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How to Back Up your Entourage Email on your Mac

Are you using Entourage for email, and Time Machine for backup?

Entourage stores all email in one giant database, which gets bigger every time you get or send an email. And having a big database means frequent database corruption.

Time Machine backs up everything new once an hour, which means Entourage can take up lots of space on your Time Machine drive. Plus if you’re using your Entourage database, the Time Machine backup is not always reliable.

So how do you back up your Entourage email on your Mac?

Once a week (or however often you feel comfortable), you should back up your Entourage database to another location on your computer. That way, Time Machine can back up the mail database properly. Here’s how.

1. Quit out of Entourage.

2. Go into your Home folder, and then into your Documents folder. In there is a folder called Microsoft User Data. Open that folder.

3. Inside you’ll find a folder called Office 2008 identities (or Office 2004 Identities, if you’re still on 2004.) Go inside that folder.

4. You’ll see a folder called Main Identity, or possibly you will have multiple folders that say Main Identity 1 and Main Identity 2 and so on. If you have multiple folders, you need to figure out which one has your current email database. Do this by opening each folder, and finding the file called Database that has today’s date.

5. Once you’ve figured out which Main Identity folder holds your current database, you want to copy that entire Main Identity folder. Hold down the Option key and then click and drag the Main Identity folder to another place in your User folder.  (For example, I made a folder in my User folder called Backups, and I put all my Entourage backups there.)

6. Once the folder copies over, you want to rename it, so that Entourage doesn’t get confused. Name it with today’s date and “Main Identity” or “Entourage backup”.

Now Time Machine will back up your Main Identity backup folder the next time it runs. You can even keep multiple Main Identity folders, with different backup dates.

Remember that the more frequently you follow these instructions to back up your Entourage database, the less mail you will lose if your Entourage gets corrupted and you need to revert to an earlier backup.

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