Import EML files to Outlook while retaining folder structure

Posted on 2008-11-13
Last Modified: 2012-06-27
I have a user with two DVDs full of EML files arranged in folders.  I need to import these into a .PST while retaining the folder structure.  From what I've researched so far, I need to do this in Outlook Express first, then export to PST.  But I cannot figure out how to keep the folders intact.  I'm aware that I can manually create each folder in OE, then export them once populated with the .EML files, but I'd love to avoid that.
Question by:RLLSTech
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    Expert Comment

    RLLSTech--This is a bit complicated.
    First of all, two DVD's of .eml files sound like an awful lot of emails for either OE or Outlook to handle.  Anything more than around 2GB will corrupt the files in either email program.
    Having said that, there are shareware programs that claim to do the transfer. They offer free trials
    I think you will have to put the .eml files back on to the hard drive, but you can try to do from the DVD.
    It should also be possible to use Outlook's File|Import, but then you will have to put the .eml files back into the OE Store Folder (see OE Tools|Options|Maintenance tab|Store Folder for location).  This should change the files back to .dbx folders, which as mentioned should be transferable to Outlook using the latter's File|Import.  One of the keys here is that you need the folders.dbx file in the Store Folder.
    Another possiblity is to Forward the .eml files  to Outlook.  This of course will be lengthy and also all the emails in Outlook will have your name in the "From" line regardless of who originally sent them.  But the content will be there.
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    Accepted Solution

    RLLSTech--There is another part of your question that I have not addressed.  Keeping the folder structure.  Strictly speaking you have no folder structure now.  The .eml files are in folders but not in a folder structure.  You will have to create that yourself manually when you transfer the eml files into the OE Store Folder.  In other words, you will transfer the .eml files in Folder A into an appropriately named .dbx folder, those in Folder B into another .dbx folder.  You can create new .dbx folders if you wish with whatever name you prefer.
    And when you transfer the .eml files to the .dbx folders use the procedure mentioned here  You are dragging and dropping the .eml messages not the folders containing the .eml files.
    And it may be wise to first create the new folders (Folder A, etc) by using the Folder List within the OE program.  That should put such .dbx folders into the OE Store Folder for you.  see section at the bottom.
    One twist to the procedures I have suggested earlier is that you might be able to make the transfer from the OE program to the Outlook program rather than vice versa.  In this case you would use OE File|Export.

    Finally and personally, I think use of the third party programs is the easiest way to go.
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    Expert Comment

    RLLSTech--If you have the time, let us know what you did.  Thanks.
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    Author Comment

    I'm manually creating folders in a PST.  Then I'm dragging the .EML files to the respective folder in the PST.  A very painstaking task.  I would have never handed someone a large amount of e-mails in this format and can't imagine why our client did this to us.  It's ok.  I'm billable.

    Thanks for the attempted help, but I'm doing what I feared I'd have to do in the first place.
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    Expert Comment

    RLLSTech--Thanks for the feedback.  I am sorry to hear the suggestions I made did not work.  I really thought they would.  :)  
    Regrettably, MS has made transfer of email files (especially .eml files) to Outlook quite difficult.  I guess that provides a market for the third party programs.

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