How to Import PST File Into Outlook

By Regina Edwards

Microsoft Outlook Personal Folder files (PST) are useful for creating archives and backups of emails, calendars, contacts and projects to optimize data usage. Newer versions of Outlook (i.e., Outlook 2003 and 2007) can open PST files directly without activating the Import/Export wizard. Earlier versions of Outlook (i.e., Outlook 97-2002) use the Import/Export function to import PST files as folders. Outlook 2003/2007 can export data files in a PST format that can be imported into earlier versions of Outlook, so users have the flexibility of accessing archives from older computers.

Import to Outlook 2003/2007

Step 1

Select "Open" under "File" in the top menu bar.

Step 2

Select your desired PST file and click the "Open" button.

Step 3

Wait for the data files to be imported into your application (depending on the file size and the speed of your computer, this may take 15 to 30 minutes).

Step 4

Confirm that a folder appears in your Folder List (in the right-hand frame) named "Personal Folder" or with the name of the PST file.

Outlook 2003/2007 to Outlook 97-2002

Step 1

Confirm that the Outlook 2003 or 2007 files were exported in a PST format for Outlook 97-2002. If not, see section 3 for exporting instructions.

Step 2

Select the "Import and Export" option under "File" in the top menu bar.

Step 3

Select the option, "Import from another program or file" and click the "Next" button.

Step 4

Select the option, "Personal Folders File (.pst)" and click the "Next" button to open a dialog box.

Step 5

Select the desired PST file in the "File to Import" window and click the "Next" button.

Step 6

Click the option to "Import items into the same folder" and select your current Personal File Folder (usually named "Outlook" or "Personal Folder").

Step 7

Click the "Next" button to begin importing data and wait for the process to be completed (this may take 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the PST file to be imported and the speed of your computer).

Step 8

Click the "Finish" button to close the Import/Export wizard.

Step 9

Confirm that the PST folder contents were added in your folder list (e.g., including subfolders).

Exporting for Outlook 97-2002

Step 1

Select "New" under "File" in the top menu button and click "Outlook Data File."

Step 2

Select the format for "Outlook 97-2002 Personal File (.pst)" and click the "OK" button.

Step 3

Type the desired file name in the field and click the "OK" button to create a folder in your Outlook list.

Step 4

Select the "Import and Export" function under "File" in the top menu bar.

Step 5

Click the option, "Import from another program or file" and click the "Next" button.

Step 6

Select the "Personal Folders File (.pst)" option and click the "Next" button to open a dialog box.

Step 7

Select your Outlook Personal Folder file in the "File to Import" box and click the "Next" button.

Step 8

Select the option, "Import items into the same folder in" and select the Outlook 97-2002 Personal Folder you created in step 3.

Step 9

Click the "Next" button to begin the exporting/importing process.

Step 10

Select the option, "Delete exported files" if desired and click the "Next" button to begin the process (this make take 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the speed of your computer and if your files are numerous and/or large).

Step 11

Click the "Finish" button to close the Import/Export wizard.