Recovering Outlook contacts

  • Thread starter velogreg
  • Start date Views 642


I have just recently purchased MS Office 2010 for my new computer and would like to migrate my older MS Outlook contacts list from a older 2003 version. Which file do I need to copy and does it involve any file conversions?

Russ Valentine

The file you need is your Personal Folders file (*.pst) It's where all the mail, calendar, contacts etc are stored. Format has not changed between version 2003 and 2010 so no conversions are necessary.

Take a look at these pages for info on Outlook data backup or transfer:
Moving Outlook to a New Computer

Note that some of the information on the Microsoft page is outdated and contains errors, particularly when applied to Outlook 2003, 2007 or 2010. Specifically:
1. Ignore any advice to copy your PST file to Outlook's default location to connect it to your profile. Doing so will often corrupt your Outlook profile. Copy it anywhere BUT the default location and then open it within your Outlook profile.
2. Ignore any advice that tells you to use export or import to transfer an entire Outlook data file. That has never been sound advice, but the process has become too deeply flawed to be trusted.

Also, when you use manual configuration for your mail accounts in Outlook 2010 (always preferable) it has a nice new option that lets you connect to a pre-existing data file when creating a new profile instead of having to jump through all the hoops of creating a new file, connecting to the pre-existing file, then disconnecting the new file.

Russ Valentine