Migrating old pst files (saved to outside driver) to new computer with Win7 to use mailing continuously

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Csaba Cs


I bought a new computer with Win7, and I want to use my mailing from my previous XP Professional packed computer. I saved all the Outlook files (pst and achive) to a driver, now I want to migrate them to the right place on my new computer but I simply can not find the Document and setting folder and the precise location from where I could open the old Outlook files once put on the right place. Please let me know how to procede as I need it very urgently!

Thanks a lot,

regards, Csaba CSEDŐ, Budapest

Brian Tillman

There is no "right place". You can put Outlook PSTs in any folder where you have permission. What you should never do is overwrite a PST with another of the same name. Perhaps this will help you: Moving Outlook to a New Computer.

Csaba Cs

thanks Brian, I'll try it during the weekend and see what comes out in the end! Previously I moved the files to a location I had permission to, but when mailing the system still used the new Outlook files not being able to open the old files, even though I indicated the path in the location box..I used this function well and worked fine while using XP, could perheps this be because of Win7?? For instance I can not open the Documents and Settings file, not even with the Total Commander. Win7 does not even show where to find the folder..it is hidden. Any idea here? I think this issue has to to with Win7 feature.

Hal Hostetler - Print-Imaging [MVP]

Documents and Settings was replaced by a folder named "Users" starting with Windows Vista. The normal location for Outlook data is:


As Brian says, do NOT overwrite any files you find here or you'll very likely corrupt your Outlook profile. Your old .PST file should be openable from within Outlook using 'File|Open|Outlook Data File:

Reconnect your old Outlook data file.


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Csaba Cs

thanks Hal,

in Win7, at least in the one I have purchased together with a Toshiba Tecra, there is no AppData under Users\Username. Is there an alternative location??

As I'd like to use my old files for mailing, I need to replace the current default file, which is already in use (I need to know first where it is located, and then, I guess, I' have to place the old ones at this very location, after I deleted the current pst files). ??

Russ Valentine

Do not trust your instincts. What you have been told in every reply so far is that it is a bad idea to attempt to place your Outlook data file in the default location. Place it anywhere but there. Place it where you keep your other data to make data backups easier.

Moreover, you never delete a PST file if it is already connected to an Outlook profile. If you want to know where your current PST file is, just examine its properties. Then you need to clarify what you want to do: use your old file instead of the current one or transfer data from the old to the new. All of that is covered here daily.

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, Outlook 2010 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

Asem Kasem


I read the comments here, and many many other related posts... and I'm wondering if someone know how to use an old .pst file of an IMAP account in outlook 2010 (not POP).
I began to believe it's not possible to reuse an old .pst file of an imap account in another computer (or profile) in outlook 2010. Once I create the imap account (gmail for example), I have no control over the pst file that it uses. I can't change the associated pst file, and I can't even replace it from outside outlook (which worked for me in versions earlier than 2010).

Also importing the emails from the old pst file (using import&export) is not working... it's taking very very long time, with freezes and problems, and I started to doubt that it's making duplicates of all my data... one copy is being imported from the old file, and the other is synced with the imap server. Even if I disconnect internet connection, it says that this account must be online to continue importing old data to it.

I know that I can always re-sync everything with gmail from beginning, and forget about the old pst file, but I have 2 gmail accounts, one is about 3 Gig, and the other is 1 Gig... so it's taking very very long time to read all emails again. Even if I do it now, I don't want to repeat this long process again if I decide to move to another computer, or if something happen and I need to restore my data.

Can anyone help? If something is unclear, I can provide more details
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