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Import multiple PST archive files into Outlook 2010

Posted on 2014-12-08
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Last Modified: 2015-01-16
Hello,

I had to recently reset my user ID in Windows 7 and lost all my Outlook settings - which included all of my archived files that automatically were loaded back into Outlook after each archive event.

I have accumulated ~30 archive files over the course of time.

As a result, I am now faced with the prospect of re-loading these all over again, one-by-one.

Is there a way bulk load ALL 30 of these in one shot?  Each PST ranges from 80 to 390mb, with average size around 200mb.

TIA for your replies.
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Question by:pelampe
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14 Comments
 
LVL 94

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40487592
No. You need to import each one. Outlook will not do multiple imports and I have not seen a third party tool to do this.
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Author Comment

by:pelampe
ID: 40487642
Have you heard of this program?

http://www.systoolsgroup.com/add-pst.html

$29.

I've used one of their other products "Outlook PST Viewer" in the past (free version) and it's decent, but I did not know that there was a 3rd party program for this application (mulitple PST files) as well.
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LVL 94

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40487659
No, I have not heard of that program and so I cannot comment.

Also, as I read your post again and focus on Archives (which I use all the time), there is no need to even import them.

Set up Outlook and determine where Outlook stores its files. Copy the Archive (.PST) files into the same folder.

Then you only need to open them. For Archives, no need to import.
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LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:davorin
ID: 40487662
I also haven't seen any other way than importing one by one.
I just wanted to ask you if it is really necessary to have that big amount of pst files?
I normally try to have pst files smaller than 5GBs, but I have seen pst files bigger than 25GBs. Outlook 2010 has default pst size limit set to 50GBs. So having 3 psts instead of 30 will ease your life.
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LVL 94

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40487718
Just another point as I think about this. You really do not want to import all your archives into your main PST. Then you just have to archive all over again. Just open your archives as you need to.
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Author Comment

by:pelampe
ID: 40487750
John:  I meant "Open" and not "Import", actually.

Davorin:  Are you saying to "Merge" all 30 of these into ONE single PST file?  How is that done?

Have you seen this article?  http://www.msoutlook.info/question/207
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LVL 94

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40487755
So just copy the files to your folder and open as needed. You cannot open them all at once. There is no way for that.
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Author Comment

by:pelampe
ID: 40487779
John:  when you say "copy the files to your folder and open as needed" - how can I do that "copy" action?  I thought I had to go to the "FILE" and then "OPEN" dialogs to initialize the "OPEN" command.
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LVL 94

Accepted Solution

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John Hurst earned 350 total points
ID: 40487805
You copy the Archive files into the Outlook data folder. Use Windows Explorer, Copy and Paste.

Now open Outlook,

Yes, you will have to File, Open to see the Archive in the folder tree. There is no way around that.
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LVL 94

Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 350 total points
ID: 40487810
Also, assuming you have a modern operating system, copying the files into the Outlook location will cause them to be indexed. I think, then, when you "find" something, Outlook will open any archive with the "found" item.
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Author Comment

by:pelampe
ID: 40487848
1 - I have Win7, 64 bit.

2 - That is part of my issues.  Due to the computer having a SS HD, space is limited.  So what I've been doing when archiving is manually pointing to my D:\Backups\Outlook (which is 0.5 TB).

Now, for this process, I will have to "Open" them manually one-by-one.  Is there a way to "Force" Outlook to put them in the D:\Backups\Outlook instead of the Outlook data folder by default?
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LVL 94

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40487870
You can put the Archives on another drive, but then you need to point Outlook to them. I do not of any way to automate all this. You have a huge pile of archives. I have 20 years of emails and about 5 archives.
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LVL 27

Assisted Solution

by:davorin
davorin earned 150 total points
ID: 40487887
I'm not sure that I understand your archiving procedures, but let me describe one I use in most cases.
The user has a active mailbox in which are stored all current mails. In most cases it is an exchange mailbox. Sometime in the middle of a year I open an archive pst file for previous year named by year of stored mails. (Archive 2013, Archive 2012,...)
Then I archive to that archive folder all mails that are older than 1.1.2014 (if I'm archiving to Archive 2013 pst)
https://support.office.com/en-in/article/Archive-items-manually-ecf54f37-14d7-4ee3-a830-46a5c33274f6
At archiving I choose top level of active mailbox and all subfolders, so all folder hierarchy is archived in the same way.
At that time it is good to create a backup of archive pst. Normally it is needed only one time, because archive folders are normally not changed. While active mailboxes should be archived more frequent - it depends on users needs, but daily backups are recommended.
For merging you could use the same procedure - archive one pst to another while using "archive items older then" date somewhere in the future. In that case all elements will be moved to new/merged pst.
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LVL 94

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40553204
@pelampe  - Thanks, and I was happy to help.
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