How to Move Outlook Mail From One PC to Another

By Regina Edwards

Laptops offer a convenient solution for mobile computing. Transferring emails from an older PC to a newer one or consolidating email accounts to one PC can be accomplished using an external hard drive. The export and archive functions in Microsoft Outlook enable users to transfer emails, personal address books and calendars between computers, reduce space or create backup files. The .pst file format used by Outlook facilitates transfer between PCs when upgrading software or operating systems.

Things You'll Need

  • External hard drive (or USB thumb drive with enough capacity for the archive file)

Export Outlook Mail to an Archive

Step 1

Select "Import and Export" under "File" in the top menu bar of Outlook to launch the Import and Export wizard.Select "Export to a file" in the list of actions to perform.Click the "Next" button.

Step 2

Select "Personal Folder File (.pst)" in the list of file types.Click the "Next" button.

Step 3

Select your Inbox in the list of folders and check the box next to "Include subfolders."Click the "Next" button.

Step 4

Click the "Browse" button to select your destination folder or your desktop.Click the "OK" button to return to the Import and Export wizard.Type the file name for your export, include the extension ".pst" in your file name and select an option for duplicates (such as "Allow duplicate items to be created").Click the "Finish" button.

Step 5

Open a window of the folder containing the exported file. Open a second window containing your external hard drive or USB thumb drive (external drives can be accessed under "My Computer" in the Start menu).Drag your exported file to your storage device to create a copy.Safely eject your storage device and disconnect from your computer.

Archiving Emails in Outlook

Step 1

Select "Archive" under "File" in the top menu bar to launch the Archive wizard.Select the radio button next to the option "Archive this folder and all subfolders."Select your date using the calendar drop-down menu (it is defaulted to today's date).

Step 2

Click the "Browse" button and select your destination folder or your desktop.Type the file name and confirm the file type is "Personal Folders File." If a different file type is designated, choose "Personal Folders File" from the "Save as type" drop-down menu.Click the "OK" button to return to the Archive wizard.

Step 3

Click the "OK" button to begin archiving.Wait for the archiving process to finish--you will see your emails disappear from your Inbox as the archive is created.

Step 4

Open a window of the folder containing the exported file. Open a second window containing your external hard drive or USB thumb drive (external drives can be accessed under "My Computer" in the Start menu).Drag your exported file to your storage device to create a copy.Safely eject your storage device and disconnect from your computer.

Transfer and Import Outlook Mail to Another PC

Step 1

Connect your external hard drive or insert your USB thumb drive into the appropriate slot in your computer.Launch the MS Outlook application and select "Import and Export" under "File" in the top menu bar to launch the Import and Export wizard.

Step 2

Select "Import from another program or file" in the list of actions.Click the "Next" button.

Step 3

Select "Personal Folder File (.pst)" in the list of file types.Click the "Next" button.

Step 4

Click the "Browse" button to locate your exported file in your storage device.Click the "Open" button.Select the radio button next to the option to direct handling duplicates (for example, select "Replace duplicates with items imported")Click the "Next" button.

Step 5

Click the "Finish" button when the process is complete to exit the Import and Export wizard.A separate archive file will appear in your Mail Folders. You can select and drag items and folders to your Inbox.Eject your storage device safely and disconnect your external drive.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't forget your Sent folder. Archiving or exporting emails in your Sent folder requires a separate file to be created (i.e., export or archive) and then imported.