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Exporting/Importing E-mails in Outlook

5:32 am on Jul 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I have a bunch of e-mails that Iíve received on my laptop while I was on vacation remotely accessed from my ISP (Earthlink). I need to transfer them to my desktop, along with all attachments, so that they will be integrated chronologically with the rest of the e-mails already on my desktop. I use Outlook and have Windows XP Home on the laptop and Pro on the desktop. I tried the export/import function using a CD as the medium of exchange that is available under the File drop down menu but it doesnít seem to transfer any attachments and it doesnít transfer all the fields that I need, especially the date field. I tried the mapping fields advanced tab on the import side of the effort, but I couldnít find listed several of the fields that I need to transfer. I donít want to just re-send the e-mails to myself from the laptop to the desktop because the sender field becomes me (for incoming) instead of the original sender, and the opposite for outgoing. How can I transfer these e-mails so that they will appear in Outlook on my desktop as if I received them originally? I canít find any help on Microsoftís knowledge base on this. Thanks.
9:11 pm on Jul 23, 2005 (gmt 0)


You'll want to use (on the laptop)
then Export to a file.
Select Personal folder (PST) as your export type. Select the folder you want to export (you may want to move them into a subfolder to make sure you only get the ones you want)
click, next,
save the file to your desktop, or some other place.
then if you want to password proctect the file you can do that on the next screen.
when you click ok, your done.

Now go to the desktop,
import a file,
pick Personal folder file (pst),
point to the file (which you can point to a CD if needed)
then you will be asked where you want the files to go.

Have fun.

5:19 am on Jul 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Thanks Bulldog, but that's what I've tried several times. Each time, the attachments don't come along with the e-mails and the date fields as well as other fields don't come along either. They end up as blanks, so when these imported e-mails get integrated into my desktop's inbox for example, they all appear in a clump at the top with blank dates. In some cases, if I export to Excel, the body of the e-mail message is cut off after 255 characters. I even tried copying the entire Outlook pst file to a CD, and then tried to import the entire pst file through the desktop's Ouotlook import function from the CD, but got a message saying that access to the CD was denied and that I did not have access rights to the imported file! That's funny since I am the administrator on my home desktop! I can't believe this is such a difficult exercise becausse it should be absolutely easy and foolproof. Any more suggestions? Thansk.
12:14 pm on Aug 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Here's a link to an explanation of how to accomplish what you want to do. There may be other similar sites out there; just do a search for "merge PST files"


You can eliminate the problem in the future (for incoming mail, anyway) by saving all messages on your mail server until you return to the office. Then you can just download them again to your office machine. But as I mentioned, your outgoing mail will still be missing.

3:29 pm on Aug 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Thanks for the link. However, it appears to address an office net work situation where files from different computers can be copied to a common location. No can do here. I have probably 10,000 e-mails stored on my desktop and need to integrate maybe 100 e-mails from the laptop into the desktop pst file. I also need to come up with a process that can be done easily, quickly and regularly after I travel. I am still stumped. I am now starting to wonder if the problem is incompatibility between Outlook 2002 and Outlook 2003. One Microsoft Knowledge Base article I read (Sharing Information with Earlier Versions of Outlook) mentioned the new Unicode file format for pst files now included in Outlook 2003. It went on to say "These file format changes might introduce problems if you upgrade to Outlook 2003 and create files with the new format, and then try to share files with someone using an earlier versin of Outlook." Well, that seems to describe my situation, but the article offers no solutions or work-arounds. My desktop runs Outlook 2002 and the laptop runs Outlook 2003. I find no warning or instructions about this incompatibility in any of the product or help information on the new laptop. The only incompability info in "Help" on the laptop talks about creating e-mails using more than one language letters (which now can be done with the Unicode in Outlook 2003) as yielding "?" markes in certain fields if you try to open the message in an earlier version of Outlook. So, what should be, according to the help instructions, a very easy process of exporting the file to a CD on the laptop and them importing that file from the CD to the desktop, completely fails. The exporting from the laptop to the CD goes fine. But when I try to import the file from the CD to the desktop Outlook, I get either an ďaccess deniedĒ message, or a message that the file type is incompatible, depending on how I go about trying to do the import. Iíve spent over 3 hours with a service tech supervisor at Toshiba trying to figure this out and he has concluded that the pst files created by the 2003 Outlook program are incompatible with the pst files that the Outlook 2002 can read. He was completely surprised by this conclusion. Outlook 2003 has the ability to read Unicode pst files as well as older pst files, but I canít seem to find any way on the laptop to convert the Unicode pst files to older versions. If I try the export/import using comma or tab separated values, I loose the attachments and the date field. If I just resend the e-mails to myself from the laptop and pick them up on the desktop, the date and sender fields get changed to the current date and me as the sender instead of the client. If I export to Excel, I loose the attachments and the messages are limited to 255 characters. THIS CANNOT BE HAPPENING! SOMETHING AS CRUCIAL AS IMPORTING E-MAILS FROM ONE COMPUTER TO ANOTHER CANíT BE PROHIBITED BY A LATEST AND GREATEST UPDATED SOFTWARE PROGRAM! So I am still stumped. Thanks.
4:01 pm on Aug 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Have you tried copying the file off of the CD and onto your hard drive before attempting the import?

Also, have you tried going the other way? I know that is not what you want to do, but it would tell you if it was Outlook 2002/2003 conflict or not.

6:22 pm on Aug 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Yes, I have tried copying the file from the CD to the desktop HD first, and then trying to import to Outlook. Again, no luck. I have not tried the reverse, but I imagine that there would be no problem because Outlook 2003 itself is backward compatible. In fact, in Outlook 2003, if you go Tools, then Options, then Mail Setup, then Data Files, then click the Add button, you will see a screen entitled "New Outlook Data File" and listing two types of pst files for storage, viz., Office Outlook Personal Folders File (.pst), and Outlook 97-2002 PErsonal Folders File (.pst). The description of the first one says "Provides more storage capacity for items and folders. Supports multiplingual Unicode data. Not compatible with Outlook 97, 98, 2000, and 2002."

So, another dead end. If there were a way to convert the Outlook 2003 .pst files on the laptop to Outlook 97-2002 .pst files, then the export-import would probably work. But, then, as I have been proved wrong many times when dealing with computers, that would be easy.

Microsoft must have a conversion tool somewhere, but I can't find it. HELP!

1:59 am on Aug 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator bill is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

On the Outlook 2003 machine create a Outlook 97-2002 compatible PST file. Then open both PST files and drag/copy the information over from the original Outlook 2003 PST.

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