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Exporting and Importing Mailbox Content in Outlook 2013

About Importing and Exporting
You can export your email and mail folders, calendar and appointments, tasks, notes and additional content from Outlook as a .pst file and import everything in one go onto a different computer or into another mail profile. The .pst file can be saved to other media as with any form of data, however they can only be opened within Outlook; other programs will not be able to open a .pst file.
IMPORTANT: information contained in any messages, attachments, calendars, contacts etc. including any generated during an export/import must be adequately protected as per University policy. When backing up, saving or moving .pst files be sure you are complying with encryption and related requirements.

The following tutorial covers exporting and importing an entire Mailbox. Your Mailbox typically includes your Inbox, Sent Items, Deleted and other mail folders, Calendar, and other items that are listed as sub folders of the Mailbox as it appears in the left Navigation pane in Outlook. Storing older items via an export or using auto archiving are ways to move messages and other data that you don't access frequently, and will prevent quota issues with items stored on the Exchange server.

Exporting Mailbox content to a .pst file

  1. With Outlook open, select the FILE tab in the upper left.

    Outlook File tab

  2. Select the Open & Export link in the left, then Import/Export.

    Outlook 2013 Options link

  3. In the Import and Export Wizard dialog box, select Export to a file, then select Next.

    Export file window

  4. In the Export to a File dialog box, select Outlook Data File (.pst), then Next.

    Export to PST file

  5. In the Export Outlook Data File dialog box, select the desired heading (usually your full email address) then select Include sub folders to include all folders for the account, and click the Next button.
    NOTE: you may have to use a scroll bar on the right to find your main Mailbox.
  6. Select Export Items window

  7. At the top of the Export Outlook Data File window, in the Save exported file as field, Outlook names the file "backup.pst" by default and displays the path for saving the file in your computer's Documents folder in a sub folder called Outlook Files. Select Finish to accept these default settings.
    Note: Select Browse and to save to a different location on your computer if you prefer, or to rename your .pst file.

    Save Exported File window

  8. A Create Outlook Data File window will appear.

    Create Outlook Data File window

    In both fields type in a password that will be required when the Personal Folders File is opened. IMPORTANT: If you forget the password there is no way to retrieve it or otherwise open the .pst you are creating; be sure to keep track of any password used here. Select OK to continue.
  9. Your computer will pause as the .pst file is created; if you have a lot of items to back up you may see a window that shows the status of each item as it is backed up. No notice will appear to indicate that the back up is done, simply verify that the "backup.pst" file appears in your Documents\Outlook Files folder when Outlook has finished (if you have changed the location and/or name in step 6 above, look for the appropriate file name/location).
Adding and Importing Mailbox content from .pst file

NOTE: Importing a .pst file allows you to merge items into one Mailbox/list of folders. If you would simply like to open the .pst file and be able to view email messages, calendar items, etc. from within Outlook as a separate list of folders, see the instructions immediately below. To import (merge) items into your existing account folders, click here.
  1. In the upper left corner of your main Outlook 2013 window select the FILE tab, then the Open & Export link and the option to Open Outlook Data File (see steps 1 and 2 above for screenshots).
  2. The Open Outlook Data File window will appear. Browse to the file you would like to open, select it and click the Open button in the lower right.

    Open Outlook Data File window

  3. The data file items will appear in the left navigation pane in Outlook. You may need to click on the arrow to the left of the file heading to see subfolders.

    Opened Outlook File

  4. If you no longer wish to view the data file in the future, simply right-click on it and select Close Outlook Data file from the menu that appears. The data will not be deleted unless you browse to the .pst file on your computer and manually delete it.
Steps to Import (merge items) from a .pst:
  1. In the upper left corner of your main Outlook 2013 window select the FILE tab, then the Open & Export link and Import/Export.
  2. In the Import and Export Wizard window, select Import from another program or file and click Next.

    Import selections

  3. If Outlook finds a .pst file in a default location it will appear under the File to import field. To select another file (or verify that the correct .pst is selected), click Browse to locate the .pst file on your computer that you would like to open. Select Next to continue.

    Select File to Import

  4. At the next window click on the main folder you would like to import to highlight it. If there is an arrow to its left you can click on it to expand and view any subfolders; check the option to Include subfolders if you wish to import everything under the main folder.

    Select folder to import from prompt

    Make sure the option to Import items into the same folder in: <youremail> is selected at the bottom of the window to merge email messages, tasks, etc. into the same folders of your current Outlook profile. Select Finish.
  5. Outlook imports the email, appointments, tasks, etc. into your current profile.

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Last updated 11/20/2015