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Tool to migrate Outlook from one PC profile to another

Posted on 2016-08-08
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Last Modified: 2016-08-11
Hi Experts

I am doing quite a lot of computer migrations and many of my clients have complicated lives with many Exchange & POP3 & IMAP accounts in the one Outlook profile. They could be standalone computers or domain-joined one.

The most time-consuming part of the migration is recreating the Outlook profile

Is there a "simple" way to quickly recreate these Outlook profiles? Can I copy a couple of registry keys and/or a couple of folders? Are they know tools to do that?

Alexandre
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Question by:Alexandre Michel
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Expert Comment

by:xtermie
ID: 41747091
A utility like Windows Easy Transfer may do that easily
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Kimputer earned 500 total points
ID: 41747092
Outlook uses a fixed reg key for Outlook profiles:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows Messaging Subsystem\Profiles

Exporting and importing the whole underlying hive will copy the profile for another user.

The only thing that will never carry over though, is the password. For every account, type in the password again.
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Expert Comment

by:regmigrant
ID: 41747103
I can't recommend a tool as I've never used them but depending on how complex the profiles get you might find some mileage with the Office automation tool which gives you a way to create a skeleton profile, edit and re-apply it:-
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc179062(v=office.14).aspx

the content of the prf are stored at
\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\Windows Messaging Subsystem\Profiles\Outlook

and can be exported/merged with powershell (or manually).

If you are planning for an entirely automated result you will probably need a combination of these and some strong scripting skills allied with this information:
http://www.slipstick.com/outlook/config/understanding-microsoft-outlook-profile-file-prf/
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Author Comment

by:Alexandre Michel
ID: 41747137
Kimputer,

Will this work when the old computer = Office 2010 and the new computer is Office 2013?
What about if new computer = Office 2016 (and the new Outlook is 2016 which requires Autodiscovery)?

regmigrant,

Thanks for the links. My situation is a lot of one-off PC migration; not a whole office. This tool seems  great if you have to set up several new computers in an office... Or did I misunderstood how it is used?
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Assisted Solution

by:Kimputer
Kimputer earned 500 total points
ID: 41747157
This method works indeed best for "simple" accounts like POP3/IMAP on all Outlook versions.
Theoretically though, all accounts, even those based on Autodiscovery should still work (except what i told you about the password).
Then again, an autodiscovery account takes only 10 seconds to add to Outlook.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Alexandre Michel
ID: 41751496
Thanks Kimputer. Great imputs!
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Author Comment

by:Alexandre Michel
ID: 41751502
Kimputer

After closing the question ... I just realised this key does not appear in the Windows 10 laptop + Office 2016 (click to run) I am just working on.

I searched the whole registry for "Windows Messaging" but did not find anything that looked like Outlook email accounts info

Searched the whole registry for one of the email addresses on that PC to no avail...

Any idea if it is now different in Windows 10?

Is it
HKCU\software\microsoft\Office\16.0\Outlook\Profiles\Outlook ???
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Expert Comment

by:Kimputer
ID: 41751680
I do not always have all the info of the newest software, sadly. In this case, it's probably a change with the newest Outlook.

It's easy to check though. Make a new profile named "Abcdefg12345", and fill in a bogus POP3 account (manually, don't let it verify)

If the regkey now added a Test folder, it is indeed that key that you need to export.
The Windows Messaging key was used from about WinNT in the 90-ties all the way up to recently.

Alas, if the key doesn't appear there, now you have a unique name to find. Search for Abcdefg12345 and you'll definitely find out where the new regkey is.
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