Recover Archived Outlook Mail From a Disc

Inserting a blank CD into a laptop with copy space
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When you archived old mail from Outlook to a storage medium such as a DVD-ROM, you did it to clean and speed up Outlook. But you also did it because you wanted to be able to access the messages later or you could have simply deleted them.

Fortunately, getting back to messages you archived to a .pst file is easy. You can open them right from their archive location or import them back into Outlook completely.

Read or Recover Archived Outlook Mail from a Removable Medium

To recover or read archived Outlook mail from a removable medium:

  • Select File | Data File Management... from the menu.
  • Click Add....
  • Leave Office Outlook Personal Folders File (.pst) selected.
    • If you saved your archived messages to be compatible with an Outlook version prior to Outlook 2003, select Outlook 97-2002 Personal Folders File (.pst) or Office 97-2002 Personal Folders File (.pst).
  • Click OK.
  • Under Save in:, go to the place where your archived messages are stored.
  • Highlight the desired .pst file.
  • Click OK.
    • If you get an error message after this step, either make sure the medium is not write protected or copy the .pst file to your Desktop before opening it.
  • Click OK again.
  • Click Close.
  • Open the newly added archive location in your Outlook navigation pane.

You can simply browse the archive as is or copy the messages and folders back to your main message store.

To close the archive location again, right-click on it and select Close "..." from the menu.