Need Help Moving Multiple GBs of mail from Entourage 2008 to Outlook 2012

Posted on 2014-12-14
Last Modified: 2015-01-04
I have a client using Entourage 2008 for Mac. He currently has a POP mail account. He has multiple GBs of mail organized into over a hundred folders and subfolders. We’re talking thousands of messages. I recently installed Outlook 2012 on his machine and ran the import function while configuring mail. It appeared to bring all his Entourage mail over, but we quickly realized that while most or all of the folders were there, many of them were empty. I think the problem comes from a 2 GB limit on mail export (archive) files. The only way I can see to move all the mail is to categorize 2 GB of mail at a time and then during the export procedure, choose only the categorized messages. The problem with that is, it appears I can’t categorize whole folders of mail at a time, and I need to actually select all messages within a folder to categorize them. While that’s an option, it’s an extremely tedious and time-consuming one. Does anyone know of a good way to move the mail while retaining the folder structure? A third-party solution is acceptable. Thanks.
Question by:GreenLeafPros
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LVL 26

Expert Comment

ID: 40499327
Are you trying to extract the mail from Entourage's native format?  Or have you tried first converting the Entourage folders to standard mbox files, by dragging each folder of messages to the Mac desktop?

It seems to me that if you first create a standard mbox file for each Entourage folder, you could then more easily import the individual mbox folders into Outlook.

Author Comment

ID: 40501847
I considered that, but we're talking hundreds of folders. If I drag a folder containing subfolders to the Mac desktop will the resulting mbox file retain the subfolder structure?
LVL 26

Expert Comment

ID: 40501864
No, mbox files are flat.  I understood that you had hundreds of folders, but it sounds like, in addition to that, you have deep nesting of folders within folders within folders?  If so, I'm afraid I don't have firsthand knowledge of a way to preserve the folder structure when exporting from Entourage.

The only thing I can think of would be to create a folder structure in the Mac file system that parallels the folder structure in Entourage, so you can keep track of everything, and move the Entourage mboxs one at a time into the corresponding folders in the folder structure you've just created, and from there one at a time into Outlook.  Painful.

Hopefully someone else will have a better solution.

Accepted Solution

GreenLeafPros earned 0 total points
ID: 40524347
So, in the end, despite how much time it took, I ended up choosing large amounts of mail and categorizing it, folders and all, which was a royal pain. I used generic, unique categories, such as Archive 1, Archive 2, etc. I could not find a way to categorize a folder and all subfolders and contained mail in one shot. I had to open a folder, select all messages and assign a category. After I categorized 5000 messages or so, I did an export and chose to export everything in a specific category. I then opened Outlook and imported the mail. One drawback is that if there are no messages or subfolders in a folder, it won't back up the folder with this method, even if you categorize the folder.

Once I had most of the mail moved, I deleted it in Entourage, leaving the last bit of mail that was part of a complex folder structure. Then I did a normal export. That backed up everything remaining, and I was able to import that.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 40530006
No one offered any useful assistance. My solution worked, but was clumsy. It still may have been the only solution available.

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