Outlook 2003 copying distribution list to other computers

Posted on 2005-05-07
Last Modified: 2008-01-09
I have windows xp home on one computer and xp professional on another computer.  I would like my distribution list to reside on both computers but they don't seem to transfer.  The name of the list copies but it is blank inside.

I have asked this question before and not received an answer.
Question by:judithjsk
    LVL 74

    Accepted Solution

    You can't just copy a distribution list from one Outlook instance to another.  The list is dynamic and is created by the records you have in your contact list... such that if you change an email address for someone on their contact record it will automatically update the email address in the distribution list.  

    Basically each entry is just a shortcut to the data... so you will need to export the list with all it's data in order to use it elsewhere.  You can do that with a script such as this:

    Remember, though, once exported you now have two distinct sets of data.  Making a change on one distribution list will permanently alter your lists so that they are no longer synchronized.

    If this will be a problem, you may want to look at a different solution for what you are trying to do...  

    There are a number of solutions to share calendars and contacts listed here:

    You also may want to look at using Outlook Live, a web based version of Outlook that you can access from anywhere (and thus use from both computers).


    Author Comment

    Thanks Jeff.  Great information.  one more question.  My incoming mail text looks like code in there anyway to have it look like text?
    LVL 74

    Expert Comment

    by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
    Way to milk a question... but at least it's a 500pt one... :-)  

    Are you referring to your view in the Reading Pane?  (as seen on the right here:

    A full overview of managing the interface is here:

    If you are not getting clear text it may be that you did not properly migrate your mailbox when you started using Outlook 2003.  Version 2003 uses Unicode encoding which is different than previous versions.  If you are using the .pst file from your previous version it won't work properly.  You need to create a NEW DATA FILE (a version 2003 .pst file) and then move all of your items from your old file into the new one... then delete the old one.


    Author Comment

    thanks that is what I did I guess.  Who knew?  I will try your suggestion.  :)

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