleted emails from different email clients. You can also use email data recovery software to recover your deleted mails. This option is also useful when you are unable to recover your deleted mails from all above options. 

Hope the article will help you to successfully recover your deleted mails!!

Thursday, 27 March 2014

MS Outlook PST File Issues & possible solutions

If you are working with Outlook for very long time then there are some points which you need to know about PST file. Here I am describing the problems associated with this file format. Here is the full list: 

1. Network Access of PST Files: 

If you are accessing your PST files stored on the server then you will notice that the server will hang for a few minutes. This is the known issue of PST file on a LAN/WAN because of unsupported configuration.  This issue occurs because both PST file & WAN LAN links used different message storage method: pst file uses a file-access-driven method and WAN/LAN links uses network-access-driven methods. 

When we try to access PST file over network then Outlook tries to use the file commands to read from the file or write to the file. As we all knows that PST file stores on local computer then OS has to send those commands over the network. This process takes long time to read and write to the file.  

2. Difficult to maintain PST file backup on Network

If you are Outlook user then you must be aware that PST files store on local hard disk.  If you are using PST file on network then it becomes more difficult to take backup of PST file.  As I discussed above that PST cannot be run from the network. For this, you have configured backups on each individual System which is really a handy task. You must also remember that backup does not run while Outlook is running.  

To solve this issue, you have to use Cached Exchange Mode to store your mail. It helps users to take a copy of their mailbox. When they reconnect to the network, the changes are seamlessly synchronized back to the server, including any messages they happen to write and send while in offline mode. 

3. PST files are prone to corruption

The two most common causes of PST file corruption are size limit & PST file storage on local computer. When the PST files crossed their 2 GB file size limit then there is chance of PST file corruption. This corruption can result in permanent data loss. When your system gets crashed or has virus attack then there is also a chance of PST file Corruption because of PST file saves in local system. This can also result in a permanent loss of PST file. In this situation, you have to use PST Repair software to repair your corrupt file.  

4. PST File Size Issues:

File Size is one of most famous bug of PST files. Outlook 2003 PST File size has a maximum size limit of 2GB. To solve this issue, Microsoft introduced a new PST file format in Outlook 2003 and higher versions which run on Unicode. This format stores data up to 20GB. For this, you have to modify default configuration of MS Outlook.

It means when we updated any Outlook older version to newer version, it does not automatically update your PST file(s). You can do it by creating a new Unicode file and transferring the data across.

Create a new PST File in Outlook 2003 & higher versions

From Outlook, Click File>>New>>Outlook Data File

Type File Name & the location of the PST file, Click OK

Type Display Name that will show in your Outlook.  Click OK

Now you will see that a new .PST will display in your Navigation Pane as shown in below picture:

5. Outlook hangs when sending/receiving emails: 

If your Outlook hangs or stops working when you are sending and receiving mails, it means either your PST file is get corrupted or your PST file become too large. To fix this issue, you have to split your PST file. 

6. Searching, finding and viewing emails in a PST file really a handy task

Some big organizations or some users also use multiple PST files to store their information. If you are trying to search, find and view any individual PST file then it can be very slow and time consuming process because of multiple PST files. If you are switch to any new organization and try to access then how you will identify that which .PST file contains your mails. 

7. Not possible to Simultaneous file sharing between multiple users  

If you are trying to share PST files between multiple users simultaneously then there is a chance that the mail file may be get corrupted. Because Outlook do not support file sharing.

8. Mail moved from server to PST file

If you moved your mail from server to PST file then it will no longer be available on the server using remote access applications like OWA. If you want to access these emails in PST file then you will need to use a full Microsoft Outlook Client.  

All above issues, I have faced when I was working on PST files. Hope the solutions of the above issues will work for you & you will never face these problems in future with your PST file. 

Sunday, 23 March 2014

How to fix duplicate email problems in various Outlook versions 2013/2010/2007

Have you faced duplicate email issue in Outlook? Sometimes you are also receiving the same e-mail multiple times. Here are most common issues which lead to e-mail duplication:

What Problems you faced when your Outlook profile has:

A duplicate email message slow down the Outlook operation and also affects the performance because Outlook takes more memory, disk space and CPU usage to save mail items. When the Outlook mailbox reaches 2-3 GB, and if you don’t reduce the size of your mailbox then your Outlook will start hanging, freezing and not responding.

Why you faced duplicate email messages problem in Outlook:

  • In most of the cases, duplicate e-mails are faced by mail server issues. It occurs mostly if you activated the “Leave Messages on the Server” settings option. 
  • Second reason is incorrectly configured Outlook rules. If you applied two or more “move a copy to” rules on a certain incoming message, it also causes to duplicate email messages. 
  • If you merged several PST files into one, it also causes to duplicate email messages. 
  • When you configure multiple accounts in Outlook and aliases for the same mailbox. In this case, same account configured twice and alias is received in the same mailbox. 
  • One another reason is interrupted synchronization with a laptop or mobile device. Many times, synchronization could cause some duplicates items. It can be happen in many cases, like if you take example of contacts, it will clearly elaborate the problem. Like if you store phone contacts in your mobile by first name or last name & in Outlook by their full name. It will also cause the duplicate mail items.
  • Antivirus software or firewall also creates duplicate e-mails. 
  • When you recreate your mail profile and you have already choose the option to configure Outlook to leave a copy on the server (POP3 account), it will receive all the e-mails from the server again even when you have received them in a previous configuration.

There are some common reasons of Outlook email duplication. But email duplication makes your work more hectic and less productive.

How to resolve duplicate email messages:

Solve Multiple Accounts

To resolve duplicates mails from alias accounts, use following steps:

For Outlook 2007 and previous versions: 

Tools-> Options-> tab Mail Setup-> button Send/Receive-> button Edit…-> select the alias account-> uncheck Receive mail items

Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013

Send/Receive-> button Send/Receive Groups-> Define Send/Receive Groups…-> button Edit…-> select the alias account-> uncheck Receive mail items

This will resolve your duplicate email issues due to multiple accounts.

Solve Virus scanner / Firewall problems

When you integrate virus scanner with Outlook, it interrupts the Send/Receive request from Outlook. In this case, when Outlook does a Send/Receive and “thinks” it is talking to the virus scanner. This means that now the virus scanner is responsible for the connection. In this case, the connection to the mail server isn’t closed properly and you received already received e-mail again at the next Send/Receive interval. To resolve this issue, you have no need to integrate a virus scanner with Outlook.

If you configured firewall, it could terminate the connection. In this case, check/disable your firewall.

Solve Synchronization Issue

Synchronization Issue occurs because mobile phone is not a proper input device and insufficient contact storage properties on it. To make sure, that original Outlook contacts do not repeat in your mobile devise, you can create a new mail profile with no account. Now synchronize with that mail profile and use Outlook to easily clean up your contacts on your mobile.

Profile Recreation Problem

To resolve this issue, please use following steps: 

For Outlook 2002/XP and 2003

  • File-> Open-> Outlook Data File
  • Now move all the newly received e-mails to that pst-file.
  • Close Outlook and go to Control Panel-> Mail-> button Data Files…-> button E-mail Accounts-> button Next.
  • Now select original pst-file as the default delivery location
  • Press Finish.
  • Press the button Data Files and remove the other pst-file.

For Outlook 2007

  • File-> Open-> Outlook Data File 
  • Now move all the newly received e-mails to that pst-file.
  • Close Outlook and go to Control Panel-> Mail-> E-mail Accounts-> tab Data Files. 
  • Select the original pst-file and press Set as Default
  • Select the other pst-file and press Remove.  

For Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013

In Outlook 2010 & 2013, version, this procedure is little different because in this case outlook does remember which emails have been downloaded before to store information in the pst-file itself. When you configure your outlook account, you can specify the delivery location to an already existing pst-file.  To change the delivery pst-file for your account after you have configured your account use:

File-> Account Settings-> Account Settings-> select your e-mail account-> button Change Folder-> select New Outlook Data File… and browse to your original pst-file.

If you also want to keep your computer clean, please click on Settings button first and write down the location of the pst-file so you can physically delete the file as well.

Useful links to clean up Outlook Duplicate Emails: 

There are also available various tools in the market which help to remove Outlook Duplicate mails. Please check following links:


Hope the article will help you to fix outlook email duplication issue. 

Thursday, 20 March 2014

How to fix Outlook 2013 crashing issues

Have you received an error message: "Outlook not responding" while you tried to open or send a mail? Or have you faced MS Outlook crashing issues? 

There are number of reasons of above error message or Outlook crashing:

Outlook is in use. 
Outlook mailbox may be too large.
Outlook data files may have been corrupted.
Need to repair your Office programs.
User profiles may have been corrupted.
Any Program conflicting with Outlook.
Add-in may be interfering with Outlook. 

Outlook is in use:

If Outlook is in use by another process then it will hang or Outlook may not respond. There are many features available in Outlook which uses a large amount of resources such as the Outlook AutoArchive feature etc.  To get rid of Outlook crashing issues, don’t use such type of feature which makes Outlook lengthy. You can check Outlook task process in the horizontal status bar at bottom of the screen. So first check this bar & Let the finish its job before attempting other actions.

Check Outlook mailbox is get oversized

As your mailbox size gets oversized then you can face performance issues during various Outlook operations. To decrease the size of mailbox, move items to large folders.

First create a folder: 

Click on Folder tab & then click New Folder.
Now enter the name of the folder.
Select the location for the new folder & then click OK.

Now all your items have been move to new folder. 
After that delete all items that you do not want to keep by using Deleted Items folder option. You can also compact your data files to reduce the size of Outlook mailbox. Use following steps: 

Click on File tab >> Account Settings. 
On the Data Files tab option, click the data file that you want to compact.
Click Settings>> Compact Now.

Same options can be use for offline Outlook Data File (.ost) but this option does delete or compact items saved on the computer running Microsoft Exchange Server. 

Repair Outlook data files

One common reason of Outlook crashing is Outlook data files corruption. You can repair your corrupt Outlook data files by using Inbox Repair tool (scanpst.exe).  You can also use online pst repair tools to repair corrupt Outlook data file. 

Repair your Office programs

When your Outlook is not responding then this issue can also fix by repairing your Office programs. Here are all steps: 

1. First stop all running Microsoft Office programs.
2. Open Control Panel>>Add or Remove Programs. 
3. Then click Microsoft Office 2013 or Microsoft Office 2010, and then click Repair.

If your User profile get corrupted, Create new profile

One another reason of Outlook crashing is Outlook user file corruption. 

Use following steps to create new user profile:

1. Control Panel>>Programs>> User Accounts
2. Click Mail to open Mail items.
3. Click Show Profiles.
4. Select desired profile and then click Remove.
5. Now click Add. & type a name for the profile.
6. Add user name, the primary SMTP address, password, and then click next.
7. Then click to select the don’t ask me about this again checkbox, and then click Allow.

You have successfully created Outlook user file. 

Check if Any Program conflicting with Outlook

When we start Windows, many applications start automatically. These applications may interfere with Outlook performance. To resolve outlook issue, Start-up or "clean boot" will help to identify problems with conflicting programs. 

There is one another possibility that you are using Startup option in System Configuration. If you want to run startup program when you restart Windows just select a check box in System Configuration, otherwise startup program won't run.

Use following steps: 

1. Control Panel>>System and Security>>Administrative Tools>> System Configuration. 
2. General tab>> Selective startup, and then uncheck the Load system services and the Load startup items check boxes.
3. Select Load system services check box, click OK, and then click Restart.
4. If Outlook still hangs then you have Identify the system service that is causing the problem. To do so use following steps:

a. System Configuration>>Services tab>> Disable all
b. Choose the check box for the first service that is listed. 
c. Restart the computer

If the problem get resolve it means first service cause the problem. To fix the problem, eliminate the first service as the cause of the problem. If problem still occurs continue with the next step: 

d. Now select the second service check box, and then restart the computer.
e. Repeat this process until you fix the Outlook issue.  

If above all steps get failed to fix the issue then identify the startup item that is causing the problem:

f. System Configuration>>General tab>>Select Load startup items check box.
g. Startup tab>> Disable all
h. Choose the check box for the first service that is listed. 
i. Restart the computer

If the problem gets fixed then first service causes the problem. To fix the problem, eliminate the first service. If problem still occurs continue with the next step: 
j. Select the second startup item check box, and then restart the computer. 
k. Repeat these steps until you resolve the problem.

Check if any Add-in interfering with Outlook

Check if problem occurs due to add-ins. Please use following steps: 

1. Use following steps depending on the windows versions: 
If you are using Windows 8 click Search & then Type Run in the search box, and click Run.
If you are using Windows 7 or Windows Vista, click Start.
If you are using Windows XP, click Start, and then click Run.
2. Then Type Outlook /safe, and then click OK.
3. Now click Options, and then click Add-Ins.
4. Select COM Add-ins, and then click Go.
5. Clear all the check boxes in the list, and then click OK.
6. Restart Outlook.

These steps will help to find out which add-in is causing the problem.

Outlook crashes are caused by different reasons as I explained above. Above are the most common reasons of Outlook crashing. Hope the article will help you to fix Outlook crashing issues. 

Thursday, 23 January 2014

MS Outlook Vs Outlook Express

MS Outlook & Outlook Express, both applications have same name but offers different functionality. These email applications are used for managing emails, organizing meetings, and planning your schedule. Let discuss both email applications one by one. 

Outlook Express

Outlook Express is free email application which is included with Windows versions earlier from Windows Vista and came with Internet Explorer versions 6 and earlier. Outlook Express has been replaced by Windows Mail in Windows versions beginning from Windows Vista.  You can also easily setup your POP3, IMAP or Hotmail accounts with Outlook Express.


Mail Availability without Internet Connection: For access Outlook express mails, there is no need of internet connection, it automatically connect to your account, download your mails and save your mails on your system. When you access your messages on your system then you can access it even without an internet connection.

Copy of your emails available your local machine: Outlook Express stores a copy of all your emails on your local computer. So you can access your messages from your machine in case of accidently message deletion or message inaccessibility. 

Supports Multiple Accounts for Exchange Emails: Outlook Express supports multiple accounts to exchange information using SMTP, POP3 and IMAP.  


Outlook Express Corruption: There are number of reasons which can corrupt Outlook express files. Some reasons are file size increased due to increasing number of stored emails and file compaction. There are also many programs available in market which back up, restore and recover corrupted Outlook Express files (DBX)

Security issues: Outlook Express supports HTML email and scripts. Due to this feature, emails are infected with viruses. Another security issue was that a script could automatically be opened as an attachment. In Outlook Express SP2   Microsoft has tried to correct the security issues. Due to this unusual behavior of Outlook Express, users are switching from Outlook Express to MS Outlook.

Microsoft Outlook: 

MS Outlook is featured email application & included in the Microsoft Office product. You can also setup your POP3, IMAP or Hotmail accounts with Outlook. The current version of MS Outlook is Outlook 2013 which comes with many extensive features. MS Outlook includes a calendar, task manager, contacts, notes, journal, and web browsing. This application can also work with Microsoft SharePoint Server and Microsoft Exchange Server for multiple users in an organization.

Advantages: MS Outlook has numerous advantages as compare to Outlook Express: Integrated search function, Security Features, email connectivity features etc.


Integration: As we all knows, we can integrate Outlook with other programs, such as Google Calendar. In this case, you have to install third party applications to maintain current information and input it manually into Outlook again.  

Not all OS Support: Microsoft Outlook is built to run on Windows Systems such as Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8. you can also run Microsoft Outlook virtually on Mac OS. But for Linux, there is very little support to run Microsoft Outlook. 

The most major Similarities and difference between Outlook and Outlook Express are.

Similarities and Differences: There are many similarities & differences available in both the applications which are listed below: 

1. Outlook and Express both work with Internet standard protocols such as IMAP, SMTP, and POP3.
2. Both offer templates for customizing the email message.
3. Outlook Express can be used by the individual or small-business owners who only need a powerful email application. On the other hand, MS Outlook is for the bigger organizations that need to communicate with several email clients and locations.

What to Choose – Outlook or Outlook Express??

You can use Outlook and Outlook Express on the same computer but you have to think carefully on which purpose you are using program. For your work purpose, you can choose Outlook for both your corporate and personal accounts. Or, you can use Outlook for your work e-mail and Outlook Express for your personal e-mail. It does all depend on your work need. If you are using an IMAP e-mail account with both email applications the Outlook and Outlook Express, it could cause the problem. 

Outlook Express

Choose Outlook Express if:
You need only Internet e-mail and newsgroup functionality  
You are using Office 98 for Macintosh then you can take advantage to integrate Outlook Express with this version of the Office suite.


Choose Outlook if:

Need of advanced Internet standards-based e-mail and discussion group functionality.
Need of integrated personal calendars, group scheduling, task, and contact management.
Need to integrate e-mail and calendaring, cross-platform clients. 
If you are using Office 97, Office 2000, Office XP then you can take advantage to integrate Outlook with this version of the Office suite  
Need to integrate with Exchange Server.
Need of robust, integrated run-time and design-time collaboration capabilities.

The above article clearly explained that Outlook Express is best fit for home users and Outlook is best fit for business users.