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Exporting and Importing Mailbox Content in Outlook 2010

About Importing and Exporting
You can export your email and mail folders, calendar and appointments, tasks, notes and additional content from Outlook as a .pst file and import everything in one go onto a different computer or into another mail profile. The .pst file can be saved to other media as with any form of data, however they can only be opened within Outlook; other programs will not be able to open a .pst file.
IMPORTANT: Exchange account data contained in any messages, attachments, calendars, contacts etc. including any generated during an export/import must be adequately protected as per University policy. When backing up, saving or moving .pst files be sure you are complying with encryption or related requirements.

The following tutorial covers exporting and importing an entire Mailbox. Your Mailbox typically includes your Inbox, Sent Items, Deleted and other mail folders, Calendar, and other items that are listed as sub folders of the Mailbox as it appears in the left Navigation pane in Outlook. Storing older items via an export or using auto archiving are ways to move messages and other data that you don't access frequently, and will prevent quota issues with items stored on the Exchange server.

For more help with Outlook 2010 and data files, please see support articles listed on the Microsoft website at http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook-help/CH010371340.aspx


Exporting Mailbox content to a .pst file

  1. With Outlook open, select the File tab in the upper left, then the Options link.
    If you are using Outlook 2007, select File - Import and Export, and skip to step 3 below.
  2. Outlook 2010 Options link

  3. In the Outlook Options window that appears, select the Advanced link on the left then the Export button to the lower right.
  4. Outlook 2010 Export button

  5. In the Import and Export Wizard dialog box, select Export to a file, then select Next.
  6. Export file window

  7. In the Export to a File dialog box, select Outlook Data File (.pst), then Next.
  8. Export to PST file

  9. In the Export Outlook Data File dialog box, select the desired heading (usually your full name) then select Include sub folders to include all folders for the account. Select the Next button.
    NOTE: you may have to use a scroll bar on the right to find your main Mailbox.
  10. Select Export Items window

  11. At the top of the Export Outlook Data File window, in the Save exported file as field, Outlook names the file "backup.pst" by default and displays the path for saving the file in your computer's Documents folder in a sub folder called Outlook Files. Select Finish to accept these default settings.
    Note: Select Browse and to save to a different location on your computer if you prefer, or to rename your .pst file.

    Data File Export preferences

  12. A Create Outlook Data File window will appear.

    Create Outlook Data File window

    In both fields type in a password that will be required when the Personal Folders File is opened. IMPORTANT: If you forget the password there is no way to retrieve it or otherwise open the .pst you are creating; be sure to keep track of any password used here. Select OK to continue.
  13. Your computer will pause as the .pst file is created; if you have a lot of items to back up you may see a window that shows the status of each item as it is backed up. No notice will appear to indicate that the back up is done, simply verify that the "backup.pst" file appears in your Documents\Outlook Files folder when Outlook has finished (if you have changed the location and/or name in step 6 above, look for the appropriate file name/location).
Adding and Importing Mailbox content from .pst file

NOTE: Importing a .pst file allows you to merge items into one Mailbox/list of folders. If you would simply like to open the .pst file and be able to view email messages, calendar items, etc. from within Outlook as a separate list of folders, see the instructions immediately below. To import (merge) items into your existing account folders, click here.
  1. In the upper left corner of your main Outlook 2010 window select File - Account Settings then Account Settings from the drop down.
    If using Outlook 2007, select File - Open - Outlook data file, then skip to step 3 below.
  2. Outlook 2010 Account Settings

  3. In the Account Settings window that appears, select the Data Files tab, then the Add button.
  4. Add Outlook 2010 Data File

  5. Browse to the .pst file on your computer that you would like to open, select it and click OK. The data file will be listed in your Account Settings window.
  6. Click the Close button in the lower right corner of the Account Settings window to return to Outlook.
  7. The data file items will appear in the left Navigation pane of Outlook; click on the + or - sign to the left of the file's title to expand or collapse the list.
Steps to Import (merge items) from a .pst:
  1. With Outlook open, select File - Open - Import in upper left corner.
  2. From the Import and Export Wizard window select Import from another program or file, then Next.
  3. Import a file window

  4. In the next window select Outlook Data File (.pst), then Next. You may need to use the scroll bar on the right to find this option.

    Import a PST File

  5. In the Import Personal Folders window, select Browse and locate your desired .pst file, then select the Next button. If a password was set on the .pst file when it was first exported, you will be prompted to type in that password.
    NOTE: The three Options in this window allow you to change what will happen with any duplicate items (email messages, calendar appointments, tasks, etc.) that may exist if you are importing into an existing list of folders. If you are not sure about duplicates, select the second option, Allow duplicates to be created, to be safe.

    Select pst file to import

  6. At the next window, make sure that the topmost heading of the Outlook Data File is selected, and that the Include Sub folders box is checked to include all items from the .pst file during the import.

    Select Folders to Import

  7. Leave the default Import location selected, Import items into the same folder in: <User Name>, to merge email messages, tasks, etc. into the same folders of your current Outlook profile. Select Finish.
  8. Outlook imports the email, appointments, tasks, etc. into your current profile.

For more tutorials and help using Outlook data files, please see:
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook-help/CH010371340.aspx

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Last updated 12/08/2014