Configuring The Free Outlook PST Backup Tool From Microsoft For Multiple Users

If you keep all your emails, contacts and appointments in local Outlook PST (Personal Folders) then you should be running a backup tool regularly (every day I think). I recommend the free Outlook Personal Folders Backup Add-In from Microsoft. There is no need to pay for third party tools unless you want more than basic backup (copy file on close) functionality. It works fine except you need to be aware of the following issue if there are multiple users on your computer…

The setup routine for this tool incorrectly installs per-user, making it unavailable to other users of Outlook. Follow this procedure to make the tool visible for each user:-

  1. Logon as the user which is missing the Outlook “File – Backup” menu.
  2. Start Outlook.
  3. Click “Tools – Trust Center”.
  4. Click “Add-Ins” tab.
  5. Select “COM Add-Ins” then “Go”.
  6. Click “Add”.
  7. Browse to “C:Program FilesMicrosoft OfficeOffice12AddIns” and select the OUTBAK.DLL.
  8. Select the check-box next to “Outlook Backup Addin”.
  9. Click “OK”; the menu should now be visible.

The instructions in the Microsoft FAQ suggest you can remove then re-install the utility. Well that does not work unless you logon as the original user, otherwise it will fail with the error saying it is not installed! And then, I guess you would have to remove and reinstall for every single user; not a good solution.

The cause of the problem is that Microsoft created a per-user setup routine. It should have been installed with an MSI setup configured as per-system only with per-user configuration steps to add it to the Trust Center in each user’s profile as they logon or start Outlook the first time after installation.

I found this workaround on http://www.howto-outlook.com/faq/backupaddin.htm which looks like a great place for many other tips too!

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