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Automatically copy every email sent and received to a PST or file folder for legal reasons

Posted on 2010-09-01
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-05
My wife needs to ensure that she has a running archive of all emails sent and received, kind of like a corporate email archiving tool used for compliance but done locally on her computer.  I'm guessing I could setup a rule that copies all email received to a PST and another for all emails sent.  Obviously I lose any folder organization she currently has, which I actually would like to somehow keep if possible.

So, are there any cheap/free tools that could help backup this information, ensuring that even if the emails are deleted that is not synced to the backup?  Basically, she needs to do this for legal reasons regarding problems she is having with her employer.  She wants to ensure she has "everything" if needed.  I'd even consider a GMAIL pull from exchange, if that works.  Anything that will allow her to keep a copy of everything that she can take with her at any time is she needs to walk out the door.


Question by:itneonatal
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

ID: 33576436
There is a great free program here that will incrementally backup your PST files so you always have another copy, and as it baks up the PST itself, all storage structure remains the same.

and its free!


Expert Comment

ID: 33576446
What is she using for email?

Author Comment

ID: 33576451
One other note - she is on an exchange server.  So, she doesn't have a PST file that stores her email.  Obviously, as we all know, Exchange connections use OST files.  So, I need to push all the data to another file (like a PST) and ensure nothing is ever deleted from that file.  basically, a local version of a compliance archiving tool.
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Author Comment

ID: 33576453
Outlook 2007

Author Comment

ID: 33576481
Coast-IT...  Can that be automated?  Also, do you know if it is a "mirror" or if it is a "copy"?  I obviously want copy so nothing is deleted.  That might be a good solution if it can automate the backup and allows me to preserve the folder structure.  My only concern is that it doesn't catpure everything in real time, but in snapshots.  So, it isn't really backing everything up as it comes in or is sent.

Expert Comment

ID: 33576679
BackupMyFolder! can be automated, but it is a backup product. You can schedule the backup and folder structure is preserve.
No message are deleted in the copy

Even if BackupMyFolder! is a great product, it doesn't capture in real time.
But I think, you can create a new PST file that will become your new current PST file. Keep your old PST file in your profile.
THen you configure to backup your "old PST file" to another place (a share for example) with BackupMyFolder.
In your outlook, you add rules to copy every messages sent or received in your "old PST file".

At all time, you have a copy of received/sent message to an alternate PST file (old PST file) and every day you backup this PST file elsewhere
LVL 12

Accepted Solution

FDiskWizard earned 2000 total points
ID: 33576755
Is this for her only? Not something her company is doing?
In Exchange it would be possible to Journal her mailbox to a 2nd mailbox.
Or even easier just select the option to forward a copy to {othermailbox} for her mailbox in Exchange/AD.

Either method would have a copy of everything in the 2nd mailbox. Unless she or someone else is given full access and can delete items.

Expert Comment

ID: 33576901
Since you want it to a PST file you can just make a local rule in Outlook to place a copy of all mail that arrives To: or CC: into the PST file.  Just go into Tools: Rules and Alerts...:New Rule...:Check Messages When They Arrive

Then just select: "Where my name is in the To or CC box" on the first panel and then "move a copy to the specified folder" in the second panel. In the example jpg attached test2011 is a folder in a PST file on my system.

Author Comment

ID: 33578469
FDiskWizard - this is only for her, not something company wide.  So, no, she can't ask for it to be setup.

jdean987 - I have already setup a rule like that.  It'll capture most of the emails, unless she is BCC'd.  But, I would really love to have something that completely backs everything up automatically.  I was trying to create a s Sent rule, but there doesn't seem to be an "all" option for all sent emails.

Expert Comment

ID: 33578732
As far as BCC goes,if you want to capture those as well then you can make 2 rules one for "My name is in the To field" and one for "my name is not in the to filed" (thus capturing cc and bcc)  

You can create a separate rule for sending with "Check Messages After Sending" it's on the first panel for creating a new Rule.  Just have it be "Through the specified account" and then "Move a copy.." option again.  

As far as backing up a PST goes you can put that into a folder that is synced to offline files (after removing .pst as an exclusion from offline sync) or you could use a utility like SyncBack to setup a scheduled backup job.  I find the latter to be a very nice product - http://www.2brightsparks.com .  There's even a freeware version!

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