Tuesday, 16 October 2012

How to Back up Outlook 2011 for Mac?

Emailing for Mac users has been made easier and relished as the Outlook 2011 for Mac has been released. Being a Mac user, I was using apple mail as my email client from a long time now; I have switched to Mac outlook 2011. Its multifarious set of features that makes is suitable as an Email client as well as a personal information manager. To avoid the fear of loosing my important mail data in any data loss situation, I usually prefer to backup my Mac Outlook Data.

Generally, you need to backup Mac Outlook Data in two situations:
  • Either you need to create a local file archive of your Outlook 2011, so that the data can be restored if the database gets corrupted or the Mac outlook doesn’t function properly.
  • Or you need to transfer your mail data form one Mac Systems to another Mac Systems. You can choose to transfer either all Mac outlook data or only selected individual items based upon your requirement.
Mac Outlook 2011 Backup File:
The format for Mac outlook 2011 backup file is OLM.
An OLM file contains the archive for Mac Outlook Data such as e-mail messages, contacts, calendar events and other related information.

Ways to backup Mac Outlook Data:
There are different ways to backup your Outlook 2011 for Mac data:
  1. Backup using Export Feature
  2. Backup using drag and drop
  3. Quick backup
1. Backup using Export Feature:
This backup method is generally used in the case if you want to backup all your data into a single file, the possible situation might be if you want to transfer to another Mac Systems. The folder hierarchy remains intact in the back up file.

1.Go to File >Export option.

2.Go to "Outlook for Mac Data File (.olm)" option.

3.If you want to save all items, then check all of them.
4.Go to "No, do not delete items" option. 

5. “Archive.olm” is the default archive file name for Mac Outlook.
You may choose to save the backup file by default file name or rename it using the “save as” option.  

6.Now, you have got the backup file which can be copied to any desired location wherever, you want.

2. Backup using drag and drop: This method is generally used in the case if some particular mail folder is more important and you want to create a copy of it.

  1. Go to Mac folder list.
  2. Drag the messages of a particular folder on the Mac's desktop.
  3. Use finder to create a folder of the same name as of the selected folder.
  4. Go to folder list and Select the desired folder in Mac Outlook.
  5. Select the messages that are to be copied and then drag them to the desktop to create a copy.
3. Quick backup: If you want to have a quick backup all your Outlook 2011 for Mac then, simply
Drag "Microsoft User Data" folder from the "Documents" folder to an external drive, it will get copied itself.

Which Backup method is to be chosen when?
The use of Finder in the drag and drop method sometimes, makes it cumbersome for the user to organize the messages. And involves extra headache for user to create folders with the same name so, I usually backup my Mac Outlook Data using Export Feature; it’s the best way to backup your Mac Data. With the help of this backup method you can easily backup your desired folders or mail data.  However, if you want to backup all your Outlook 2011 for Mac then, quick backup method suits you best.


  1. Obscure task becomes easy. Thanks

  2. I have backed up OUTLOOK on my iMac - 10.5gb in size in the OLM file format. In this OLM File will all of my OUTLOOK folders and the emails in those folders be stored. Thanks for any advise.
    Robert Truman

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  4. If i update my outlook 2011 for mac to outlook 2016 for mac do i need to backup before or the setup preserves my data?