How to Manually Back Up the Personal Filing Cabinet on AOL

by Alan Sembera

Manually backing up the personal filing cabinets in your AOL Desktop helps keep important mail safe in case anything should happen to the original files. The filing cabinets hold messages you saved in your "On My PC" folder within your Mail window. You can also use the backup files to move your saved AOL messages from one computer to another. The method for backing up the files differs depending on whether you're using AOL Desktop 9 or AOL Desktop 10, as the two versions save your filing cabinet in different locations.

AOL Desktop 9

1

Close the AOL Desktop application.

2

Click "Search" on the Charms bar and type "AOL System Information" into the search field. Select the app when it appears in the results. In earlier Windows versions, click the Start button, click "All Programs," click "AOL" and then then select "AOL System Information."

3

Click the "AOL Software" tab in the AOL System Information window.

4

Click the "Open Data Folder" button in the first section. Your Windows file browser opens to the location of the Organize folder, which contains your personal filing cabinet file. The folder is located at "C:\ProgramData\AOL\C_AOL Desktop 9.X\" on your hard drive.

5

Right-click the "Organize" folder and select copy.

6

Navigate to the location where you want to save the backup copy, such as another directory on your hard drive or a removeable USB drive, and then right-click the folder or drive name and click "Paste."

AOL Desktop 10

1

Close the AOL Desktop application.

2

Press "Windows -E" on the keyboard to open File Explorer or Windows Explorer.

3

Click an empty part of the address bar and then type or paste "C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\AOL\UserProfiles\" without the quotes. Press "Enter."

4

Double-click the folder that has several numbers as the name.

5

Doubler-click the folder named with your AOL screen name followed by ".mail".

6

Right-click the "CLS" folder and select "Copy."

7

Navigate to the location where you want to save the backup copy, such as another directory on your hard drive or a removeable USB drive, and then right-click the folder or drive name and click "Paste."

Tips

  • If you are using the backup to transfer your personal filing cabinet to a new computer, copy the backup folder to the same location as the original folder.
  • If you are unable to launch the AOL System Information Utility due to problems with your computer or software, you can navigate to the Organize folder manually by going to the "C:\ProgramData\AOL\C_AOL Desktop 9.X\" directory on your hard drive, where "9.X" represents the latest update version of AOL Desktop 9 installed on your computer

Warning

  • Information in this article applies to AOL Desktop 9.7 and AOL Desktop 10.1 running on WIndows 8, Windows 7 or WIndows Vista. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions.

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About the Author

Alan Sembera began writing for local newspapers in Texas and Louisiana. His professional career includes stints as a computer tech, information editor and income tax preparer. Sembera now writes full time about business and technology. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Texas A&M University.

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