Preconfiguring urbackup to handle oulook PST

May I sugggest to preconfigure urbackup to properly handle infamous outlook PST?

It seems that outlook does something to its archive PST mailboxes which results in urbackup copying over and over the entire files during each incrementals wasting tremendeous amounts of disk spaces. This is especially ironic since most of the time PST are already “archives” themselves.
On the other hand, PST are often the type of files that you absolutely want to preserve in backups.


  1. update documentation to add a “dealing with *.PST files section”

  2. preconfigure clients profiles with know virtual profile trick

  • automatically exclude *.pst from default windows client profiles
  • automatically create a virtual ${HOSTNAME}_PST client profile, only including *.PST, disabling incremental, setting up daily fulls limiting, minimum of 15 copies?(2 weeks). Potentially allowing more complex schemes(daily for 1 week, weekly for 1 year, yearly for 12years)
  1. add PST handling as part of the normal client config (obviously this would make the UI more complicated). This would be especially more elegant as the client wouldn’t have to parse the whole filesystems twice.

  2. figuring out a way to only backup what changed in the PST, (IMHO but I am not sure it is worth the effort!)

As I understood it if you use btrfs as filesystem UrBackup does a block level deduplication of the file backups. Wouldn’t this solve all the problems as only the changed blocks of the PST files consume disk space?

good question, unfortunately in my case I am stuck with ntfs.

Windows server dedup would help in this case.

I thought so but do I need to do anything to enable it?? I was very surprised to notice that PST get picked up by incrementals even very old archives which shouldn’t have changed… but it seems that outlook keeps updating them (or at least their timestamps)

Purchase CBT.

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Guide here:

updated somehow I dropped an h and ttps: doesn’t work so good

Hi Bearded_Blunder, could you please update the link for the guide? is not working, thank y

I think the real solution here is to get the live mailbox off a PST file. Only POP3 needs the mail to go to a PST file, both IMAP and Exchange (MAPI) use an OST cache, which are automatically excluded at the shadow copy level because everything in it is also saved on the mail server. Once you switch to IMAP or MAPI, you can set up an auto-archive rule in Outlook to regularly move old emails to a PST archive which will then only change and get backed up at the set archive interval.

Without this or BTRFS/ZFS as options, the next best thing I can think of would be to exclude the PST from urBackup, then use another local solution such as Backup and Restore (Windows 7) to backup the PST exclusively to a cheap USB HDD. That will get this redundancy off the network. You would still probably want to set up archiving though.

@jcmlny that guide link works fine for me.

indeed that was the goal for a while, but we are getting limited space in our mail server and want to offload it to static pst archive files sent to tape…