James Senior at Microsoft: Like a kid in a candy store

Import Outlook PST into Windows Mail

Import Outlook PST into Windows Mail

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I've been asked recently how to import an Outlook PST file into Windows Mail and I thought it would be worth sharing how to do this.  I headed over to the Windows Mail forums (part of the Windows Vista community) to see if there were any solutions already documented.  There were.

Here are some key points I took from one of the posts, the most important of which is POINT 3.

  1. Outlook must be installed on the computer that the .pst file is to be exported.
  2. Individual messages from Outlook (.msg) cannot be dragged and dropped into WIndows Mail (or even Outlook Express on XP for that matter)
  3. In Outlook on Windows XP export the PST to Outlook Express then import those into Windows Mail
  4. Outlook Contacts will need to be exported as a Comma Separated Values text file for import into Windows Contacts
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  • Problem is that you'll come across this import problem when you've got Vista running on your machine and not XP with Outlook.

    The thing I did was install a trial version of Office 2007 which had Outlook 2007 in the package.

    (Import the old pst file(s) in Outlook 2007 trial) - optional

    After that the appropriate MAPI driver is installed on your system and you are able to open the old pst files in Windows Mail.

    Having done this you can easily copy-paste the stuff you want to your Inbox/Calendar/etc.

  • Hi Jan,

    That's true - thanks for sharing!


  • Sirs,

    What about .dbx files ?


  • Antonio,

    if I'm right, those .dbx files are from Outlook Express which is standardly build in WindowS XP.

    You should be able to import those to Windows Mail very easilly.

    Just start Windows Mail, File, Import.

    Select the Outlook Express verion you are using, and then browse to the .dbx file.

    Then double click it and Windows Mail should import them!

  • how to import message from outlook express to outlook with vista program.

  • Same old problem of file transfer tricks.

    Mine is from Windows ME outlook express to Windows Mail. When I followed proposed procedure, I was told I needed a mapi driver to allow this transfer. How about pulling me out of this rot?


  • Ok, ppl and the microsoft mail says thats ez to import files from the import tool like dude previously explained a few post ago. but my problem is that windows mail bring two option in the import screen where the first is the right option. ok but my windows mail brought the first option disabled allowing me to select only the second option that required a file wich is not the .dbx file from key/identities/outlook express folder that i backed up.

    how do u import my .dbx files to my windows mail?

    ps.: i dont want to install free trial or n other version of microsoft outlook 2007 or 2003.


  • So there is no other way to move Outlook or Outlook Express files from the old computer to Microsoft Mail on my new computer other than to buy or download Outlook as a intermediary?!!!

     When I have physically put the .dbx file on my computer, Mail doesn't find it.  It asks for location of an "OE6 store directory" but doesn't allow you to show the location.

    Can't this company make anything simple??

  • How can it be cool technology if it is so difficult to migrate to? Vista is a joke.

  • This is all very well, I installed Outlook 2007 and it kept "not responding" and I wasn't able to do anything with it.  I gave up and took it off.  

    I just need a solution for being able to have a common diary and contacts that works with both XP and Vista when I'm off-line.  Any suggestions?

  • Well, got my mail imported, but now when I try to use Vista Contacts, and I hit "import" I get an error box with a big red X and no text.  I can't edit contacts already in there, or create new ones manually either.  Only thing I can think of is I edit the registry for wab.dll to point to Common Files.  Anyone know what the original entry was?  (I know should have written it down, sorry).  Or what could be screwing up Vista Contacts otherwise?

  • So glad to find this page after wading through so much stuff! Unbelievable that there were only instructions on imports if you were upgrading to Vista on the same machine rather than a new one on the Windows help page.

    I had a copy of Outlook 2000 I could put on the new Vista machine, but after installing it refused to import anything because it said the wab.dll was missing. I went from Microsoft Office on the XP machine without creating a .pst file after all.

    For people looking for more step by step instructions (if you suck at this stuff like me):

    I ended up importing the Outlook mail to Outlook Express on the old XP computer, then copying the Outlook Express mailboxes to the new Vista computer and importing those in Windows Mail.

    1) Start Outlook Express, fill in some random information to set up your dud account (mine wouldn't let me just next through that process with empty fields and the application had never been used)

    2) File > Import > Messages select Microsoft Outlook or Microsoft Exchange then All Folders

    Find out where your messages are being stored in Outlook Express:  

    3) Tools > Options, on the Maintenance tab there's a button labeled Store Folder, select and copy the name of the directory (last file folder name should be "Outlook Express")

    Copy the entire folder of mailboxes to a storage place the new computer can access:

    4) Start > Run paste in the file path copied in step 3 and click OK

    5) Click the up arrow to get to the parent folder, select the "Outlook Express" folder

    6) copy the entire Outlook Express directory to a flash drive, burn to a cd, or put somewhere else it will be accessible from the new computer

    7) on the new Vista computer copy the Outlook Express directory from your cd/flash drive/whatever onto the desktop (or anywhere else easy to find)

    Import into Windows Mail:

    8) Open Microsoft Mail on the new Vista machine

    9) File > Import > Messages select Microsoft Outlook Express 6 then click Next

    10) select "Import mail from an OE6 store directory" and click OK

    11) Click Browse and find the "Outlook Express" folder you saved on your desktop. (Don't go into the directory, just highlight and click "Select Folder" then click Next

    12) Select "All folders" (unless you really do only want some of them) and click Next

    You should see it importing the messages.

    Haven't attempted copying the address book. The computers I'm doing this from aren't mine and there doesn't seem to be anything in the address book, although if you start typing in the To line previously used address do appear. If anyone has any suggestions about where those addresses are actually stored please let me know!

  • Let me see if I understand this.  As to point number 1, I need to install Outlook on the Vista computer?  (I assume that's the case since obviously Outlook is already on the XP computer, which has the emails.)  Then export the pst file on the XP computer from Outlook to Outlook Express, and then import from Outlook Express into Windows Mail on the Vista computer?  Sorry, this is all above my pay grade. Thanks.

  • I use Windows Mail Import (Windows XP to Vista) but it does not recognize Outlook express .dbx files. I select the option Import/messages....select OutlookExpress6 and the .dbx files can not be imported or are unrecognized. Even import account settings and get a message "No other  e-mail accounts could be found". Which is stupid. Of course no mail accounts could be found which is exatly why I want to import them.

  • Thanks Ali_Jane for well written excellent advice.  I'd been puzzling on how to do this and wondered if exporting to Outlook Express was the way forward but I wouldn't have been able to do it without these notes. I've still to find a way to export Contacts and the Calender though.  Next time I upgrade software I'll pay rather more attention to what I'm buying.....

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