Video walkthrough for importing email into Outlook

Enough people have trouble with importing email into Outlook or trying to create PST files that we felt it necessary to give an explicit walk-through of detailed instructions. We’ve also been experimenting with answering tech support requests with video “screencasts”, so I’m putting them both in this post for future reference.

Outlook has many advanced features and the user interface presents many different ways to perform any given task, but the problem is that not all results are consistent. After much experimentation, we’ve found a sequence of actions that will work in most circumstances.

The screencast starts with the act of converting Entourage email, but you could substitute the converting of any supported format. For example, you could use these instructions to move a standard mbox file into Outlook, too, as a general way to convert mbox to PST files.

View Screencast here: http://screencast.com/t/ktDmvphFJ6

Step 1: Convert your mail to the IMAP ImportServer format

  1. do this on the computer you are moving to, or at least the same kind of computer (Windows, Mac, etc.)
  2. copy your email from your old computer to the new computer
  3. run Emailchemy, use the “Conversion Wizard” tool (you’ll be in it after Emailchemy starts)
  4. select the source format, click Next
  5. select your old email files, click Convert
  6. select the IMAP ImportServer format from the drop-down list
  7. enter a name, like “convertedmail”

Step 2: Start the IMAP ImportServer

  1. in Emailchemy, click the Toolbox button
  2. select the “convertedmail.imapserver” folder — it should already be in the file box, though
  3. click the “Start Server” button

Step 3: Connect Outlook to the IMAP server

  1. launch Outlook, using the menu, select Tools –> Account Settings…
  2. click New to create a new account
  3. choose Microsoft Exchange, POP3, IMAP or HTTP, then click Next
  4. at the bottom of the next window, check “Manually configure server settings…” and click Next
  5. select Internet E-mail and click Next
  6. Enter the following:
    • Your Name: import
    • E-mail Address: import@localhost
    • Account Type: IMAP
    • Incoming mail server: localhost
    • Outgoing mail server: localhost
    • User Name: import
    • Password: mymail
  7. Click “More Settings…”, click the Advanced tab, and enter:
    • Incoming server (IMAP): 8143
  8. Click OK, then Next, then Finish, then Close (to close the Account Settings window)

[Note: at this point you should be able to browse your mail on the server. If you do not see your mail folders inside the mail account folder in Outlooks navigation pane, then you can right-click on the account name (import@localhost) and select "Update Folder List"]

Step 4: Force Outlook to download the mail

  1. in Outlook, click on a folder in the new account folder, any folder
  2. using the main menu, select Tools –> Send/Receive –> Send/Receive Settings –> Define Send/Receive Groups
  3. select All Accounts, then click the Edit button
  4. select the option: “Download complete items including attachments…”
    • optional: uncheck “Send mail items” (turn this back on after done importing)
  5. click OK, then Close
  6. click Send/Receive in the toolbar

[Note: this part can take some time while Outlook is downloading all the email from the server.]

When complete, your mail will be in the PST file found by right-clicking on the account folder, select Properties, then click “Advanced…”. From this point you can copy your mail to an existing PST file or a new one.

Step 5 Option A: Copy the mail to an existing local PST file

  1. right-click on the server folder you want to copy — all subfolders will be copied automatically
  2. select “Copy (name of folder you selected)…”
  3. a window will popup and ask you to select the folder to copy the server folder to, or you can create a new folder
  4. click OK

Step 5 Option B: Copy the mail to a new PST file:

  1. select the server folder you want to copy
  2. using the main menu, select File –> Import and Export…
  3. select “Export to a file”, click Next
  4. select “Personal Folder File (.pst)”, click Next
  5. double check you have the right folder selected, then click “Include subfolders”
  6. select where to save the new PST file and what to call it, then click Finish

At this point you can then open the PST file you just created with File –> Open –> Outlook Data File


About matt

The primary developer of Emailchemy and founder of Weird Kid Software LLC.
This entry was posted in Emailchemy FAQ, Tips and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Video walkthrough for importing email into Outlook

  1. C. Stuart says:

    Wow, after many years of screwing around looking for an Entourage or AppleMail convertor to ANY Windows Mail program, I stumbled across your website & Emailchemy. As a Mac user I found the hoops a bit difficult to deal with & these instructions nailed the process, I can now send my Macmail to Outlook, as I want to keep at least part of my mail on Windows. Thanks a million, will be following up with an order

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