By Nicky / Last Updated December 28, 2020


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Quick Guide

About PST file

What is PST file?

PST file, short for Personal Storage Table, is a Microsoft Outlook Data File that stores a user's Outlook data for POP3, IMAP, and web-based mail accounts, including all mail folders and the items within the folders, such as emails, email attachments, to do items and appointments, contacts and more. Microsoft Outlook stores these items on the local computer and the storage limit of a single user's PST file is 2 GB.

After setting up an account in Microsoft Outlook, it will automatically create a PST file and associate it with your created account. One user account is not limited to having one PST file, you can import several PST files to have them as folders in Outlook. If you have multiple PST files, one of them will be used as default to store all Outlook items.

Pst Files

2. Where is the PST file?

  • In Windows 7 or Vista the Outlook PST file is located at:

C:\Users\ \AppData\Local\MicrosoftOutlook.

  • In Windows XP, it is located at:

C:\Documents and Settings\ \Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\.

To learn the exact location of your PST file, you can go to Tools > Options > Mail Setup > Data Files if you are using Outlook 2002 to 2007. If you are using Outlook 2010, go to File> Info > Account Settings > Account Settings > Data Files.

Can I backup Outlook PST files to OneDrive?

Since PST files take much local storage space and OneDrive can offer huge storage space as long as you subscribe to their plans, many OneDrive users wonder if they can backup PST files to OneDrive when they still have a lot of space in OneDrive but there is not much space in the mailbox.

However, this is not recommended. As mentioned above, a PST file is a file Outlook uses to store mail, contacts, journals, notes, and calendar folders, so, it is often large. As we know, the upload speed is usually slower for large files, and the amount of data allowed for upload may also have an upper limit. Moreover, keeping a regularly used PST file on OneDrive increases the chances of corruption.

Although it is not recommended, if you really want to back up the PST file to OneDrive, you can try to store single or just a few PST files that are not connected to your mailbox in OneDrive. Please check the method below and follow the steps to do it.

How to backup a single PST file to OneDrive?

Generally, the OneDrive desktop app will continuously try to upload the file but it won't be able to sync the PST file because Outlook has a lock on it and as a result, the PST file could become corrupted and data loss occurs. Meanwhile, OneDrive will always try to upload the PST files even if no changes have been made to the files. This may cause high/slow network traffic.

Therefore, you should move a small number of PST files like a few emails into the OneDrive folder manually instead of letting the OneDrive desktop app sync PST files automatically. Let's see how to backup a single PST file to OneDrive

1. Open File Explorer and browse to C:\Users\[username]\OneDrive\Documents\Outlook Files.

Outlook Files

Note: If the PST file is not here, open Outlook, right-click the account which has the PST you wish to move, and select Data File Properties > Advanced to see the full path of the filename.

2. Copy the PST file you wish to move and paste them to the OneDrive folder on your computer. Then, you can backup PST files with OneDrive automatically. You can delete them from Outlook to free up space.

OneDrive Folder

How to remove a PST file from OneDrive?

If the PST files in OneDrive become large, it can slow down your OneDrive sync and takes much storage space. You can follow the steps below to remove PST files from OneDrive if you don’t want to keep them in OneDrive anymore:

1. Close Outlook and wait for OneDrive sync to complete.

2. Open File Explorer and browse to the PST you wish to move. Copy the PST file from the OneDrive folder to a new or existing location on your PC which is not in your OneDrive and give the copied file a new name

3. Restart Outlook. Select File > Account Settings.

4. In the Email tab, choose the account name and then select Change Folder.

Remove Files from OneDrive

5. Choose the account and select the New Outlook Data file. Browse to the location of your newly renamed copy PST file, select it, and choose OK to return to the Email Accounts list.

6. On the Data Files tab, choose the data file location which includes OneDrive, and select Remove and Yes to disconnect the file.

Remove Files from OneDrive

Note: No email data will be lost by selecting Remove, it is just disconnected from your Outlook account. It can be re-added if necessary.

How to expand get more backup space for free?

Way 1. Merge multiple OneDrive accounts

Since the PST files are very large, saving PST files in OneDrive will consume much OneDrive space. OneDrive offers 5 GB free storage space only. If you want to upgrade your account, you can use CBackupper, an online backup service to expand OneDrive storage space for free.

CBackupper is a professional multi-cloud manager. With it, you can add and merge OneDrive accounts in one interface and combine the backup space of multiple OneDrive accounts to make full use of all your free cloud storage.

1. Navigate to CBackupper’s main page and get started to sign up to create an account.

Sign Up

2. Under the Clouds tab, click Add Clouds in My Clouds, select OneDrive, and click OK to continue. Add all the OneDrive accounts you own in the same way.

Add  OneDrive

3. In the next window, you can modify the display name and allocate space for file backup. Then, tick the checkbox before "Note". And click OK.

Allocated Space OneDrive

Now you have completed the whole process of adding OneDrive. And the free storage space in all the accounts you added can be used for backup. In addition to OneDrive, you can also add Google Drive, Dropbox, and other drives.

Way 2. Use an OneDrive alternative with a larger backup space

Besides the cloud storage combination, CBackupper also has a desktop cloud backup tool that allows you to back up PC files to its AOMEI Cloud and offers a 15-day free trial with 1000 GB storage space. You can subscribe to it for $6.00 per month and $60.00 per year only. If you meet any problem during the process of using OneDrive or you are looking for a cost-effective cloud backup service, CBackupper is a great choice.

1. Download and install it on your computer. Run it and sign up.

cBackupper Sign Up

2. After logging in, click on the Task tab and click on the New Task button.

Create Task

3. Click on Add Source to select the PC files that you want to backup to AOMEI Cloud. After selecting, click Start Backup.

Add Source

Final words

After reading, you may already know how to backup PST files to OneDrive. In view of the limited free storage space of OneDrive, you are suggested to expand your backup space with CBackupper. No matter you want to merge multiple accounts or switch to other cloud backup with more backup space. CBackupper can meet your requirements easily.