How to Save Email Messages to a File in Outlook 2007

By Matt Skaggs

Microsoft's Office Suite is a collection of productivity software, including Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook. Microsoft Outlook is program with many features, though its primary function is as an email client. If you want to save some of your email messages onto your computer, you have a couple of options. If you want to save just one email or just a few emails, you could save them individually. You could also export all the messages to a certain folder, like your inbox or your sent items.

Saving Individual Messages

Step 1

Open Outlook 2007 if it's not open already.

Step 2

Double-click the first message you want to save.

Step 3

Click the "Office" button in the top-left corner of Outlook and click "Save As."

Step 4

Navigate to the location you want to save the file. You can put it anywhere you want.

Step 5

Click the drop-down menu labeled "Save as type." The ideal file type for Outlook is the "Outlook Message Format," though most other programs cannot open that type of file. If you're going to open the saved email with a program other than Outlook later on, you should choose either "HTML" or "Text only"; the former retains much of the formatting of the email, and the latter discards all formatting and keeps only the text itself.

Step 6

Click "Save" to save the email message to a file, and then move on to the next email you want to save.

Exporting Messages

Step 1

Open Outlook 2007 if it's not open already.

Step 2

Click the "Office" button in the top-left corner of Outlook and select "Import and Export" to open the "Import and Export Wizard."

Step 3

Select "Export to a file" from the list of options and click "Next."

Step 4

Select "Personal Folder File (.pst)" in the list of options and click "Next." This is the ideal file type for exporting messages that you'll want to view later on in Outlook. If you want a file type more compatible with other programs, you could select "Comma Separated Values (DOS)," though you'll lose some formatting with that option.

Step 5

Choose the folder you want to export to and click "Next." You can only choose one folder, but by checking the box next to "Include subfolders" you can export the emails inside any subfolders, which are folders inside the selected folder.

Step 6

Click the "Browse" button to navigate to the location you want to save the emails. You can leave the "Options" section alone.

Step 7

Click "Finish" to export the email messages.

Tips & Warnings

  • Losing some or all of an email's formatting means losing data like the font size, the layout of the email, colored text and possibly graphics. The words in the email will stay the same, but it won't be laid out in the same way.
  • If you decide to save an email in "HTML" format, you should create a new folder for the email because many emails will save multiple files, and finding them later on could become confusing.