How can I backup my Outlook settings and especially my email account configuration?
While Microsoft offers various tools to save or transfer your settings (Office Save My Settings Wizard, File and Settings Transfer Wizard, User State Migration Tool, Windows Easy Transfer) they all have some common issues;
- they are not Outlook specific
- they do not contain your pst-file (especially when you relocated it)
- they corrupt your mail profile
Office Save My Settings Wizard
Granted, the Office Save My Settings Wizard was actually usable for making a backup of your settings (and only that) and then restoring it to the same machine.
But again; it was not Outlook specific. It also didn’t work for restoring to another version of Office and they’ve dropped this (unreliable) feature in Office 2007.
Recreating the mail profile is recommended
Also because of the mail profile corruption that takes place, I always recommend to manually backup and transfer your pst-file and then manually recreate your mail profile. This however can be a very time consuming and labor intensive process and requires you to have your account configurations provided by your ISP at hand.
ABF Outlook Backup
Microsoft might not be able to produce a reliable backup tool for Outlook to backup and transfer your entire configuration, but that doesn’t mean that somebody else can’t either.
ABF Outlook Backup is a tool which can capture all your Outlook settings and configured accounts. Its backup process also includes the pst-files which you have configured in Outlook.
I’ve tested the tool and couldn’t find a corruption in my mail profile. It also supports backing up and restoring across Outlook versions.
This allowed me to backup a complex configuration from Outlook 2003 running on Windows XP and then restore it to Outlook 2007 running on Windows Vista without trouble. Upon revisiting this guide, I took the original backup from Outlook 2003 again and was able to restore it to Outlook 2010 on Windows 7 as well.
If you decide to order ABF Outlook Backup you can use ABF-HT2GL to get a discount.