I am using Outlook Express 2007. I have configured it with Exchange Server and have .ost file.

I want to create a backup of this OST/PST file without closing Outlook Express.

What tool can I use to create a backup of the .ost file without closing outlook express?

  • One way to possibly go about this is to hibernate your computer, load into a different OS (for example, Ubuntu), and then create a copy of the file from there.
    – Tom
    Commented Sep 27, 2015 at 14:22
  • 1
    You should look into any program that uses the "shadow copy service" to read open files. There are many questions within the site asking for that feature in particular.
    – Alejandro
    Commented Sep 27, 2015 at 18:48
  • Note that you don't need to back up OST files as these are internal Outlook caches that will be of absolutely zero use if/when you need to be restoring from the backup. But as Mawg answered below the keyword you are looking for is "shadow copying" - that's a built-in Windows framework that exists exactly for copying files that are in active use.
    – Angstrom
    Commented Nov 1, 2015 at 20:34

2 Answers 2


I have tried many free backup solutions, and recommended several here, but after another recent round of comparison, I have happily spent US $19.99 to purchase bvckup2.

I bought it primarily for its speed, since I have large amounts of data. I particularly like how it only copies changes.

But what interests you is

Backup of locked files

Use Windows shadow copying to backup files that are locked for exclusive use by running programs such as web browsers or email clients.

There is a 2 week fully functional free trial, and you can also download the last beta (forever), but it is well worth the $19.99. Visit the website and read all of the features.

[Update] I recently had cause to purchase tow more licenses, wrote to Alex, the author & he gave me a 20% discount code. Yesterday evening, one license stopped working as I had swapped motherboards and added a few new drives to my server, thus giving a different "hardware fingerprint" and invalidating the license. I emailed him and got an answer within 2 or 43 minutes, which is typical of his response time on support (if his time zone is awake when mine is).

A great product, with great support, which does exactly what the question asks for - and oh so very much much more..


First of all, I believe you're using Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 (not Outlook Express). There is a free tool that can create backups easily (having Outlook open): Backup Outlook Items.

Please note that I'm one of the developers. The software is fully compatible with Outlook 2007-2016 (including Office 365 and x64 editions). Free version is for home non-commercial use only. Commercial version provides more options.


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