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Exporting and Importing Data in Outlook on Macintosh

You can export an email account's messages, attachments, folders, contacts, calendar and appointments, tasks, and notes in Outlook as an ".olm" file as a way to save everything if the account is being disabled, or you simply want to "archive" or store the data on a computer's hard drive instead of in the account space on the mail server.

The .olm file can then be imported to Outlook to view, and, if desired, move the information to different set of folders, including any that are part of another email account (as long as the account is set up in Outlook and has enough available space).

Selecting Items to Export
Outlook on Mac will either export everything - all account/folder headings in your Outlook list, including any existing On My Computer folders - or items flagged with a Category. If you are exporting to save an account that is being disabled (vs. everything in your Outlook list), you will want to label the account items with a Category first:Categorize Button
  1. Click the Categorize button in the top middle toolbar, then:
    • Outlook 2011 - select Add New from the drop down menu that appears
    • Outlook 2016 - select Edit Categories, then the + (plus) sign near the bottom center
  2. Type in a unique name to describe the export, such as "Archive CUMC". You will only want to use this for the mail, contacts etc. that you'd like to export, and can remove the category when no longer needed.
  3. Mark the items you want to export with the category just created:
    • To export everything under an account/folder heading you will need to go in to each folder and select all items in it:
      1. While in the folder click Edit from the top menu in Outlook, then Select All from the drop down menu (or command and a keys on your keyboard at the same time). Everything in the folder will be highlighted/selected.
      2. Click the Categorize button and the category name to apply to all of the items.
    Adding a Category Label
    • For a smaller range of messages you can press the control key on your keyboard while selecting two messages; everything between the two will be highlighted. To add non-adjacent messages you can press the command key while clicking.
    • If there are contacts, tasks or other account items you want to include in the export, you will have to label these with the category as well.
    Categorized items will be marked with the color of the category label and are ready for export.
Exporting
  1. Select File in the upper left of the Outlook, the Export from the drop down menu.
  2. File Export from Outlook's top menu
  3. Choose your Export options:
    • Outlook 2011 - check the Outlook for Mac (olm) data file option, then:
      • If you applied categories to items for export, check the Items that are in the category option and use the drop down menu to select the category.
      • To export everything in Outlook (all account/folder headings in your Outlook list, including any existing On My Computer folders) you can choose Items of the following types: and check which types of items (Mail, Contacts, Calendar, etc.) to include.
        Export Items in Category Options
        Click the right arrow at the bottom of the window to continue.
      • Select your desired option in the Delete After Exporting? window, click the right arrow at the bottom, then move to step 3 below.
    • Outlook 2016
      • If you applied categories to items for export, check the Items that are in the category option and use the drop down menu to select the category.
      • To export everything in Outlook (all account/folder headings in your Outlook list, including any existing On My Computer folders) you can choose Items of these types: and check which types of items (Mail, Calendar, Contacts etc.) to include.
        Outlook 2016 Export options
        Click Continue when ready.
  4. Outlook will prompt to choose a location to save the export file; be sure to keep it in a location you will remember. You can also re-name the file using the Save As field.
  5. Outlook will begin exporting. It may take a while if a lot of items were selected.
  6. An Export Complete message will appear, click Finish or Done to exit.
The .olm (export) file will be in the location selected in step 4. The messages, contacts, etc. in it can only be viewed again after importing into Outlook.

Importing
Importing an .olm or .pst (Outlook on Windows) export file will store items as a sub-folder of the On My Computer heading in Outlook.

  1. With Outlook open, click File from the upper left menu, then Import.
  2. An Import window will appear:
    • Outlook 2011
      1. Leave Outlook Data File (.pst or .olm) selected and click the right arrow
      2. Select Outlook for Mac Data File (.olm) to use data exported from a Macintosh, or Outlook for Windows Data File (.pst) to use data exported from a Windows computer.
      3. Click the right arrow to continue.
    • Outlook 2016
      • Select Outlook for Mac Data File (.olm) to use data exported from a Macintosh, or Outlook for Windows Data File (.pst) to use data exported from a Windows computer, then click Continue.
      • The Outlook 2011 data on this computer option should only be used if you have not set up an account in Outlook 2016 yet, please refer to the Microsoft's tutorial if desired.
  3. If there are a lot of items it may take a little while, eventually an Import Complete message will appear. Click Finish or Done to exit.
  4. The items will appear under the On My Computer folder list in the left.
    Imported Mail Folders
    Imported Contacts or other items can be seen when selecting the Contacts, Tasks etc. view in the lower left of Outlook and expanding any On My Computer folder in the left.
Keep in mind that items under On My Computer can only be seen from that computer. At any point you can move messages between folders on Outlook by dragging or copying.

Disconnecting Folders
If you were importing to keep items from an email account that is being disabled, be sure to disconnect it from Outlook when done. If not you may see error messages once the account space is removed and Outlook continues to attempt connecting to it.
Note that disconnecting will not delete messages or data still stored in your account on the mail server before the account is disabled only removes the account from Outlook on the computer.

  1. With Outlook open select Tools from its top menu, then Accounts from the drop-down menu.
  2. Click on the account you want to disconnect from the left column to select it.
  3. Select the - (minus) sign in the bottom left.
  4. When prompted select Delete.
  5. Outlook Deleting an Account
  6. Outlook may take a few moments to disconnect from the account. When finished, select the red button in the upper left corner to close the Accounts window and return to Outlook.
The account folders will no longer appear in the leftmost list within Outlook.

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Last updated 11/13/2017