Last reviewed on July 14, 2015   —  104 Comments

This page covers the steps necessary to move Outlook 2010 or Outlook 2013 from Windows 7 to a new computer running Windows 7 or Windows 8. This page is an update to our page at Moving Outlook to a New Computer, which covers moving Outlook 2003 or 2007 from Windows XP to Windows 7 (or 8).

The steps are similar for all versions of Outlook and Windows, but dialogs and folder paths can vary. This page uses screenshots and menus from Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013.

Do you leave mail on the POP3 server? See this section. By default Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013 automatically leave POP3 mail on the server for 14 days.

Things to keep in mind when you are preparing the new computer:

  • You really only need to move the PST and create a new profile using this PST, the other files Outlook uses are created as you use Outlook.
  • If you use Windows Easy Transfer to move your Outlook data, you may need to recreate your Outlook profile as the move process can corrupt the profile.
  • You need to install Office (or Outlook) on the new computer. You can only move user data, not the program itself.
  • Your accounts are stored in the registry and need to be recreated on the new computer.

Get the files from old computer | Put files on New Computer | Create a Profile | More Settings
Add Old Data File (*.PST) | Finishing Touches | Signatures & Stationery
Leave on Server issues | Links

Step 1: Get the files from old computer

If you use POP3 or have archives or local PST files in your profile, you'll need to move them to the new computer. It's not necessary to move data files used for IMAP email, Hotmail Connector, or Exchange mailbox as the mail (and calendar and contacts for Hotmail and Exchange) are stored on the mail server.

If you need to recover pst files from a hard drive removed from a crashed computer, see Recover Outlook Data Files from a Crashed Computer

The PST file contains your POP3 email, calendar, and contacts.

If you have an IMAP account in Outlook 2010 or older, you'll have email in one PST file and a separate *.PST file for Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, and Notes. You'll need to copy the *.PST used for calendar and contacts to the new computer. Outlook 2013 uses an *.OST file for IMAP accounts, with Calendar, Contacts, and Tasks stored in the *.OST file. You'll need to export the Calendar, Contacts, and Tasks (and Notes) to a *.pst file to use them on the new computer.

You may have more than one PST. In most cases, they will be in the default location Outlook uses. In Outlook 2010 (and 2013), the default location for *.pst used for POP3 or for an IMAP accounts calendar and contacts is in My Documents\Outlook Files.

When the pst files are in the default location for Outlook 2007 and older (in C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook), you can quickly access the default PST location from Windows Explorer by pasting this line in Windows Explorer's address bar to jump to the folder.


You'll see a list of files in the Outlook folder. You need to copy the Outlook Data Files (PST). Note that Outlook needs to be closed to copy a pst that is in the active profile. Outlook can hold PST files open for as long as 30 minutes after you close Outlook; if you receive any errors when copying the PST, wait a few minutes and try again.

You'll copy the PSTs to the new computer. If you have several PSTs in the folder and aren't sure which one is the one with your data, look at the file dates and file sizes. If you have 265KB PST files, they are empty and don't need to be moved.

Show Hidden Files

If you have Windows configured to hide extensions, enable File name extensions on Window Explorer's View ribbon.

Show hidden files and folders in Windows 8

In Windows 7, show file name extensions on the Organize, Folder and Search Options, View tab. This makes it easier for you to see the files you are copying.

Show hidden files and folders in Windows

You can also choose the option to Show hidden files and folders, although its not necessary since we are in the hidden folders.

Get the other Outlook support files

Paste the following line into the address bar to jump to C:\Users\username\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook


In this folder you'll have the NK2 (autocomplete nickname file, Outlook 2007), SRS (send and receive settings), XML (navigation pane and account configuration), outlprnt (printer configuration) and OTM (VBA project files).

If you are using macros, you'll need to move the VBA file. If you are using Outlook 2007, you may want to copy the NK2 to the new computer so you have your autocomplete list. The SRS and XML files corrupt easily and I don't recommend moving them.

Support files used by Outlook 2013

Ribbon customizations (.officeUI files) are stored in C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office (%localappdata%\Microsoft\Office). You can export your customizations from the application or copy the officeUI files from this folder.

Rules are stored in the PST but to be safe, export them to an RWZ file.

Export rules

Also export names on the safe and blocked senders lists. Export all 3 safe/blocked lists (if they contain names).

Export safe and blocked junk mail lists

Step 2: Copy the Files to the New Computer

Install Outlook on the new computer, if you haven't already.

It's not necessary to uninstall Office (or Outlook) from the old computer before installing it on the new computer; uninstalling it will not deactivate the license. Read the EULA to determine if you are in violation of the licensing agreement by leaving it installed.

If you are using Outlook 2003 or 2007, open the AppData Roaming folder using the following command and copy the NK2 file (and SRS and XML, if desired) to the folder. The VBA project goes into this folder also. If the Outlook folder does not exist under Microsoft, create it.


Put the PST files in My Documents\Outlook Files or in the desired location.

Open the Office folder using the command below and place the ribbon files in it.


Step 3: Create a Profile

After the PST file is on the local drive, type Mail in the Search field on the Start menu or type Mail on the Start screen. Or go to Control Panel and find Mail then open the Profile dialog.

  1. Click the Show Profiles button.
  2. Click Add to create a new profile.
  3. Enter a descriptive name for your profile.
  4. Enter the name you want to use for your display name, your email address, and your password.

If your mail provider supports Auto Account Setup, Outlook will set your account up for you. (Most large ISPs support it.)

For a video tutorial showing how to create a new profile, see How to Create a New Profile

If your ISP doesn't support auto account setup or if you want to set up an account using other server options, click the Manually configure... checkbox to set up your account yourself.

Choose the account type and click Next. Enter your name, email address and mail server names as well as your password. Most mail servers do not require SPA, so leave it unchecked unless your ISP tells you to use it.

After Outlook sets up the account using autosetup, you can click the Manually configure server settings box to get into More Settings and customize the Outgoing server settings.

Manually configure account

Step 4: More Settings

If you clicked Finish and returned to the Profile selection dialog, select your profile and click Properties to get to the More Settings button.

Configure additional server options in the More Settings dialog, including leaving mail on the server (for POP3 accounts) and alternate SMTP ports.

Outlook 2010 users with IMAP accounts can select Sent items and Deleted Items folders. (Outlook 2013 queries the IMAP server for the Sent and Deleted items folders to use, therefore you can't select the Sent and Deleted folders in More Settings.)

General tab: Enter a Reply to Address, if using an address different from your account address on the first screen. (Most people don't enter a reply address.)
General tab Outlook 2013

Outgoing Server tab: Configure your outgoing server authentication. Many ISPs now require SMTP authentication. If you aren't sure, check your mail provider's support website.
Internet Options Outlook 2013

Advanced tab: Configure alternate ports (if used) for incoming and going email on this tab and set POP3 accounts to leave mail on the server, if desired.

Advanced tab Outlook 2013

If you aren't sure if you need to use an Alternate port, check your mail provider's support. Many mail servers use the standard ports but more and more are using alternate ports in an effort to combat spam.

If you use auto-account setup to configure the account, the correct ports may be entered for you.

If you aren't sure - ask your mail provider!

Click Ok when you are finished configuring More Settings then click Next to exit the New Profile wizard.

Step 5: Add Your Existing Data File (PST) to the Profile

If you have an Outlook data file (*.PST) you want to use as the default account in your new profile, choose the option to Manually configure account after AutoSetup is finished. Choose to use an existing data file and select the pst file you moved from the other computer.

Select PST file

If you did not select to manually configure the account and returned to the Profile dialog, follow these steps. Do not open Outlook until you change the PST.

  1. Select the newly created profile then click Properties.
  2. Click Data files button to open the Account Settings dialog to the Data files tab.
  3. Click Add then browse to your existing PST file.
  4. If you are asked to select a PST format, choose Outlook Personal File. Click Ok
  5. Select your existing PST file.
  6. You can enter a friendly name or just click Ok to return to the Account Settings dialog.
  7. Click the Set as Default button.
  8. Select the PST Outlook created when it created the profile and click Remove. If you want, click Open folder to find and delete this PST.

Close the dialogs.

Step 6: Finishing Touches

If you are going to use the NK2 from your old computer, use the following command to open the Outlook folder where the NK2 belongs and rename the old one to match the name of your new profile. (If Outlook created a new NK2 already, delete it.)


Now start Outlook. Check your calendar and contacts folders then open a new message and click the To button. Do you see your Contacts?

Go to Tools, Rules Wizard and check your rules. Import the RWZ file if necessary.

In Tools, Options, Junk email, import the Safe and Blocked lists.

Step 7: Signatures & Stationery

If you are using Signatures, custom Stationery, or want to save your custom dictionary, you'll want to move these files to the new computer. Use the command below to open the folder where the Signature, Stationery, and Proof folders are (on both computers).

Outlook doesn't use the Stationery folder under My Documents, the stationery needs to be in the appdata\roaming path. Create the Stationery folder if it does not exist.


After moving the signatures, you'll need to configure your accounts to use them. This is in File, Options, Mail format tab, Signatures.

Note: For signatures created in older versions of Outlook, select the signature in the signature editor and press Save to convert it to newer HTML code. Repeat for each older signature. This converts the HTML to newer code (using CSS) and prevents inconsistencies which may come up when switching or deleting signatures in a message.

Leave Mail on the server issue

When you use a POP3 account and leave mail on the server, Outlook will always re-download all of the mail. If you use the data file in Outlook 2010 and use it in a new profile, Outlook 2010 and 2013 might not try to download the messages already downloaded, but moving from any other version will result in the messages being downloaded again.

Some email accounts can be configured to only allow new mail or mail that arrived after a certain date to be downloaded. Log into your account online and check your account options to see if you are one of the lucky ones. For most people, the only workaround is to log into the account using the web browser and move the mail to a new folder as Outlook will only download the mail that is in the Inbox.

More Information

Customizations made in File, Options are in the registry under the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office key. In most cases, I do not recommend exporting this key. Most settings will be lost if you are upgrading to a new version of Outlook.

Windows Messaging Backup and Dual-Boot
Outlook 2007 Backup and File Locations
Outlook 2010 Backup and File Locations

How to move the IMAP personal folder (*.pst)
To move a Personal Folders .pst file
Where Are My Files? (


  1. Readynerd says

    You HAVE to be kidding. I use Gmail exclusively and could not figure out why I was not getting all my mail. I have folders set up in my Gmail to keep my inbox organized. OUTLOOK continues to fall short in the real world. Hopefully this has been fixed in OL 2013.

    For most people, the only workaround is to log into the account using the web browser and move the mail to a new folder as Outlook will only download the mail that is in the Inbox.

  2. James Harris says

    Is there a way to move emails from a crashed computer to another computer if Outlook has already been installed and opened? I have a drive that has my old Outlook on it (motherboard on laptop went bad). I bought a new laptop and the guys at the store set up all my Outlook accounts for me. Now I have my old drive hooked up as an external. I want to move or import the old messages into my new system. I tried locating the files as above and using the .pst files and it didn't work. I also tried importing the .pst files from the external drive into Outlook 2010 and it did nothing. I learned a few things. I now have the system set up as IMAP so stuff is still on the server. However, the old system was POP3 and I'm missing emails from 2 years ago up until a few weeks ago. Any ideas or suggestions?

  3. Kaushik Bhagat says

    How do I transfer Outlook 2010 emails data to a windows 8 computer. POP email acct. Have copied the files n .pst and when I try to create a new profile and use "deliver new messages to" existing outlook data file, i cannot proceed further.

    Thank you

    • Diane Poremsky says

      What exactly happens?

      Copy the pst file to the new computer.
      Create the profile in Outlook on the new computer - if you use Auto account setup, click Manually configure after Outlook sets up the account.
      Add the pst as the default account, configure ports and outgoing server settings.

      I have a video I made for another user here:

  4. ABurro says

    Thank you. This allowed me to move Outlook 2010 to a Windows 8 computer without difficulty. I truly appreciate the information here.

  5. Pete says

    My new Windows 8 computer didn't come with Outlook. I'm looking at using Thunderbird. Is there a way to transfer the Outlook address book from the old computer in a way that Thunderbird will access it on the new computer?

    • Diane Poremsky says

      You'll need to export it in CSV format on Outlook so you can import it into t-bird.

  6. Sun says

    Does this process also transfer the settings? Such as views settings in tasks, quick steps in inbox etc? Thanks

    • Diane Poremsky says

      If you move the pst file and use it, everything that is stored in the pst is transferred. Rules may be available if you use the pst as the default data file but Views, Quick Steps, Categories are in the pst and will be available for sure.

  7. Lee bradley says

    The mother board on my laptop went bad and I moved all the files onto a hard drive and moving them to another laptop. I didn't think about my autocomplete feature and I am freaking out not having those email address pop up! I am not a tech savy person what can be done?

  8. Jesse J says

    This made it so easy to move my Windows 7 Outlook 2010 to Windows 8 Outlook 2013. No one else could give me a straight answer on how to do this. I hope more people find this useful.

  9. David G. says

    Great info, but I have a problem: I have two different email accounts using two different PST files. One is for my own business; one is for a nonprofit that I also work for. I now have a separate laptop for the nonprofit work. When I moved the PST file over to that laptop, none of my Outlook inbox folders came with it. I have over 300 messages that I have stored in that PST - is there any way to move those folders over so they are sorted instead of all in the one inbox folder?

    • Diane Poremsky says

      Did you move the correct pst file? Everything is self-contained in the pst - if you moved/copied the pst file, it will be identical to the pst that is on the other computer.

  10. NetGreen says

    Yes, I moved the correct PST file. I finally found the folders - they were under a "collapsed" section of the email account's Inbox.

  11. Matt says

    I don't often leave comments but felt this was in certain need of one. Having not used outlook for many years having turned to macs, this article made my father's condemned and crashed pc rebuild and migration a piece of cake. Many thanks.

  12. Robert Towns says

    Hi Diane,
    Great article covering some things you often don't see mentioned.
    In my case I've copied the PST from a XP PC running Outlook 2010 to a Windows 7 PC running Outlook 2010 and got all running.
    However, when I upgraded the original PC a year ago to Outlook 2010 I imported the NK2 and now believe that data is in the PST (That was June 2012 and worked fine ever since)
    When I use the Win7 PC I don't get any autocomplete working, but can see all the individual entries in the "Suggested contacts"
    How do I get Outlook to use Suggested Contacts in the style of NK2 like it used to - it will not autocomplete.
    When I right click the Suggested Contacts the "Use as an Outlook Address book" (something like that) tick box IS selected already.

    Any thoughts?

  13. Emily Cockrum says

    Iam sure your explanation is VERY clear to users who "dummies" category. Unfortunately you lost me on Step 1! I get some email on my new laptop and some on my "real" computer. I want to transfer a particular email from my computer to my laptop. Am I asking something only a genius can do?

    • Diane Poremsky says

      You need to move a single message (or just a few) ? While the instructions on the page can be used, they really aren't the best for moving some, but not all, of your mail. If it's just one message or a few, drag them to removable media. Drag from the media to your inbox on the other computer.

      If its more than a few messages, or all messages in a folder, you can use File, Open, Export to export them to a pst. Move the pst to the other computer and either open it using File, Open, Outlook Data File or Import it.

  14. LeAnn Cucchiara says

    I moved Outlook 2013 from Win7 to new Win8.1 Pro computer via File/Export-Import .pst file. There was some sort of error while importing the file, as a result 2 years worth of emails did not move to new computer. How can I move just those emails? Do not want to overwrite what did move correctly because I have done some work to clean up those files. If I export just that one particular file that holds the 2 years of emails & then import it, will it overwrite my entire .pst file that is already there? If I rename the .pst file and import it, then how would I get those emails into the correct file on new computer? I am pretty much a novice.... please help.

    • Diane Poremsky says

      I'd reanme it, so you know what mail is in it. Then open it in Outlook using File, Open, Outlook Data File. If you want the mail in your current pst, you can drag the messages or the folder containing the message, to the new pst. (Right click and drag to copy the messages.)

  15. Jay says

    Thank you for the detailed step-by-step process. I am trying to move Outlook 2010 on WIn7 to a brand new Outlook 2013 on a Win 8.1 machine. When I type "Mail" in the search box (your step 3), there is no profile option. I have the PST file in C:/documents/outlook files. When I launch the new Outlook 2013, it wants my email address and password. Do I go ahead with this? I am worried it will overwrite my PST file.

    • Diane Poremsky says

      It won't overwrite the pst. Are you creating a POP3 account? If so, you'll probably want to use the manual option as Outlook will create an IMAP account if the server supports it.

  16. Jay says

    Yes, POP3. I am new to Windows8 and am having a frustrating time of it. But, I did find out how to find the Mail settings. I opened the Control Panel and searched for "Mail" there. It presents only one option, which is the Mail Setup dialog box. I followed your instructions from there and seem to have Outlook now set up on my new computer. Thank you!

  17. Jeff Taylor says

    How would you change these instructions if the goal was to copy the files and settings for 32-bit Outlook 2010, installed in 32-bit Vista, to 32-bit Outlook 2010 installed in 64-bit Windows 7?

    • Diane Poremsky says

      The only thing that changes between the versions and OS is where Outlook.exe is. The user files are in the same location in 32 or 64bit. Vista uses the same file paths as Windows7/8, so these steps should work just fine provided you are using the default settings. If you run into problems, let me know.

  18. Mac says

    Hi Diane,
    This is driving me crazy, I've read many articles on this, and all seem to gloss over specific steps. I appreciate that the different OS & versions of Outlook create differences, so wouldn't it make more sense to have a detailed STEP-BY-STEP article for each of the popular versions, instead of trying to amalgamate them into to one or two generic articles ?

    I'm trying to move my data from OE6 on my old XP PC, to Outlook2010 on my new Win7 PC:

    I followed your previous info, by first putting Outlook2010 on my old XP PC, and using OE6 Export-Command to export the emails to a new PST file, & Export-Address-Book (from within OE6 Address-Book)

    I then found the new PST file (in the old folder location): C:\Documents and Settings\mac\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook.
    So I copied it to the new location: C:\Documents and Settings\mac\My Documents\Outlook Files

    Then I opened Outlook2010: and my emails seem to be there, in the Inbox, & in the same layout as they are in OE6, + my 20 email accounts.

    BUT there's nothing in my address book.
    I've found the Address-Book-file I created in OE6 at: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14 ~ & it contains all of my addresses from my OE6 Address-Book.

    So how do I get my Address-Book into Outlook2010 ??

    Many thanks Mac

    • Diane Poremsky says

      The articles would be so similar that google would call them duplicate content and penalize the site. :( I do have a separate page for OE to Outlook and one for importing the WAB file into Outlook on Windows 7 or 8.

      Basically, you need to copy the wab file to Windows 7/8, double click to open and import it into Windows contacts, then either export as a CSV or vcard. If you have a lot of contacts, csv is often easier. Screenshots are in the article.

  19. Mac says

    Hi Diane,
    I forgot to say: In Outlook2010:
    I tried entering a test-contact into its address-book, but it says that the PST file is full !

    I thought the PST file in Outlook2010, was supposed to be capable of a mega-size compare to previous versions with a max file size of about 2GB ?
    And that its size could be increased by the user, but I cant find any info that explains how to do this !

    Also: My original OE6 DBX file was about 3.9GB, but my new Personal Folders(1).pst file is only: 1.9GB (and in the old location there are other files which I did not move to the new location, including: outlook.pst @ 2.097GB)

    Thanks Mac

    • Diane Poremsky says

      It sounds like Outlook on the old computer was using an ANSI pst file. With 3.9 GB in messages, you might want to use Address Magic or another import utility, or you can try the export again, either from your old computer or copy the entire folder of DBX files to the new computer, import into Live mail then export to Outlook.

  20. Doug Jackson says

    I'm going to be moving my current Outlook 2010 (Win 7) to a new Win 8 computer. I am planning on deinstalling Outlook license from old computer and installing on the new. I have used all 3 installs previously.

    Is there any particular order in which this needs to be done? I don't want my email down for any amount of time. Is there a grace period in which I can install Outlook on the new computer and have time to move files over before deactivating Outlook on the old machine?

    How would you handle this?

    • Diane Poremsky says

      Activation is greatly misunderstood - while Office 2013 does check installs, Office 2010 checks for total lifetime activations but not how many are currently activated. As long as the last installs/activations are months ago, you should be fine. I'd install on the new computer & get it set up - you should have a few days to 30 before it must be activated. Activate it before it expires. Then you can remove the old copy at your leisure.

  21. Randy Birch says

    Hi Diane

    I am using 2010 on a Win8.1 machine; I have to reinstall (bad drive) to will use my Office 365 acct on the new drive.

    I have all my outlook accounts configured as POP3, and have 15 different mail accounts configured, all downloading into the same PST with rules moving to subfolders based upon the "To" account name.

    What I'd like is to NOT have to manually configure all 15 of these accounts on the new drive, but rather port the registry data over, at least as far as servers, ports, acct names, email addresses etc. I understand the pwds will have to be re-entered; this I can manage.

    What steps will allow me to use the reg data on the new drive to eliminate the setup pains?

    • Diane Poremsky says

      Export the profile from Windows Message subsystem key from the old computer. I'd use the same computer name and user name, so the folders all are in the same location on the new drive - you want everything as close as possible to the what you have on the old drive. Run the reg key with the profile and pray. :) If you used a local login with the old drive, do that with the new drive too. You can change it to a Microsoft account after the profile is restored. The usual problem is with the Address book - if its working then you should be fine.

  22. Mac says


    On my OLD XP PC: (with OE & Outlook2010 both installed)

    a: I've exported my emails from OE to Outlook2010, which has created the PST file for Outlook2010
    b: I've moved this new PST file to the new Outlook2010 folder location of:
    C:\Documents and Settings\user\My Documents\Outlook Files
    c: I've opened Outlook, and:
    i: All of my emails appear to be there, & in the same folder layout as they are in OE.
    ii: At: File/Info: my 20 email-account-addresses are listed under the 'Account Information' heading.
    ...and they're also listed in the 'E-mail Accounts' window, under the e-mail' tab.
    d: I've Exported my Address-Book to a WAB file

    On my NEW Win7 PC: (with just Outlook2010 installed)

    a: I've copied the PST file from the OLD PC, to the required folder in Outlook2010, at: ie:
    C:\Users\user\Documents\Outlook Files\
    b: Then I copied the WAB file from the OLD PC.
    c: Then I opened Outlook2010, and followed your Video to Import the WAB's Address-Book into the Window-Contact-Folder, and then into Outlook2010.
    d: Now (as on the OLD PC)
    i: All of my emails appear to be there, & in the same folder layout as they are in OE.

    *BUT: My 20 email-account-addresses ARE-NOT listed under the 'Account Information' heading,
    ...and they're NOT-LISTED in the 'E-mail Accounts' window, under the e-mail' tab.

    Q: So how do I get these 20 email-account-addresses into Outlook2010 on Win7 ?


    • Diane Poremsky says

      Accounts are stored in the registry, not in the files - for best results, you need to create each account in the profile. Because they contain data specific to the current machine we don't recommend exporting the keys from the registry - things usually break if you do, most often the address book stops working.

  23. Randy Birch says

    Hi Diane ...

    Just wanted to let you know that for the most part, copying the Messaging key did the trick. I installed Win 8.1 fresh, installed Office365, did the registry merge and put my pst in the same folder as before.

    I had to re-add the passwords for all the accounts, but at least I didn't have to reconfigure all my accounts. Only thing that got 'broken' was the pst into which each new email was to be received, requiring me using the account setting dialog to re-point each email address to the Inbox. (I use one PST file, have everything arrive in the Inbox, and rules move them to subfolders). Calendar is intact, as is the entire contact list.

    So, for anyone interested, the steps I took (after closing Outlook) were ..

    1. Backed up the files from %appdata%\ roaming\ Microsoft\ Outlook

    2. Backed up the files and folders from %localappdata%\ local\ Microsoft\ Office

    3. Backed up the files and folders from users\ {username}\ appdata\ local\ microsoft\ outlook

    4. Backed up my PST files which Outlook had put in the Documents folder ( documents\ outlook files)

    5. Exported the reg key at HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Outlook\Security which contains the value for the OutlookSecureTempFolder. I don't like that folder buried with internet explorer history as invariably at some point I need to find a files I've viewed. Plus, if you mistakenly edit a Word file you've opened from an email then saved and closed, you will find the changed file here, so I move that to c:\personal\olktmp, and change the reg key to that value.

    6. Exported the Windows Messaging Subsystem registry keys, located at HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows Messaging Subsystem

    At this point I installed a new OS on a new drive, installed Office **but did not start Outlook**, then

    7. Double clicked the Windows Messaging reg file to add it to the new registry

    8. Double clicked my olktmp change reg file

    9. Moved my PST files back into the new Documents folder under a new folder named 'outlook files'

    10. Moved the files in #1, 2 and 3 back to the respective locations.

    11. Started Outlook.

    12. Re-pointed the email accounts to the inbox of the main PST file within Outlook.

    Thanks again. Sure was a lot easier than manually configuring all the server, name, authorization and SSL settings for all the accounts.


  24. Kiri Amarakoon says

    Undoubtedly this is the best write up I have seen on this subject, helped me to move my outlook mail and contacts easily form windows 7 from old laptop to windows 8.1 in the new laptop , Unfortunately I did run outlook on my new laptop, everything seems to be fine except I have two in-boxes. all the email from the old laptop is intact, The new email goes to a second inbox. not sure how to merge the two or if want to.
    Thank you so much

    • Diane Poremsky says

      Is the account configured as IMAP on the second computer? If not, go into File, Account Settings and select the POP account and click Change Folder at the bottom.

      If it's set up as IMAP (Outlook will default to IMAP if the server supports it), and you want POP3, you need to remove the account and add it back using the Manual option.

  25. Francis Maguire says

    I have user defined fields in my calendar folder and user defined forms for these field plus VbScript files associated with the form, can you transfer these as well or must you recreate these on the new computer?

    • Diane Poremsky says

      if you move the pst file and use it as default, it should work exactly like it does on the old computer. if you have macros in the OTM, you will need to move it, and any template files, but published forms are in the data file. This is the major reason why we don't recommend using import and export and recommend opening the data file directly in a new profile.

  26. Syca says

    Hi Diane,

    Could you tell me why we need to create a new profile? Cannot we just use the existing profile named "Outlook" created in setting up Office on the new machine and use the old PST file with the existing profile? Forgive me if my question sounds silly.

    I have two desktops running Windows 7. Only one of them has Outlook 2010 installed, which uses the "Outlook" profile. Now I want the other desktop to have Outlook 2010 installed too. To prevent potential problems, I want both machines to use profiles with the same name. That's why I don't like to create a new profile on the other machine.

    Thank you.

    • Diane Poremsky says

      Outlook should name the first new profile Outlook. But you can name the profile anything you want if you create it in Control panel, Mail. But the profile name doesn't really matter when it comes to Outlook working. By the same token, if it makes it less confusing for you, then go ahead and change it.

      That said... a profile is not the pst file. You can't move the profile from the other computer (well, you could, but it tends to become corrupted). Create a new profile on the new machine and set it to use your pst file from the old computer (Step 5).

  27. Syca says

    Hi Diane, Thank you for your reply. I'm afraid you have mistaken me. I do know a profile is not the pst file and profiles cannot be moved.

    What I mean is: can I set the "Outlook" profile on Computer 2 to use the pst file from Computer 1? I don't want to create another profile on Computer 2, because Computer 1 is using the default "Outlook" profile, and I want both profiles with the same name, to prevent potential problems.

    • Diane Poremsky says

      You can't share the pst over the network, but you can copy the pst to the new computer and use it in the profile. The profile name won't make a difference.

  28. Randy says

    Hi Di ...

    I found that is not necessarily true. On an old setup I once stored my PST files on a shared storage device, and connected to it from either my desktop or laptop via mapped drives, giving me access to everything. The only caveat was that only one of these machines could access the PST at one time, which in my situation was not a problem. To do this I simply moved the PST from my desktop machine to the shared storage location and used Outlook to locate this new location, then installed office on the laptop and repeated to point to the shared PST location. The profile names on the various machines happened to be different (I think one was 'rgb' and the other the default 'Outlook').

    • Diane Poremsky says

      Storing pst files on remote devices or network drive can result in a corrupt pst file and is not recommended. If the drive can't read and write fast enough for Outlook or the connection is lost, the pst will be damaged. It's better to use a copy of the pst. If you need remote storage, an Exchange mailbox or is better.

  29. Syca says

    Hi Diane, this is what I mean: how can I set the "Outlook" profile (not another new profile) on Computer 2 to use the pst file copied to Computer 2 from Computer 1?

    You once said:
    If you want to copy back and forth between machines so you can use the same information at the office and at home, for example, you'll need to copy at least the pst file. If you have Outlook profiles, NAME THEM THE SAME ON BOTH MACHINES, so you can use the same files easily.

    That's why I don't want to create another profile on Computer 2. Because Computer 1 is using the default "Outlook" profile, so I don't want to create another profile with a different name and delete the default "Outlook" profile on Computer 2.

    • Diane Poremsky says

      That refers to either the pst file (if it's named the same, you can use it to overwrite the other one) or if you are copying more than just pst files - some support files, such as the NK2, use the profile name.

      Do you have a profile called Outlook on computer2 already? If you do, you can add the old pst to the profile (File, Account Settings, Data Files tab, Add - browse to find the pst) and set it as default for a POP3 account on the Email tab.

  30. gh says

    you've GOT to be kidding. c'mon can't microsoft just make a one click program? no wonder ms haters to go gmail

    • Diane Poremsky says

      They had a one click solution - Windows Easy Transfer - and while it worked well for some things, setting up a fresh Outlook profile works better, with fewer problems in the long run, especially with the introduction of auto account setup.

  31. gh says

    What REALLY muddies the water is changing NOT just 2010 to 2013 outlook. In WAY TOO many instances folks (like OUR business machines) are simultaneously upgrading from 32 bit to 64 bit machines. I'm finding the xfer to be a huge fail - and can't tell if it's due to the outlook version, the OS bit version or both. Supposedly XP support was aborted because new programs are more "secure". Yet the new 64 bit updates, and 2013 security holes are being patched just as frequently as the multi-decade old XP. So now we're stuck with 100meg upgrade waits - and still trying to migrate outlook. But hey I'm sure we got a lot of company here in the same boat .... of frustration.

    • Diane Poremsky says

      What is failing with the transfer of Outlook from one machine to another?

      FWIW, XP support was ended because its old. At this point in time it's no less secure than it was a few weeks ago - most of the exploits that come out require the user to visit a specially crafted website, so most users won't be at risk anyway.

  32. Dan says

    Hi Diane, I am trying to copy the pst file to a USB drive for the transfer and I am getting an error that the file is too big for the file system. File size of the pst is about 7GB, the drive has about 13GB free on it. Any ideas?

    • Diane Poremsky says

      How is the driver formatted? Ntfs or fat? Fat has a limit of 4gb file size.

    • Diane Poremsky says

      The easiest way to back up pst files is to copy them. If the profile was created in outlook 2010 or 2013, the pst files are in Documents\Outlook Files. Other data files can only be opened by the account that created the file and don't need backed up.

  33. Catherine says

    I moved my Outlook pst file from my Win 7/Outlook 2010 computer to a Win 7/Outlook 2013 computer using the instructions, which were great. My email folders, calendar and contacts came over well. But now I have multiple Outlook Inboxes that I can't seem to consolidate. One Inbox is what I brought over, and then there's 1 each for my 2 gmail accounts. Is there a way to consolidate the inboxes? I'd like to just see one Inbox, from which I send and receive everything.

    I have 2 profiles, Outlook and Home. I've set it to always use "Home" as my profile.

    "Home" is set up with both gmail accounts for Email, defaulting to gmail #1. In Data Files, I set the default to the old Outlook.pst file. Also in Data Files, there are two new gmail.ost files that it won't let me remove without removing the whole email account.

    "Outlook" is set up with gmail account #1 for Email. Also in Data files, there is a new gmail.ost file that it won't let me remove without removing the whole email account.

  34. forzalacapra says

    Hi. I had a problem with my laptop and needed to reinstall all the software. I did it without needing to reload any of my data. I reinstalled and opened MS Office and lost a bunch of my personalization, which I can live with. What I can't resolve though is that all my contacts (or people as they seem to now be called in Outlook 2013) disappeared.
    I can't find any article on how to fix. I don't know how to resolve this. Thoughts?

    Thanks Kindly

    • Diane Poremsky says

      What type of email account? If the contacts are in a pst, you can import the old pst from the windows.old folder or the outlook files folder in my documents. If you used an IMAP account and didn't export the data, it's not recoverable.

  35. Cathy says

    I tried so hard...and still sort of failed. Moving Outlook 2003 pst files from old XP computer to new Win 8.1 computer and new Outlook 2013. The 2003 pst file and archive are on the new computer, in My Documents. While sorting out a password challenge with att tech support and setting up POP3 etc., when we got to the screen for choose profile, he had me choose new even though I told him I think that's the tricky part, then we hit a slight roadblock with the test. The tech had me access email online, then open outlook, and oh crud...the files from my online server started dumping into the outlook inbox. I got into online mail server and following your tip, am currently moving all the inbox items into a folder (great use of time!). Please, what is my next step to get the old 2003 outlook files into the new 2013 outlook?

  36. Sam says

    Hi Diana,

    Thank you for the instructions and subsequent answers to the queries above. I hope my particular question is posted in the right place; apologies if not.

    I currently use Office 2003 XP (with Outlook plus Excel & Word) on an eight-year-old Windows XP PC. I'm about to purchase a new PC with Windows 8.1. Can I transfer the old Outlook mail folders to the new PC and store and access these on the inbuilt email app that comes with 8.1 (rather than use new Outlook software)? I no longer need the scheduling/diary facilities of Outlook.

    I will also transfer the old Office documents and spreadsheets to the new PC. Can I use the free 'Office Online' software (Excel online and Word online) that is now available to people with mail addresses to access and update the old files and save them on the PC?

    Or do I need to purchase Office 2013 with Excel, Word and Outlook to do all the above?Thanks!

    • Diane Poremsky says

      No you can't. I'm not sure what the best way to export from that version of Outlook but you definitely need to convert them to a different format. I'll see what I can find out.

      I'm not sure if office online will open the older documents, but Excel online word online should work fine for new documents. I'll check on this also.

  37. ChrisH Netherlands says

    Diane, Many Thanks for really great, useful, practical, clear info and advice about moving pst files to a new computer. The worst thing that has to be done in a Windows environment!

  38. Andy says

    Hi Diane, I upgraded from outlook 2007 to 2010. Everything went well but my sent items do not load. They load after 5 minutes but as I scroll down to check older sent items they all vanish with a message "loading..". I know the sent items are all there as i can find older items by doing an advanced search but it just do not load. I switched back to 2007 and it worked fine but just not working on 2010. i don't know why? Please HELP!!
    P.S. I have located my new pst file in a different folder then the default outlook folder.

    • Diane Poremsky says

      Sorry, I'm way behind on the comments and trying to catch up.

      Have you used scanpst on the data file? How many items are in the sent items folder? If more than about 5000, archive the older ones or move them to a subfolder.

  39. Andy says

    Hi Diane, You Rock!!!

    SCANPST did it for me. I was struggling with it since past few months now and you fixed it !

    Thanks a lot!

    P.S. I repaired it through scanpst thrice before testing it and it worked. My data file was of 8GB.

  40. Rob T says

    Hello. I am trying to move my Outlook data files from an old laptop with Outlook 2010, to a new laptop with Outlook 2013. I copied the .pst file (1.3 gbytes) and loaded it on the new laptop. I then imported it in Outlook. The calendar, contacts, Sent mail, inbox etc loaded okay but only 5 of 30 subfolders under the Inbox imported. We had already used Outlook on the new laptop for a day before I brought over the old data file. I created a new profile and tried it again with the same result. I tried opening the pst file (under the File tab) rather than importing and get a message that it found nothing to show.

    • Diane PoremskyDiane Poremsky says

      What type of email email account did you use with the Outlook 2010? Are all of the folders empty when you open the pst in Outlook 2013?

  41. Rob T says

    The 2010 email account type is POP/SMTP. The 2013 account is IMAP/SMTP. When i try to open (rather than import) the .pst file, the subfolders don't show up. Just the message "we can't find anything to show here". The few inbox subfolders that did import into Outlook 2013 have all their data (emails) in them. I just tried exporting individual subfolders and opening them in 2013 and still get the message that there is nothing to show.

    • Rob T says

      Hi Diane. The views are: IMAP Messages; Hide Messages marked for Deletion; Group Message marked for Deletion; and Preview. The second one (Hide) is highlighted. Would I be importing from IMAP if the email type was originally POP? I haven't tried the macro yet but it looks like the objective is to change each subfolder from IPF.MAP to IPF.Note. This is getting beyond my level of understanding. I may talk to our IT guy at my work on Monday to help me with the macros so that I don't take up your time. Your help so far is much appreciated. Rob

    • Diane PoremskyDiane Poremsky says

      Oh, ok... my bad, I mis-read it. You are importing into IMAP - so the folder views are correct, at least in IMAP folders. Try changing the view to the first view - do you see the messages?

      When you open the pst in Outlook, what views are available on the folders? Does changing the views show the missing messages?

  42. Rob T says

    Hi Diane. Didn't see the folders at first when I changed views. But then I clicked on the account name xxxxx@xxx.xx and saw an Outlook Data File folder. I opened that and all the subfolders were there along with another copy of the Inbox but no emails have gone into it since I imported it on the 15th. So now I see two sets of folders on the left side of my Outlook page. An up to date Inbox with the 5 subfolders that were always visible along with the usual list: Draft, Sent, Deleted Files, RSSFeeds etc. and then a new folder called Outlook Data File and under that I see Deleted Files, Draft, Inbox again (with emails only up to the 15th) and all 30 subfolders including the 5 that were visible under the other. Should I just copy the 30 subfolders to the current Inbox and then delete the second copy of Inbox? Thanks

    • Diane PoremskyDiane Poremsky says

      That's what I would do. I'd make a copy of the pst file, just in case something doesn't sync up correctly. Right click on Outlook Data file name and choose Open Folder location then close Outlook, copy the pst in place then reopen outlook and move the folders.

  43. Larry Malmberg says

    Hello Diane, I have a problem with Outlook 2010, when I upgraded my HD I installed Windows 7 pro 64 bit, I had saved my pst files on another drive and then installed Outlook 2010, I put the pst files in My Documents and when I did the install of Outlook I imported the pst files. Now the files are still in My Documents and not in the user account. I have Sync 2 and cannot sync my outlook now. Any suggestions?

    • Diane PoremskyDiane Poremsky says

      The default location for PST files is in documents\outlook files, as of outlook 2010. What happens when you try to sync?

  44. Sam Baughman says

    Hi Diane. I recently migrated to a laptop with Win8.1. To get my email from old PC, I installed Outlook2007 on my laptop and then copied the outlook .PST and other files from the PC to the laptop. Also, I had 3 accounts with signatures for each on the PC. After migrating everything over to the laptop, email for the 3 accounts download but only one account shows in the account settings and no signatures. When I reply to an email, it is sent from the default account. My question is - how do I get the other two accounts with signatures into the account settings? thanks

  45. Ken Pumford says

    Thanks so much for all the helpful advice! I was able to follow it and fairly easily move all my data from a old hard drive with Outlook 2010 to a new drive with Outlook 2013.

  46. Michael Largent says

    I was having some trouble with Outlook 2013 so I decided to start over. I backed up the calendar to a PST file and set everything up in a new profile. I restored the calendar from the PST file. I got all my calendar items imported but the calendar reminders are not set. Why did these not transfer from the PST import? Are the reminders in another location? I am pretty concerned about this. Is this going to be a problem everytime I move Outlook 2013 data to a new computer? ugh!

    • Diane PoremskyDiane Poremsky says

      The reminders are stored in the item and should have transferred. Do any reminders work? If not, then reminders are disabled in File, Options, Advanced.

  47. Michael Largent says

    Yes the reminders are working. I took a calendar item and turned on the reminder and it popped up like it should. I also created a new calendar item, turned off all day event and set a 15 min reminder, that popped up too. ???? This is using IMAP.

    • Diane PoremskyDiane Poremsky says

      Are the calendar items in the imap 'this computer only' folder? If you op0en the appointments you imported, are the reminders set to none?

  48. Michael Largent says

    I am not sure about the 'this computer only' folder, I'll have to check. I do think when I open a calendar item the reminders is set to none. I better double check this though.

    • Diane PoremskyDiane Poremsky says

      it really shouldn't matter which folder they are in - as long as it's either the default data file or mail is delivered to it, the reminders shouldn't be disabled.

  49. John Conner says

    thank you for your postings lots of help here for most.
    I am hoping you can help me or direct me, I am totally frustrated. I am semi-to more than semi computer literate but cannot fix this one.
    I seem to remember having a similar issue way back with outlook express before I went to Office Outlook 2010.

    Hope I get this right, as short as possible:
    Had to reformat my computer from a catastrophe but save everything on an external drive so I do have my .pts file in my outlook Folder in Documents.

    Here is my issue as best as I can do.
    When I download Office outlook 2010 on to the reformatted computer and drop the .pst into the Outlook Folder within Documents and open my mail, on the left pane I have my original account, titled by my email address. Problem now is that account has all my info in it but is non-operational for sending or receiving mail.
    Now it has added 2 more accounts with my account name and a chain below it that is operational but does not contain my folders, multiple accounts and the one I need to work does not.

    I have installed and uninstalled several times and it seems to add another account again???

    I am so frustrated and have to have my original account to work as it is loaded with many important emails that need to be saved.

    I use Gmail and believe it is IMAP, not POP3 as I use it on my phone too.

    Hope you can guide this extremely upset, frustrated and (again) semi- computer literate user...

    Thank you,

    • Diane PoremskyDiane Poremsky says

      do you get any send and receive error messages? Is the account configured as pop3 or imap? Are the port number and ssl settings correct?

      With imap in 2010 and older, you'll have a pst for the imap account and a pst for calendar and contacts. The one you use for calendar and contacts can be the pst moved from the older machine. Add it to the profile, set it as default and remove the other pst file.

  50. Wayne Jacobs says

    I'm helping a friend set up a new Windows 8.1 computer... Is there a way to import Outlook 2003 PST contacts and emails into the Windows 8.1 People (or Mail) apps?

    • Diane PoremskyDiane Poremsky says

      No, not in to the windows apps, only into Outlook. Calendar and contacts would need to be exported in a generic format (CSV or ics) and imported. AFAIK, mail can't be transferred unless you use imap and upload it to the imap server.

  51. Wayne Jacobs says

    Thanks, Diane.
    It just seems odd that a Microsoft product won't talk to a Microsoft product... I guess it's a not-too-veiled way to get more users paying for Outlook.

    Thanks again.

    • Diane PoremskyDiane Poremsky says

      Not necessarily - the need to import non-standard formats (like pst and mbox) isn't frequent and is only needed once for most people, so it doesn't make a lot of sense to put a lot of effort into into adding a little used feature (that only adds bulk to the program).

      Open the pst on any computer that has outlook and export calendar and contacts in a format the apps can import.

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