Export or manually archive Outlook items

An easy way to reduce the size of your Inbox is to export — manually archive to an Outlook for Mac Data File (Outlook for Mac Data File: A file exported by Outlook for Mac that contains a user's e-mail messages, contacts, calendar events, and other information. An Outlook for Mac Data File can be used as an archive or to transfer data between computers.) (.olm) on your Mac — your e-mail messages, contacts, and other items (items: Units of information in Outlook, such as e-mail messages, calendar events, contacts, tasks, and notes.). You can still access this data at any time, and you can even transfer individual items, or the entire Data File, to Outlook for Mac on another computer. For information on how to access the data in an Outlook for Mac Data File (.olm), see Import information into Outlook

 Note   In Outlook for Windows, older Outlook items are archived automatically on a regular interval, also known as AutoArchive. This is not available in Outlook for Mac, but you can archive data automatically by setting up Time Machine.

Do any of the following:

ShowExport to an Outlook for Mac Data File

When you export to an Outlook for Mac Data File, you can choose to filter information by category or by item type. For example, if you want to transfer networking information from your work computer to your home computer, you could export only items that you've assigned to the Networking category. Similarly, you might want to export all your contacts on your home computer and then import them on your work computer. During the export process, you can choose to keep the exported items in Outlook, or to delete them after they are exported.

  1. On the File menu, click Export.
  2. Click Outlook for Mac Data File.
  3. Select an option to filter by category or item type.

To export all items in Outlook, click Items of the following types, and then select all the check boxes.

  1. Click the right arrow to continue, and then follow the instructions.

The Outlook for Mac Data File uses the .olm extension.


ShowExport contacts in a tab-delimited text file

To transfer a set of contacts to another computer or application, you can export contacts as a tab-delimited text file, which can be opened by many other mail, spreadsheet, and database applications.

  1. On the File menu, click Export.
  2. In the Export Assistant, click Contacts to a list, and then follow the instructions.

Tab-delimited files are saved with a .txt extension.


ShowExport individual items

You can also export single items as individual files, either to have as a backup or to use in other applications.

  1. In the item list (item list: In the main Outlook window, the list of messages, contacts, tasks, or other items. By default, the item list is displayed vertically between the navigation pane and the reading pane.), select the item that you want to export.

To select multiple items, hold down COMMAND as you click the items.

  1. Drag the selection to the desktop or a folder in the Finder.


  • E-mail messages are exported as .eml files.
  • Contacts are exported as vCard (.vcf) files.
  • Calendar events and tasks are exported as .ics files.
  • Notes are exported as .html files.

See also

Import a .pst file from Outlook for Windows

Automatically archive or back up Outlook items

Applies to:
Outlook for Mac 2011