How to Migrate email from Hotmail Connector Accounts to Office 365

Last reviewed on September 26, 2013   —  18 comments

Office LiveUsers were recently notified that Office Live accounts would be disabled at the end of April and were offered a trial subscription to Office 365. Several users of the Office Live service asked how difficult it would be to migrate their accounts to Office 365.

The answer: moving the email accounts is not hard at all. (Moving Office Live websites is more involved.) It will take about an hour or so to set up the account online if you have direct control of the DNS records, with the bulk of the time spent waiting for DNS to propagate. It will take longer if you need to contact your domain registrar to change the DNS records for you. Office 365 has done a good job of making the setup process easy; it was much easier and more straight forward compared to my experience last summer.

Once the account is configured in Office 365, email needs to be moved from the Office Live account. If you use the Outlook Hotmail Connector, you'll need to export to a pst file. (In Outlook 2010, the Export command is accessible from File, Open, Import. )

Close Outlook and create the Office 365 account in the profile with your Office Live account. Open Outlook and import the pst file using File, Open, Import. You can leave the Office Live account in Outlook for 24 - 48 hours, to pickup email delivered to the old account.

If you are migrating a POP3 account to Office 365, the steps are the same, expect you won't need to export your mail to a pst file. After creating the Office 365 account in your profile, remove the POP3 data file from your profile. You can either remove the POP3 account or set it to deliver to the Office 365 account's Inbox, then restart Outlook and import the pst file. Remove the old POP3 account when it's no longer receiving email.

To import pst files for a number of users, you may want to use the Microsoft Exchange PST Capture tool

Because it can take hours for DNS changes to propagate worldwide, we recommend changing mail servers on weekends, preferably during the evening hours when mail flow is lowest.

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Written by

Diane Poremsky
A Microsoft Outlook Most Valuable Professional (MVP) since 1999, Diane is the author of several books, including Outlook 2013 Absolute Beginners Book. She also created video training CDs and online training classes for Microsoft Outlook. You can find her helping people online in Outlook Forums as well as in the Microsoft Answers and TechNet forums.

Please post long or more complicated questions at Outlookforums.

18 responses to “How to Migrate email from Hotmail Connector Accounts to Office 365”

  1. Joshua Brooks

    I upgraded to Windows 8 and Office 365. My outlook 2013 automatically transferred the Outlook Hotmail connector and I could move emails between my exchange account and my Hotmail account. I recently did a "refresh" and lost Hotmail connector. Tried to redownload it and it wont download to Office 2013. Now I can't move emails from Exchange email to Hotmail email account. I stored everything on my Hotmail folders to keep things uncluttered. Any workaround? Should I download Office 2007 and the connector again? Will that work?

    Thanks for all the help!

  2. Joshua Brooks

    I get personal emails to my exchange often, and don't like to have a bunch of folders in my primary email (exchange) for storage, so I would move them to Hotmail. I only move certain messages. Is there now no way to do this?

  3. Joshua Brooks

    FYI. I tried to replicate my experience and uninstalled 2007 and 2013. Reinstalled 2007/Hotmail connector and then installed 2013, but I was not able to replicate the effect of Hotmail connector working with 2013. I guess it only works when you do an upgrade from WIndows 7 to 2013. I even reinstalled live essentials, etc.

    Between this and the loss of the To-Do window, is it weird that I'll be running 2013 Word and 2013 Excel, but 2007 Outlook? Are there that few people that manage emails between multiple accounts?

  4. Josh

    So are most of those people just using 2007/2010, or have they sucked it up and moved all their storage to the Exchange account? Does email support EAS? Or is and Hotmail considered the same. Thanks for all your help!

  5. Josh

    Just to confirm, so I just reinstall Office 2013 and I can move messages back and forth between Exchange accounts and Hotmail accounts, just like I could with ouitlook connector? Thanks!!!!!

    Do I need to change any specific settings-

  6. Josh

    Can I setup Hotmail as Imap? Tried doing it, but can't find the server settings anywhere on the internet. Outlook server settings didn't work. Thanks!

  7. don schroeder

    I just installed office 365 and want to sync calendar and contacts on pd to I have added the account on pc in outlook 365 but can't get the calendar events to sync. I've read all the posts above and I guess it has something to do with the EAS Exchange Active Sync. Can you tell me how to set this up correctly - I've spent all day trying to get this done and I guess Microsoft hasn't perfected this yet. It is a shame since this could be a wonderful experience pc-cloud-phone sync with all the same data. Thanks.

  8. Mary Ellen Rooney

    i have an existing long-term email in outlook....when I bought microsoft 365 they refused that email and gave me a hotmail account. I don't receive emails at this account and whenever I try to call Microsoft (for example to have word downloaded into an ipad) they refuse to answer my regular email. i gather microsoft wants me to give up that email and use theirs. Is that correct? If so then my purchase of 365 doesn't serve me. thanks for clarification.

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