How to Copy Categories from the Old ANSI PST to the New Unicode PST?

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Jennifer Murphy

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 64 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
With Diane's help, I was able to convert my old ANSI PST to a new Unicode PST. Everything seems to be working properly. Thanks a million Diane.

Today, I went to assign a contact to a category onto to discover that none of my categories that used to exist in the old PST are in the new one. I checked a few websites, which told me I needed to do some unnatural acts with the Registry. That freaks me out, so I thought I'd check in here.

Is there a simple way too copy the categories over and restore the assignments as they were in the old PST? That is, I want to not only copy the categories over, but also have each of the contacts assigned to the same categories as they were in the old PST.
 

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange

Jennifer Murphy

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 64 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
As far as I can tell, the categories were not there at all. I had about 20 categories such as "Friends", "Neighbors", "Family", "Tennis", etc. When I opened a contact that was assigned to a category, no bar, colored or white, appeared across the top.

I followed the steps in the tutorial. When I clicked on the Upgrade to Color Categories button, I got the warning message in the attached screenshot. I clicked "OK". As far as I could tell, it was instantaneous, which made me wonder if it did anything. There was no indication whatsoever.

Now when I open a contact, the categories are there, but the colors are all wrong.

Is there any way to fix that? (sigh)
 

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Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
The only fix for the colors is to edit them manually. Upgrade adds the category names but not the colors. If you have a lot, it might be cost effective to use a utility (listed at the bottom of the link I posted earlier) or a macro to get the names and colors.

You could set the old pst as default, run the macro to get the list of names and colors, then set the new pst back and run a macro to restore the colors and names.

This page has everything you need: Macro for color categories
 

Jennifer Murphy

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 64 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
OK, thanks. I really appreciate your help. This whole process sure reinforces to me what an irresponsible company M$FT has become. I have wasted the better part of 3-4 days on what should have been a 5 minute conversion if M$FT had provided a conversion utility. Even the manual steps were filled with landmines and gotchas and "can't get there from here" goodies.
 
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