What are .PST.db and .PST.db.journal Files?

jjoeldm

New Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2013 64 bit
Email Account
IMAP
I do Mac and PC repairs and networking in Atlanta and I have a neighbor who asked me to help him move his mail folders from a Windows 10 PC running Outlook 2013 to a new MacBook Pro M1 running Monterey MacOS and into Mac Mail with folders intact.

I'm using Outlook for Mac to move his .PST into Outlook and then into Mac Mail which is as prescribed in several places as a viable method, however he has asked me to move ALL of his .PSTs so he can access all folders he's created which is fine, but when I backed up his Windows 10 disk to make sure I have everything I found an array of file suffixes I don't understand:
  1. He has several .OST (which I understand to be an offline Exchange file).
  2. He has several .pst.db which I can find no reference to (except that I assume since a .pst IS a database, it's just another name for a .pst??)
  3. He has several .pst.db.journal which I can likewise find only oblique references to (I assume it is a reference to an Outlook Journal file)
  4. He has several .xml files in the Outlook file structure along with the .pst's and are in the format of: inferences(a long string of numbers & dashes).xml
I've attached the file structures which I found, some repeated in more than one place on his PC, but the first one with the red highlighted area (which is the one PST that I have imported thus far) is his primary file structure where his active account resides.

I am trying to understand what these files are and which I should go through the procedure of importing into Outlook for Mac then into Mac Mail and I understand that those messages will be imported into Outlook for Mac and filed under the On My Computer heading then drag the folder that contains these messages to the desktop and it will be turned into an mbox file that you can import into Mail.

Any suggestions or warnings would be appreciated.

Joel
Atlanta, GA

Outlook2013files01.jpg


Outlook2013Files02.jpg
 

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
  1. He has several .OST (which I understand to be an offline Exchange file).
  2. He has several .pst.db which I can find no reference to (except that I assume since a .pst IS a database, it's just another name for a .pst??)
  3. He has several .pst.db.journal which I can likewise find only oblique references to (I assume it is a reference to an Outlook Journal file)
  4. He has several .xml files in the Outlook file structure along with the .pst's and are in the format of: inferences(a long string of numbers & dashes).xml

The only files you need are the pst files to import into mac - the other files aren't used by the mac version.

OST files are the offline cache files for Exchange accounts (including Outlook.com/hotmail) and IMAP accounts in Outlook 2013 and newer. They are a copy of the mailbox and can't be opened using another profile, so no need to copy them.

What folder are the pst.db files in? They aren't Outlook-created files but could be created by a 3rd party utility. If using the google app sync utility, it created them. Same for the .journal files.

The XML files are various files outlook uses. The only ones you might want to copy are the autocomplete ones - you can use it with a new computer or new profile. You need to send one message to create an autocomplete list, close Outlook, rename the one outlook created (I add .old to the folder name) then rename the one from the old computer the name of the one outlook created... oh wait... you are moving to mac - you can't use the autocomplete file there. :( There is a windows utility - nk2edit from nirsoft.net - that can convert the autocomplete list to contacts, but you need to run it on windows.
 

jjoeldm

New Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2013 64 bit
Email Account
IMAP
The only files you need are the pst files to import into mac - the other files aren't used by the mac version.

OST files are the offline cache files for Exchange accounts (including Outlook.com/hotmail) and IMAP accounts in Outlook 2013 and newer. They are a copy of the mailbox and can't be opened using another profile, so no need to copy them.

What folder are the pst.db files in? They aren't Outlook-created files but could be created by a 3rd party utility. If using the google app sync utility, it created them. Same for the .journal files.

The XML files are various files outlook uses. The only ones you might want to copy are the autocomplete ones - you can use it with a new computer or new profile. You need to send one message to create an autocomplete list, close Outlook, rename the one outlook created (I add .old to the folder name) then rename the one from the old computer the name of the one outlook created... oh wait... you are moving to mac - you can't use the autocomplete file there. :( There is a windows utility - nk2edit from nirsoft.net - that can convert the autocomplete list to contacts, but you need to run it on windows.

Diane,

Thanks so much, you are amazing!

I'm in the process now. It's obvious that the import utility in Outlook seems to know which files are useful as it dims everything else, so I'm heartened by this and your detailed response.

JoeL
 
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