Microsoft File Extension ICS
By Nick Davis
Microsoft Outlook lets you post appointments, events, holidays and other information on the program's built-in calendar as well as set reminders for these items. Like the email and contacts components within Outlook, the calendar contains its own personal storage file that stores your information. The storage file contains its own unique extension,".ICS," which identifies the file within the Windows operating system.
The ".ICS" extension stands for iCalendar --- an Internet calendar that's viewable by you, a single user, as well as individuals on the Internet if they have the proper permissions to view your calendar. The ICS format is present in each version of Microsoft Outlook including Microsoft 2000, 2002 and newer versions of the application.
Internet calendars, including iCalendar's ICS format, contain common settings and standards no matter what program the calendar is part of. The calendars are sharable on internal and external Web servers and exchangeable with other email/calendar programs. Internet calendars are viewable within an Outlook email message, known as a "Calendar Snapshot," if the calendar information is embedded within an email, or within Outlook's calendar screen with the information appearing as a traditional calendar containing boxes or in a list format by date.
Importing and Exporting
You can import and export ICS files into Microsoft Outlook, including ones from other calendar programs, via Outlook's "Import/Export" option within the program's "File" menu. The import/export option will also allow you to export the ICS file to a removable medium, including a flash drive or floppy disc, for backup purposes.
ICS and PST Location
The ICS files within Outlook, as well as Outlook's PST personal storage files, are stored in the program's "Microsoft Outlook" folder. You can search for your Outlook's ICS files by entering "*.ics" in the "Search programs and files" box within the "Start" menu of Windows 7 or Vista and pressing "Enter" or "Return" on your computer's keyboard. You can also copy this file, and any folders containing Outlook information, to a removable disk for backup purposes once you locate the file. Right-click the file or folder and click "Copy." Navigate to the removable disk's icon within "Computer," right-click, and click "Paste."
Nick Davis is a freelance writer specializing in technical, travel and entertainment articles. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Memphis and an associate degree in computer information systems from the State Technical Institute at Memphis. His work has appeared in "Elite Memphis" and "The Daily Helmsman" in Memphis, Tenn. He is currently living in Albuquerque, N.M.