importing Outlook files

Posted on 2005-04-23
Last Modified: 2010-04-08

I recently had to send my laptop off to the factory to get some work done on it.  While it was gone I used another computer.  This included using MS Outlook on a temporary computer.  Now the laptop has returned and I have gone back to sending and receiving e-mail messages on it.  That leaves me with the situation of having about a two week gap  of missing messages on the laptop.

My question has to do with importing the two weeks worth of messages from the temporary computer back in to the Outlook program on the laptop.  Is there an easy way to do this without risking losing any of the messages from either hard drive?  I assume that this is doable for the inbox folder but is there a way to include all of the messages from the several different folders (e.g. sent messages, etc.) and subfolders that I set up during those two weeks so that the individual items go into their corresponding folders on a laptop?


Question by:Steve_Brady
    LVL 15

    Accepted Solution

    Outlook's import function should be able to accomplish this quite handily.   While I'd make a backup copy of each computer's .pst file prior to doing the import, here's what I'd recommend:

    1) make an extra copy of the outlook.pst file from each user profile you were using on each PC.
    2) place one copy of the outlook.pst file from the temporary PC on the laptop, either under "My Documents" or on the desktop, both for your convenience and so as not to overwrite the laptop's messages.
    3) Start Outlook on the laptop.  From the File menu, select import/export.
    4) Select "import from another program or file", click next.
    5) scroll to, then select "personal folders file (.pst), then click next.
    6) accept the defaults for the import function on each of the next 3-4 windows, then hit finish.

    Once this is import is done, all mail from your inbox and subfolders, sent messages, and deleted messages that were not emptied will be imported into corresponding locations in your laptop's mail store.

    Author Comment

    Thanks for the response.

    By going to File > Data File Management > Open Folders,  I found the folder with the .pst files.  However, I have a feeling that something is not right because there are 17 .pst files as shown below.  I only have four email accounts; one on my web site server and three at  I have  Outlook set up to retrieve messages from all four accounts.

    Could this many files be needed for four accounts?  FYI, after restoring my backup files (after my HD was replaced) there were several extra account folders in Outlook.  I deleted all of them except the four corresponding to my four accounts.

    If I do have too many files in this folder, how do I know which ones to keep and which ones to delete?  (I haven't done the import steps you described yet.)


    Outlook(1)MSN (1)-00000021
    Outlook(1)MSN (2)-00000006
    Outlook(1)MSN (2)-00000022
    OutlookMSN (1)-00000005
    OutlookMSN (1)-00000005(1)
    OutlookMSN (1)-00000005(2)
    OutlookMSN (2)-00000006
    OutlookMSN (2)-00000006(1)
    OutlookMSN (2)-00000006(2)

    LVL 15

    Expert Comment

    Taking an educated guess, I think those files are for Inbox, sent items, deleted items, and possibly archive folders, for each account.  Normally, there wouldn't be 17 .pst files, but stanger things have happened.

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