How to Restore Folders in Outlook

by David Ward
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Losing folders in Outlook can be devastating if important email is saved in Outlook's folders. Fortunately, Outlook keeps a log of all the emails and folders present at any given time. This file is called a personal storage file, or .pst file. Restoring these files allows the user to restore data that has been lost from Outlook on a personal computer.

Step 1

Locate the PST file on your PC. Its location depends on the system. Check where PST files are kept in your specific system or search the local drive for ".pst."

Step 2

Open Outlook and click "Import and Export" from the file menu. This opens the Import/Export Wizard.

Step 3

Click "Import from another file or folder" and click "Next." Select "Personal Folder File (.pst)" and click "Next."

Step 4

Select any specific options for how you want to import your files and click "Next." Outlook will allow you to select the current folder or select a different folder into which you can import your files. Select whichever folder you would prefer.

Click "Finish."


  • PST files are periodically overwritten, so if you do not keep regular backups, it is critical to restore the file as soon as you realize you have lost folders.


  • Periodically backing up the .pst file can ensure you can restore lost emails. This can be done manually or using a software application designed to periodically back up your Outlook folder.


Photo Credits

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About the Author

David Ward has written professionally for websites since 2009. He has published instructional material on numerous websites, as well as in collegiate newspapers including "Cherwell" at the University of Oxford and "Quest" at Reed College. Ward holds a Master of Arts in social sciences from the University of Chicago.

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