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Need help moving Outlook 2016 imap account to new computer

I'm setting up a new computer for the client.  On his old PC he had Outlook 2016 that was installed from his Office 365 account, and in c:\users\main\appdata\local\microsoft\outlook was his .ost file and a mapisvc.inf file.  

Now I'm trying to find the best and most painless way to get this all working on his new PC.  I have downloaded and installed Outlook 2016 using his Office 365 account.  Before opening Outlook I created the Outlook folder in  c:\users\main\appdata\local\microsoft\ and copied in those two files.  Now I am hoping there is a way i can start up Outlook and it will "see" what I have done and start working without a bunch of complicated setup...but apparently I'm not doing it right.

When I start up Outlook it asks for the users email address, and asks if I want to configure manually, and no matter what I answer it offers me choices such as Office 365, Outlook.com, Exchange, google, POP, Imap, or Exchange 2013.  I tried choosing Imap but it wanted me to key in all the setup stuff such as inbound and outbound server.

What steps should I take to do this right--where it will see the .ost file and start running Outlook just like I did on the old computer?  TIA
OutlookMicrosoft 365

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Paul MacDonald

8/22/2022 - Mon
Paul MacDonald

IMAP just refers to the protocol the client (Outlook 2016) uses to talk to the server (Office 365), and means nothing else.  

The .OST file is just a local offline cache of mail Outlook has brought down to the client computer.   It's not really necessary to bring it from the old computer because the new installation will just make a new one.

You don't mention it, but if there were any .PST files on the old computer, they should be brought over to the new computer.  A .PST file is an archive of mail that the user explicitly saves.

When you set up Outlook 2016 on the new machine, select "Office 365" and just walk through the wizard.  Outlook will be set up just fine, a new .OST file will be created, mail (and calendar, etc) will sync in a few minutes, and all will be well.

Unfortunately it did not go that easy for me.  When I selected Office 365 it gave me a setup error, but then went on into Outlook with no email appearing.  So I go to Account Settings and it shows nothing at all on the Email tab, although on the Data Files tab it shows a .pst file that it must have just set up and is presumably empty.  On this tab I tried to Add and browsed for the .ost file I copied over, but it says it is not a valid Outlook file.  

So now I went to the Email tab again, and click on New, and it shows his email address and I click on Connect and choose Office 365, but it goes back to the same error screen I saw originally.

Choice 1: Not (user email address)?  No need to try this one because the address is correct.

Choice 2: Change account settings.  If I click this it takes me back to the screen where I can choose from Office 365 or others.

Choice 3: Troubleshoot.  If I click this it takes me into Outlook, where in the account settings the Email tab is empty and the Data Files tab shows that empty .pst.

I seem to be going around in circles.  How can I get it recognize the .ost file i copied--or should I delete that file?  Do I need to do a manual setup and key in the ports and servers etc--like I was hoping to avoid?
Paul MacDonald

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I still could not get it to work so I called MS support, and it ends up that in this case I had to do a manual imap configuration.
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James Murphy
Paul MacDonald

Wow!  I'm at a loss about that.  Did they say why it had to be set up as IMAP instead of as "Office 365"?  I'm curious about that requirement.