How to Import *.pst files into Outlook 2011

Last reviewed on May 8, 2014   —  5 comments

When Outlook 2011 crashes with the following error message when you are trying import a .pst file into it

Outlook has encountered a problem and needs to close

verify that you have the latest Office for Mac updates installed as well as Office for Mac Service Pack 1.

The latest updates latest Office for Mac update has some fixes that address an issue with importing .pst files.

You should always import a .pst file into a new, empty Outlook 2011 Identity. This way, if there is a problem it will not affect the data in your working Identity.

After you import into the new Identity, you can export under File > Export as .olm file. This can be imported safely into your Identity.

About Diane Poremsky

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 Outlook forums by

5 responses to “How to Import *.pst files into Outlook 2011”

  1. john

    how do I convert emails from outlook express 6 to outlook 2013? thanks. The other posting have not worked.

    1. Diane Poremsky

      what have you tried so far?

      You need to import OE to Windows mail then export to outlook. See move from outlook express to outlook

  2. john

    Microsoft tech support, Internet, Systool DBX to PST converter. If I use Windows Mail, will it import my .wab (address book) all DBX files? How do I export Windows Mail ( account?) to Outlook 2013 (import)? Is there another 3rd party tool to do it?
    How about importing to Outlook 2003, using that pst to import into OL 2013? Thanks

  3. Maria Buck

    MS Outlook files in Office for Mac 2011 is problematic! I imported my pst's into Office for Mac 2011 along with backups of those pst's, and backups of those backup pst's. I want to merge all these emails and delete the dups, but I can find no way to do so. Does anyone have any ideas?

    1. Diane Poremsky

      You need to import each one in outlook, then you need to use a duplicate finder utility - but I'm not sure if there are any for the mac.

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