How to Transfer Outlook Emails to New Computer: A Step-by-Step Guide

Last Updated on August 11, 2023 by Amit Bansal

Transferring Outlook emails to a new computer can seem like a daunting task, but with the right guidance,

it’s actually quite simple. Emails, calendars, contacts, and other important data are often vital components of your professional and personal life, so ensuring a seamless transition to a new device is essential.

With a clear understanding of the process, you can effectively migrate all your crucial Outlook data without any hiccups.

Working with different versions of Outlook, transferring essential data files, and dealing with unique circumstances are all factors that might come into play while moving your emails.

Knowledge about the basic steps of transferring and troubleshooting issues will help you navigate through the process with ease.

With the proper support and guidance, you can quickly and confidently switch to a new computer without losing your vital Outlook information.

This article provides instructions on how to migrate Outlook 2010, Outlook 2013, Outlook 2016, Outlook 2019 and Outlook 365 on a new computer.

Understand the Process

Transferring Outlook emails to a new computer can seem like a daunting task, but with the right approach, we can ensure a smooth and successful transition.

In this section, we will outline the key steps and considerations involved in transferring your Outlook data, including setting adjustments and identifying the right files for the move.

The primary component of the Outlook data transfer is the Personal Folders (.pst) file. This file contains email, calendar, contact, and task information for POP and IMAP accounts.

Our first step is to locate and export the .pst file on our old computer. This will ensure we have all the necessary data for the transfer.

It’s important to note that, by default, Outlook is set to download email for the past 1 year.

If we want to export all our emails, we need to adjust the sync settings in Outlook, moving the slider to “All.”

Additionally, we should avoid exporting the .pst file to a OneDrive location to prevent issues with automatic syncing.

Once we successfully locate and export our .pst file, it’s time to move it to the new computer. We can do this through methods like using an external hard drive or an online file-sharing service.

Once the file is on the new computer, we must create a new Outlook profile and import the .pst file.

During the entire process, it’s crucial to double-check our settings and file selections, ensuring the correct data is moved without loss.

By following these guidelines, we will be able to effectively transfer Outlook emails and associated data to our new computer with confidence and ease.

Basic Steps for Transferring

Transferring Outlook emails to a new computer may seem daunting, but with a few simple steps, we can efficiently move our mailbox data.

The process primarily involves exporting our current Outlook data to a .pst file, transferring the file to the new computer, and then importing it into Outlook on the new machine.

First, we need to export our Outlook emails and data. To do this, open Outlook and go to 

  • File >> Open & Export >> Import/Export.
  • In the Import and Export Wizard, choose Export to a file and click Next.
  • In the next window, select Outlook Data File (.pst) and click Next again.
Import outlook files

We’ll now see a list of all our mailboxes, calendars, and contacts. Choose what we want to transfer, not forgetting to tick the box for “Include subfolders” if needed.

Click Next and select a location to save our .pst file, giving it a memorable file name. To add extra protection, we can also set a password for the .pst file.

Finally, click Finish to complete the export.

The next step is to transfer the .pst file to our new computer. We can use various methods like copying the file to a USB drive, using a cloud storage service, or sending it over a local network.

Choose the most suitable method for our situation, and make sure the .pst file is accessible on the new machine.

Once we have the .pst file on our new computer, it’s time to import it into Outlook.

Open Outlook on the new machine and go to 

  • File >> Open & Export >> Import/Export.
  • This time, in the Import and Export Wizard, choose Import from another program or file and click Next. Select Outlook Data File (.pst) and click Next again.

Now, we need to find the .pst file we transferred earlier. Click Browse, navigate to the file location, and select our .pst file. Click Open, and then click Next.

In the import options, choose how we want our data to be imported, and select a destination for it. Click Finish to complete the import process.

By following these steps, we should have successfully transferred our Outlook emails and data to our new computer.

It’s always good practice to keep a backup of our .pst file in case we ever need to perform a similar transfer or restore in the future.

Working with Different Outlook Versions

Migrating emails from one computer to another can be a simple process if you know which Outlook version you’re working with.

In this section, we will guide you through the process for each major version of Outlook.

Outlook 2007

For Outlook 2007 users, locate the .pst file on your old computer, which contains your emails and other data. You can typically find this file in the following directory: %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook.

After locating the file, copy it to an external storage device or use a cloud service to transfer it to your new computer.

Once moved, open Outlook 2007 on the new computer and set up your email account, then import the .pst file.

Outlook 2010

In Outlook 2010, the process is similar to Outlook 2007. First, locate your .pst file on your old computer in the following directory: %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Outlook Files.

Copy this file to your new computer using an external storage device or cloud service. After setting up your email account on your new computer, import the .pst file in Outlook 2010.

Outlook 2013

For users of Outlook 2013, the process remains straightforward. Locate your .pst file in the %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Outlook Files directory on your old computer.

Copy this file to your new computer, then set up your email account and import the .pst file in Outlook 2013.

Outlook 2016

Outlook 2016 users can follow a similar process. The .pst file can be found in the %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Outlook Files directory on the old computer.

Transfer this file to your new computer, set up your email account, and open the .pst file in Outlook 2016.

Outlook 2019

If you’re using Outlook 2019, locate your .pst file in the %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Outlook Files directory on your old computer.

Transfer this file to your new computer, set up your email account, and then import the .pst file into Outlook 2019.

Outlook 2021

For Outlook 2021, the process is identical to the previous versions. Locate the .pst file in the %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Outlook Files directory on your old computer.

Next, move the file to your new computer either using an external storage device or a cloud service. Set up your email account on your new computer and import the .pst file in Outlook 2021.

In each case, the process is straightforward and mostly involves locating the appropriate .pst file, transferring it to the new computer, and importing it into the correct version of Outlook.

Following these steps will ensure a smooth migration of your emails and data to your new computer.

Dealing with Data Files

When transferring Outlook emails to a new computer, understanding and managing data files such as PST and OST files is essential.

In this section, we will discuss both PST and OST files and how to handle them effectively during a transfer.

PST Files

A Personal Storage Table (PST) file is a crucial component of Outlook, as it stores data like email messages, contacts, calendar items, and more.

To transfer Outlook data to a new computer, you can simply copy the PST file from your old computer to your new computer.

By default, PST files can be found in the Documents folder, under Outlook Files1.

To facilitate the transfer, follow these steps:

  1. Close Outlook on both computers.
  2. Connect a removable storage device, such as a USB flash drive, to your old computer.
  3. Locate the PST file on your old computer and copy it to the removable storage device.
  4. Safely eject the storage device from your old computer and connect it to your new computer.
  5. Copy the PST file from the removable storage device to the Documents >> Outlook Files folder on your new computer.

Remember to ensure that all your data is transferred successfully and avoid storing the PST file in a OneDrive location2.

OST Files

An Offline Outlook Data File (OST) stores a local copy of your mailbox that allows access to your data even when you’re not connected to the internet.

In most cases, transferring OST files isn’t necessary, as they can be recreated on your new computer.

However, if you still wish to transfer an OST file, the process is similar to that of PST files:

  1. Close Outlook on both computers.
  2. Connect a removable storage device to your old computer.
  3. Locate the OST file on your old computer and copy it to the storage device.
  4. Safely eject the storage device from your old computer and connect it to your new computer.
  5. Copy the OST file from the removable storage device to the appropriate folder on your new computer.

By understanding and correctly managing PST and OST files, we can ensure a smooth transition when transferring our Outlook data to a new computer.

Transferring Other Outlook Elements

Contacts

To transfer Contacts in Outlook, we’ll first export them as a CSV file.

Go to “File” > “Open & Export”> “Import/Export” and choose “Export to a file.”

Then, select “Comma Separated Values” and follow the prompts to export your Contacts. To import the CSV file on your new computer, repeat the steps, but select “Import from another program or file” and choose the CSV file.

Calendars

In order to move Calendars, we’ll need to export them as an ICS file. Go to your Calendar in Outlook, then right-click on the Calendar you’d like to transfer, and select “Save Calendar.”

Choose where to save the ICS file. To import the ICS file on the new computer, open Outlook, go to “File” > “Open & Export” > “Import/Export” and select “Import an iCalendar (.ics) or vCalendar file (.vcs).”

Tasks

To transfer Tasks, we are going to use the Personal Folders (.pst) file. Export the .pst file from your old computer by going to “File” > “Open & Export” > “Import/Export” and choosing “Export to a file.”

Then, select “Outlook Data File (.pst)” and follow the prompts. Once the .pst file is saved, transfer it to your new computer, and then import the .pst file into Outlook by repeating the process but selecting “Import from another program or file.”

Notes

For Notes, we will also use the Personal Folders (.pst) file method for transferring the data. Follow the same steps as mentioned for Tasks.

Subfolders

Subfolders can be transferred by exporting and importing the entire mailbox using the .pst file method. Follow the same steps as outlined for Tasks and Notes.

Attachments

Attachments are included within the messages themselves when you use the .pst file method.

By transferring your messages using the .pst file as mentioned in Tasks, Notes, and Subfolders, you will also be transferring the attachments.

Messages

To transfer Messages, simply use the .pst file method as described in the Tasks, Notes, Subfolders, and Attachments sections.

By exporting and importing the entire mailbox with the .pst file, you will successfully move your messages to the new computer.

Special Circumstances

Exchange Accounts

When dealing with Microsoft Exchange accounts, the process for transferring Outlook email data differs slightly.

Since your emails are stored on the Exchange server, there is no need to manually transfer data files; simply configure the account on the new computer, and your mail data will be synchronized automatically.

It is important to ensure that you have the appropriate permissions and access to the Exchange server and be sure to input the correct configuration settings.

Outlook for Mac

For Mac users, transferring Outlook data involves a few extra steps. First, on the old computer, export your Outlook data to an OLM (Outlook for Mac) file.

To do this, go to the “File” menu, click “Export,” and follow the prompts. Once the export process is complete, transfer the OLM file to your new Mac using an external hard drive, AirDrop, or any other preferred method.

Finally, import the OLM file into Outlook on the new Mac by going to the “File” menu, clicking “Import,” and selecting the OLM file.

Using an External Hard Drive

An external hard drive can be a helpful tool for transferring your Outlook data files between computers.

First, locate and copy the PST or OLM file (depending on your Outlook version) to the external hard drive.

Safely eject the hard drive, then plug it into the new computer and copy the file to an appropriate location.

Once the file has been transferred, use the “Import” function in Outlook to import the file into your email client.

Transferring Outlook Email

When transferring Outlook email, it is crucial to follow the correct steps to avoid losing data or causing synchronization issues.

After migrating the data file(s) to the new computer, open Outlook, and import the data file(s) by navigating to the “File” menu and selecting “Import,” followed by locating and selecting the copied data file(s).

This ensures that the email data is imported correctly and will be available in the email client on the new computer.

In conclusion, transferring Outlook data files may vary depending on the type of account, platform, and method used.

By understanding these special circumstances and following the appropriate steps, you can successfully move your Outlook email data to a new computer without any issues.

Troubleshooting and Support

Duplicates

We understand that duplicates can be a significant issue when transferring Outlook emails to a new computer.

To avoid creating duplicates during the migration process, make sure to follow the proper procedures for exporting and importing PST files.

If you encounter duplicate emails, you can use the Outlook Duplicate Items Remover or other third-party tools to easily remove them from your inbox.

Password Issues

Forgetting your password or having password-related issues can be frustrating during the migration process.

If you’re unable to access your email account due to an incorrect password, reset your password through your email provider’s website.

Additionally, if you have set a password on your PST file, ensure to use the correct password during the import process. If you have forgotten your PST password, you may need to use third-party tools to recover or reset it.

Migration Errors

Migration errors may occur for various reasons, from corrupt PST files to compatibility issues between different Outlook versions.

If you encounter problems during the email transfer, you can try the following solutions:

  • Ensure you’re using the latest version of Outlook on both computers.
  • Check that the PST file is not damaged or corrupt. You can use Microsoft’s Inbox Repair Tool (scanpst.exe) to repair any issues.
  • Make sure that the Outlook settings on both computers match, including account configurations and preferences.

As a part of our commitment to providing ongoing support, we offer various resources to assist you with any challenges you may face during the email migration process.

Additionally, our online training courses and community forums provide a wealth of knowledge, tips, and expert advice to help you navigate the process and ensure a smooth transition.

Conclusion

In this article, we have discussed the process of transferring Outlook emails to a new computer. Following the steps mentioned, users can ensure a seamless transition of their email data to their new system.

First, we emphasized the importance of exporting email data on the old computer to a PST file.

This file serves as a comprehensive backup of the user’s Outlook data. As a result, they can confidently move their data without the risk of losing important emails, contacts, or calendar events.

Next, we highlighted the need for proper data transfer methods, such as using a USB drive or cloud storage services. This ensures that the PST file can securely reach the destination computer.

Once the data file has been transferred, the final step is importing the PST into Outlook on the new computer. This process restores all email data, making it accessible in the new system.

By following these guidelines, users can effectively transfer their Outlook data to a new computer, helping them maintain their email records and continue working without disruptions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I move my Outlook Mail folders to a new Mac?

To move your Outlook Mail folders to a new Mac, you will start by exporting your Outlook data from your old Mac to a “.pst” file.

After that, send the file to your new Mac using an external drive or other file transfer method.

Finally, use the Outlook for Mac application on the new computer to import the data. We recommend using Outlook’s Import and Export Wizard to easily complete this process.

What is the process for transferring Outlook contacts to a new computer?

Transferring Outlook contacts to a new computer involves exporting your contacts to a “.pst” file and then importing them on the new device.

To export your contacts, use the Outlook Import and Export Wizard, and make sure to save the “.pst” file to an external drive or another transferable location.

Once you have the “.pst” file, open Outlook on the new device and import the contacts using the Wizard.

What are the steps to relocate the Outlook PST file?

  1. Locate the PST file on your old computer by following instructions from Microsoft’s support page.
  2. Copy the PST file to external storage (like a USB drive) or a file transfer service (like cloud storage).
  3. Connect the external storage to your new computer or access the file transfer service.
  4. Copy the PST file to a location on your new computer.
  5. Open Outlook and use the navigation File > Open & Export > Import/Export to import the PST file.

How do I migrate my Outlook profile to a new computer?

Migrating your Outlook profile to a new computer involves creating a new profile on the new device and then importing your old profile’s PST file.

First, create a new profile by going to Control Panel >> Mail >> Show Profiles >> Add.

After creating the profile, import your old profile’s PST file into the new profile using Outlook’s Import and Export Wizard.

How do I set up my existing Outlook email account on a new device?

On your new device, open Outlook and go to File >> Add Account. Enter your email address and click Connect.

You’ll be prompted to enter your password, and Outlook will set up your account. Sync the old emails and other data by importing the PST file from your old computer.

Where can I find Outlook PST files on Windows 10 and Windows 11?

In Windows 10 and Windows 11, you can usually find PST files in this location: C:\Users\your_username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook.

To access the AppData folder, you may need to enable visibility for hidden files and folders by opening a File Explorer window, clicking on the “View” tab, and checking the box next to “Hidden items.”

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Amit Bansal

Hello, my name is Amit Kumar Bansal, and I am the founder of MailSmartly.com. Through this blog, I focus on Microsoft Outlook, offering insightful and informative content. Additionally, I produce educational videos on YouTube to further enhance the understanding of my audience. visit my YouTube Channel

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