How to migrate Microsoft Outlook from one computer to another?

After buying a new laptop, one of the things I had to do was migrating Microsoft Outlook 2007 from my old computer running Vista onto the new laptop running Windows 7. Now it is quite straighforward to copy the emails that you’ve received (or sent) to another PC but getting your email accounts to work on the new machine is a real killer.

If you have just one or two email accounts in MS Outlook 2007, then you can manually create the accounts once you have transferred your emails but if you have like a dozen email accounts, then it might be better to copy them from the old PC to the new one instead. To migrate your emails to another PC, all you have to do is create a backup of the emails. You do that by going into File -> Import & Export and choose ‘Export to a file’ and select “Personal Folder File (.pst)” and then choose the folder you wish to export. Usually it will be the Personal Folders and make sure you tick the box to include all subfolders as well. You might have to repeat this task if you want to copy your Archive Folders as well. Once you saved the .pst file on your old computer, you can then copy it to your new PC. You will have to copy it to the folder designated for Outlook files. It will be something like C:\Users\<your-user-name>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook\ (replace <your-user-name> with the name of the user that you use to log onto windows). Once this file has been copied there, you can then go back and click on File -> Data File Management (the Data Files tab should be selected now) and you can click on “Add” to add a new datafile to MS Outlook. You will need to select the .pst file that you just copied in outlook user directory. Do it for both the Personal Folders file and Archives one as well if you’ve copied it. Once this is complete, you’ll got all your emails on your new computer.

How do I copy all my Microsoft Outlook 2007 Email Account Settings from one computer to another?

With the above steps, your new computer will have all your emails but not the email account settings required to send/receive emails. If you do not want to enter each configuration (POP3 details, server name, usernames) one by one, then you will have to edit your registry file to do that. Note that passwords are not carried over, therefore you will have to enter the passwords for each account manually on the first send/receive emails and save them so that you do not have to enter them everytime. If you go to your old computer and launch Registry Editor (Start -> Run -> and type regedit.exe), you can then browse to the following:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version\Windows Messaging Subsystem\Profiles\Outlook

Right click on the folder and click on Export and save the file (.reg) somewhere on your old computer. Next transfer this file to your new computer and double click on it. This will launch warnings that you’re making changes to the registry, accept them. Note you may need to be logged on as an administrator on windows to perform this. Once this is done, you can launch Microsoft Outlook 2007 to see if it works – you may find that it doesn’t work and you find problems like cannot locate file to open or whatever other errors and this will be because the profile that has been created by the registry editor does not match the name. If that happens, go back to the old PC and look how the file is named there. My one was called DefaultProfile but when I copied it on the new laptop, it was named DefaultOutlook. You just need to rename it as DefaultProfile (same name as it appears on the old computer) and everything should work fine. Re-open outlook and it should work now. Remember that you will need to enter the passwords for all your email accounts when Outlook does its first send and receive emails and you have to check the box that says “save password…”.

For some strange reason, when that was completed for me, Microsoft Outlook had switched my Personal Folders file that I imported with a default one. You just need to re-select your default Personal Folders/Archive .pst files where you copied it on your new computer and you will have all your emails again. Make the Personal Folders file default now and remove the other ones.

I’ve tried to use Windows Easy Transfer to get MS Outlook migrated to my new laptop but it didn’t work. I spent so much time downloading Windows Easy Transfer for my Vista computer (although it did have one, I had to install a newer version), put the public key and selected which files I wanted to transfer (in this case only outlook files) but it didn’t do the job. Actually it just copied the email files and not the email account settings. As a matter of fact, your email account settings are stored in the registry, so you will have to use the above method to get Microsoft Outlook working on your new machine.

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