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How to automatically back up your Outlook archive to Google Drive

google-drive-logoWhile I would be perfectly content to live my life in the Google cloud all day long, not everyone else feels the same way. This is especially true at the university where I work, where everyone seems to be in love with the Microsoft Office suite, including Outlook. Unfortunately, my university only allocates its employees 2GB of sever storage for Outlook email, so it’s necessary to occasionally archive old messages locally on the desktop.

I don’t like saving things locally without backing them up somewhere on the cloud, so I devised a solution that I thought was genius: I would save my monthly Outlook archive data to my Google Drive desktop folder, so it would be automatically uploaded to my Google Drive account whenever an archive was performed. But while this sounds good in theory, in practice it didn’t work.

For some reason, Google Drive could not upload the archive.pst at all – when I looked at the error message, all I got was, “You do not have permission to sync this file.” Given that the file was not read-only, and that I’m this computer’s administrator, that just didn’t make any sense. Of course I had permission.

Apparently, this is a pretty common problem, though. A quick Google search led to many other frustrated users who were in the exact same camp as I was. Luckily, there are two potential solutions to this issue:

  1. Close Outlook, and then try re-syncing. Sometimes this issue occurs because Outlook apparently has a strong lock on the file that basically doesn’t let you do anything at all to it while Outlook is running. But if this still doesn’t work (which it didn’t for me), try this second trick.
  2. Right click on your archive file, and hit Properties > Hidden > Apply. Then make it unhidden again – Google Drive will now be able to upload your file to the cloud.

If this helped you as much as it helped me, be sure to let me know about it in the comments!

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John F

John was the editor-in-chief at Pocketables. His articles generally focus on all things Google, including Chrome and Android, although his love of new gadgets and technology doesn't stop there. His current arsenal includes the Nexus 6 by Motorola, the 2013 Nexus 7 by ASUS, the Nexus 9 by HTC, the LG G Watch, and the Chromebook Pixel, among others.

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One thought on “How to automatically back up your Outlook archive to Google Drive

  • Avatar of VagabondSteve

    Solution 2 worked for me. I wonder if the main PST file will backup that way?


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