How to Backup IMAP Emails Using MS Outlook?

Himanshu Goyal
Himanshu Goyal | Updated On - 05 Apr 2021 |

Read time 7 min

Whether you’re a working professional or a self-employed individual, you might be using email for your work-related communications. Email clients like MS Outlook make emailing activities easy for individuals and organizations.

IMAP is the email standard for synchronizing the emails in the server with your email client. In the email client, you can see the message subject and body, and you can set up the email client on any digital device to access your emails.

IMAP is flexible to move or delete the email without downloading it into the system. Any changes done on any device will reflect in all the devices. However, just like any digital data, IMAP data is also vulnerable to various threats. So, taking a routine backup is an effective method to keep the mailboxes secure. But do you know how to backup your IMAP data from Outlook?

Backup IMAP Data from Outlook

When you configure Outlook with an IMAP account, it stores a local copy of IMAP mailboxes in OST format, and with the help of this file, users can continue working on their mailboxes. But, if this OST file gets corrupt or removed accidentally, you wouldn’t be able to access the IMAP data without establishing a connection with the mailing server. So, it’s necessary to continuously backup your IMAP data.

Here we have mentioned some methods which you can use to backup IMAP mailboxes in Outlook.

Instant Solution

Manual Method to Backup IMAP Account Configured with Outlook

One of the fastest methods to backup IMAP emails is to use the “Import/Export” option of Outlook 2013/2016. With the help of import/export wizard, an OST file can easily be converted to PST format. Follow the below steps to understand the process:

  1. Open Outlook 2013/2016 and go to the File tab.
  2. Now, select Open & Export and click Import/ Open and Export and click Import/Export
  3. The Import and Export Wizard will appear on the screen. Select Export to a file and click Next.
    Import and Export Wizard
  4. Select Outlook Data File (.pst) and click Next.Select Outlook Data File (.pst)
  5. Now, select the IMAP folder you want to backup and click the IMAP folder
  6. Note: With this method, you can backup only one mailbox at a time

  7. Select the location where you want to save this file and click Finish.Select the location to save the file

This way you can easily backup IMAP mailboxes manually. But there are some complications with the manual methods, such as you can lose your data if an error occurs. So, it’s better to choose an alternative way to backup IMAP mailboxes.

Expert Recommendation is Kernel IMAP Backup

Backing up IMAP mailboxes with Outlook is a secure and reliable approach. But, if the process stops in-between due to any reasons or Outlook stops responding, then you might end up losing your data. That’s why an automated solution is the best approach to back up IMAP mailboxes. So, even if your system shuts down inappropriately, the data will not be lost.

Kernel IMAP Backup

If you don’t want to use MS Outlook to backup IMAP mailboxes, then there is a better alternative for it – Kernel IMAP Backup software, that allows you to backup IMAP mailboxes without using any third application. This software even allows you to set filters on IMAP mailboxes for selective data backup. Here, take a look at the working process of this great utility.

  1. Install and launch the software on your system.
  2. Download Software

  3. On launching the software, click the Add button to add IMAP account.
    Click Add button to add IMAP account
  4. Add the credentials for IMAP account with the server name and port number, and then click Add.
    Add IMAP credentials
  5. The IMAP account will be added to the screen, click Set filter and Migrate.
    Set filter and migrate
    Note: You can backup multiple IMAP accounts with this software.
  6. In the next step, apply the filters to IMAP mailbox based on your requirements and click I am OK Start Migration.
    Click I am OK Start Migration
  7. The Save As pop-up will appear on the screen, select the specific format in which you want to save the file and click OK. By Default, the PST file option is selected.
    Select file format to save
  8. Now, browse and select the folders where you want to save this file and click OK.
    Select location to save data
  9. The software will start to backup IMAP mailbox; once it is complete, a notification will display on the screen, click OK to end the process.

If you want to save this report in CSV format, then click Save report to CSV. And that’s how you can easily backup IMAP mailboxes.

Video Tutorial: Backup IMAP Mailboxes to PST Using Kernel IMAP Backup Tool



Configuring the IMAP account in Outlook is a great way to manage your emails. But it is necessary to take regular backups of your IMAP mailboxes. Kernel IMAP Backup helps you create IMAP backups quickly without any hassle.

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