Moving from Outlook Express to Outlook

Last reviewed on March 31, 2014

Export OE to Outlook

When you are moving between OE and Outlook we recommend using OE’s export commands, not Outlook’s Import commands. When you import using Outlook’s commands, the received date won’t display in the message list.

Export Address Book

The Windows Address Book has an option to export to an existing “Microsoft Exchange Personal Address Book”. While you could create a PAB in older versions of Outlook, they are not supported in Outlook 2010. We don’t recommend using this method.

Either export your OE address book (wab) to a CSV file (text file) or open the address book and drag the contacts to a folder on your hard drive to create a vcard file for each contact. If you have Contact folders in your address book, you’ll need to drag those addresses to a folder on your hard drive as you can’t export them.

Save or export contacts in the windows address book

Contacts within groups will export to a text file with the other contacts, however the group membership will not included. You’ll need to recreate the Contact groups in Outlook or categorize the contacts.

To export your OE address book, open it and go to the File, Export menu. Choose Other address book then Text File (Comma Separated Values).

Dragging the contacts to a folder will create a vcard for each address, which we can get into Outlook. Outlook can’t bulk import the contacts, but you drag them into the Contacts folder then save and close the contacts to add them to Outlook.

It can be monotonous if you have a lot of contacts but we have a macro you can use to make quick work of the process. If you prefer to use a utility, we have a list of tools as well.

If you have just a .wab file to import (no mail) into Outlook, see Import a WAB file into Outlook on Windows 7/8

Export OE Email to Outlook

Unlike the address book, exporting of your Outlook Express email is fully automated.

Open Outlook Express, empty deleted items then go to File, Export menu and choose Messages. Select All folders or specific folders to export, holding Ctrl as you click to select multiple folders. Click OK and you’re done. The export process will use the same folder structure in Outlook, creating folders if they don’t exist in the data file.

If you want to keep copies of newsgroup messages you can create a folder in OE’s Local Folders, drag the newsgroup messages to the folder(s) and export the folders to Outlook.

Move the PST file to the new computer

To find your Outlook PST file, open Outlook and go to File, Data File Management (Outlook 2007 and older). Select the Data File and click Open folder. This opens Windows Explorer to the location of your pst file. Close Outlook and wait a few minutes, then copy the pst file to the new computer.

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.

If the Post Coment button disappears, press your Tab key.