Archiving to PST

This article explains how to configure a PST archive job for a selected storage in order to export your Exchange data (mailboxes, public folders, etc.) to PST files. The PST archive job will create a separate PST file for each mailbox and public folder included in the job.


Before you proceed with this job, make sure you are aware of all the limitations that apply to the PST files. If you also intend to import your archived data back to the program at some point in time in the future, you need to create a standard archive job instead.

Make also sure that your machine will be turned on long enough for the job to complete. As opposed to backup jobs, the archive job cannot be stopped at some point and resumed later. Once the job starts, it must be completed; otherwise, the archive will become corrupted.

To create a new PST archive job, you can:

  • go to the Jobs tab and select New > Archive storage to PST (Fig. 1.); or

Backup create PST archive job from Jobs tab
Fig. 1. Creating a new PST archive job from the Jobs tab.

  • go to the Storages tab and either select a storage and then click the Archive to PST button on the top menu, or right-click the storage and choose Archive to PST from the shortcut menu (Fig. 2.).

Backup create PST archive job from Storages tab
Fig. 2. Creating a new PST archive job from the Storages tab.

The New PST archive job wizard will open (Fig. 3.). The wizard consists of the following steps that will guide you through the configuration of the archive job:

  • Job name, where you define the name of the PST archive job.
  • Source storage, where you select the storage and/or individual mailboxes or public folders that you want to export to a PST file.
  • Target archive, where you choose the location where the PST files will be saved.
  • Archive retention, where you define a retention policy for the PST files.
  • Scheduler, where you can specify when the archive job should automatically start.
  • Password, where you can password protect your PST archive files.
  • Job summary, where you can review your archive job settings.

Backup PST archive job wizard
Fig. 3. The PST archive job wizard.

Job name

In the first step of the wizard (see Fig. 3. above), provide a unique name for the PST archive job. By default, if you start the wizard by selecting a specific storage on the Storages tab, the program will name the Job name field according to the following pattern:

Archive storage '[storage name]' to PST

You can change the default name, for example, if you plan to archive the same storage or other mailboxes/public folders from that storage in the future. You cannot create two jobs with the same name.

Source storage

Select a storage which mailboxes or public folders you want to archive to PST files from the drop-down menu (Fig. 4.).

Backup PST archive job Source storage
Fig. 4. Selecting a storage to be archived.

You can now:

Archiving selected mailboxes to PST files

First, select one of the available options:

  1. Archive mailboxes from the list below
  2. Archive all mailboxes from the selected storage except the ones from the list below

and click Add. The Select mailboxes window will open. Depending on which option you have chosen previously, select the mailboxes or public folders that you (a) want to archive (Fig. 5.) or (b) exclude from the PST archive job. 

Backup PST archive job selecting mailboxes
Fig. 5. Selecting mailboxes to be included in the PST archive job.

Archiving all mailboxes from the storage to PST files

To archive all mailboxes (including public folders) from the selected storage, simply select the Archive all mailboxes from the selected storage except the ones from the list below and don't add any mailboxes or public folders to the list (Fig. 6.).

Backup PST archive job selecting all mailboxes
Fig. 6. Archiving all mailboxes to PST files.


The SharePoint data contained in the storage will not be archived.

Target archive

Click the Browse button and select the folder (or create a new one) where you want to save the PST files (Fig. 7.). It’s not possible to use the same folder in two or more archive jobs. You also cannot create PST archives on a mapped network drive.

Backup PST archive job Target archive
Fig. 7. Selecting a folder to save PST archives.


You can also type or paste the path manually in the Folder path box.

If you intend to save the PST files on a network drive, make sure CodeTwo Backup has all the necessary permissions to that location. Learn more

Archive retention

In this step (Fig. 8.), you can take advantage of one of the data retention policies used in CodeTwo Backup. You can:

  • decide how many PST archives created by this job should be kept in the specified location by selecting the Keep the last [#] PST archives checkbox, 
  • specify what action the program will take in the event there is not enough space to create a new archive:
    • Delete the oldest PST archives – the program will delete as many old PST archives as necessary to create a new archive
    • Do nothing – the program will not delete any old PST archives nor create new ones. 

Backup PST archive job Archive retention
Fig. 8. Data retention policy for archives.


Since external drives may not always be available for the Backup Service, the archive retention policy is not constantly running in the background. Retention policy for the archive is checked and executed only when the archive job is started. We recommend configuring the scheduler so that archiving starts automatically at specified times. 


The built-in scheduler can be used to start the PST archive jobs automatically and to set regular intervals for the program to archive the selected mailboxes or public folders, for example once a week, every other Saturday, twice per quarter, and so on. 

To begin configuring the scheduler, select the Enable scheduler checkbox. Choose the Recurrence option (Fig. 9.) that matches the intervals at which you want to create new PST archives:

  • Daily – if you want the program to create a new PST archive every day, every couple of days or only on weekdays.
  • Weekly – if the program should run the PST archive job on specific days of the week only. Here you can also indicate the number of weeks that need to pass between each job.  
  • Monthly – in case you don't need to create PST archives very often. This option lets you select specific months and days of the month on which the archiving will take place.

Backup PST archive job Scheduler
Fig. 9. Configuring the weekly recurrence pattern for the scheduler.

Some additional options (Fig. 10.) allow you to further configure the scheduler:

  • In the Recurrence pattern section, by using the 24-hour clock, select or enter the precise hour when the PST archive job should be started.


    Since PST archive jobs cannot be interrupted and resumed at a later date, the program allows you only to specify when the job starts, not when it should end.

  • In the Range of recurrence section, you can indicate the first and the last day when the PST archive job is executed. By default, the No end date checkbox is selected. However, in case you don't want to archive a specific storage after a certain date, clear that checkbox and select or enter the end date manually.

Backup PST archive job Scheduler options
Fig. 10. Additional scheduler options.

According to the configuration demonstrated in Fig. 10. above, the storage will be archived on 30 June and 31 December each year. Archiving will start at 23.00 and continue until finished. The storage will be archived for the last time on 31 December 2025. 


Although the scheduler will start the PST archive job automatically, without any involvement on your behalf, remember that the machine on which the program performs the job must be turned on when the PST archive job is supposed to run.


You can password protect the PST archives by selecting the Protect the PST archive files with a password checkbox and entering your password in the respective boxes (Fig. 11.).

Backup PST archive job Password
Fig. 11. Protecting the PST archives with a password.


Keep in mind that by doing so you will not be asked to provide the password to start this PST archive job. However, you will need to provide that password e.g. when importing the PST archive to Outlook.

All PST files created in a single PST archive job will have the same password.

Job summary

Here you can verify if you have configured the PST archive job according to your requirements (Fig. 12.).

Backup PST archive job summary
Fig. 12. The summary of the PST archive job.

In case you want to make any changes, click the name of any of the previous steps of the wizard and adjust your settings accordingly. If everything is correct, click Finish.

If you didn't configure the scheduler, you need to start the job manually. In that case, as soon as you finish the wizard, a pop-up window will appear, allowing you to start the PST archive job immediately (Fig. 13.). Click Yes to do so.

Backup PST archive job pop-up
Fig. 13. A pop-up asking to start the PST archive job automatically.

Otherwise, use the Start button on the Jobs tab to start the selected job.

See also

How to export public folders to a PST file in CodeTwo Backup

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