How to get Outlook 2010 to use existing .pst file?

Mark
Mark used Ask the Experts™
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I've updated hardware for a user's Windows 7 computer which mean reinstalling Windows 7, Office, etc. from scratch. My problem is that I cannot get Outlook 2010 to use the original .pst file from the old computer. I can copy it into %localappdata%\microsoft\outlook, and delete the "new" .pst, but Outlooks ignores that and creates a new (2).pst. This user has all kinds of settings (e.g. color categories) set in the old pst. How can I get Outlook to use it?
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Sam Simon NasserIT Support Professional

Commented:
click use existing profile and point to the location of the pst
1.png

Author

Commented:
The problem is, that option is not available on that screen for IMAP account.
Arvind MauryaNoc Engineer L2

Commented:
On the IMAP configuration the data files is created as an OST file. So in that case you can create you account in outlook as an IMAP and attached the pst as an attachment .
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Sam Simon NasserIT Support Professional

Commented:
ah, in case you are using imap, outlook pull the emails from the server. so even if you have saved PST file, outlook pulls them ALL once connected and compares them (read, unread, flagged).

Author

Commented:
Arvind Maurya: I can copy the original .pst to %localappdata%\microsoft\outlook and I can open it and see all the correct color category settings. But, the inbox is not updated. I cannot remove the "new" .pst file in this folder unless I delete the account, but doing so and recreating the account creates a new .pst file; no opportunity to use the existing file as shown in Sam Simon Nasser's 1st post.

Sam Simon Nasser:
ah, in case you are using imap, outlook pull the emails from the server. so even if you have saved PST file, outlook pulls them ALL once connected and compares them (read, unread, flagged).
Not sure I understand what you're saying. Yes, all the emails are there with the new account. Just none of the color categories. As mentioned above, If I open the old pst I can see all the categories correctly set. Surely Microsoft makes provisions for retaining these settings in such a case, yes?
Sam Simon NasserIT Support Professional

Commented:
@jmarkfoley
in a clear works:
  • POP keeps the email on YOUR PC. they will be deleted from the server and eventually reside on your computer (old school - used for small space)
  • IMAP: keeps the email ON THE SERVER. So none of the email is actually stores on your computer. your email client receive and send the emails, but they reside on the server. used in unlimited emails like gmail and so on

since you mentioned the categories, i will get back to you with an answer.

Author

Commented:
Any more ideas? Is there no way to use an existing Outlook profile after re-installing Outlook from scratch?
Commented:
After consulting with other Outlook experts the conclusion is "can't be done". Thank you Microsoft.

Author

Commented:
I have the final answer

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