Move contacts to another computer

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Applies to
Microsoft Office Outlook® 2003

When you purchase a new computer, you will probably want to use Outlook with your existing contact list instead of entering all those names again. Who wouldn't? Moving the contents of your Contacts folder is a three-step process.

First, you need to export your contacts to a Personal Folders file (.pst) (Personal Folders file (.pst): Data file that saved your messages and other items on your computer. You can assign a .pst file to be the default delivery location for email messages. You can use a .pst to organize and back up items for safekeeping.) by using the Import and Export Wizard in Outlook.

ShowHow?

 Important   You should not export items (item: An item is the basic element that holds information in Outlook (similar to a file in other programs). Items include e-mail messages, appointments, contacts, tasks, journal entries, notes, posted items, and documents.) that were created in multiple languages or in a language that is not supported by your system code page to a file type that does not support Unicode. For example, if you have items that were created in multiple languages in a Microsoft Outlook Personal Folders file (.pst), you should not export the items to a Microsoft Outlook 97-2002 Personal Folders file (.pst). The latter file type does not support Unicode. Therefore, all items that contain characters in a language other than those supported by the system code page in text fields, except the body of items such as To, Subject, and ContactName and BusinessTelephoneNumber properties of Contact items, will be interpreted incorrectly and displayed as question marks (?) and other unintelligible text.

  1. On the File menu, click Import and Export.
  2. Click Export to a file, and then click Next.
  3. In the list, click Personal Folder File (.pst), and then click Next.
  4. Click the Contacts folder. If the folder contains a subfolder that you want to include, select the Include subfolders check box, and then click Next.
  5. Under Save exported file as, click Browse, and then specify a location, such as My Documents, and a name, such as Contacts Backup, for your backup file.
  6. If you back up a .pst file that you have backed up to before, click one of the following:

Replace duplicates with items exported    Existing data will be overwritten with the information in the file that is being exported.

Allow duplicate items to be created    Existing data will not be overwritten, and duplicate information will be added to the backup file.

Do not export duplicate items    Existing data will be kept, and the duplicate information in the folder will not be copied to the backup file.

  1. Click Finish.

Next, you need to use Windows Explorer to copy Contacts Backup.pst to a CD, network drive, or other removable media, such as a removable hard disk or DVD, and then transfer the file to a location on your new computer's hard disk drive, such as My Documents.

ShowTip

Although you can keep your data files in any folder, the default location that Outlook uses when creating .pst data files is the drive:\Documents and Settings\user\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook folder. This location is a hidden folder. To use Windows Explorer to navigate to this folder, you must first turn on the display of hidden folders. In Windows Explorer, on the Tools menu, click Folder Options. On the View tab, under Advanced Settings, under Files and Folders, under Hidden files and folders, select Show hidden files and folders. If you want to see all of the file name extensions, clear the Hide extensions for known file types check box. Hidden folders appear unavailable to indicate that they are not typical folders.

Finally, you need to import the contents of Contacts Backup.pst into your new Contacts folder by using the Import and Export Wizard.

ShowHow?

  1. On the File menu, click Import and Export.
  2. Click Import from another program or file, and then click Next.
  3. Click Personal Folder File (.pst), and then click Next.
  4. In the File to import box, specify the path and file name of the .pst file you want to import.
  5. Click one of the following:

Replace duplicates with items imported    Existing data will be overwritten with the information in the file that is being imported.

Allow duplicates to be created    Existing data will not be overwritten, and duplicate information will be added to the current Outlook folder.

Do not import duplicate items    Existing data will be kept, and the duplicate information in the file will not be copied to the current Outlook folder.

  1. Follow the remaining instructions in the Import and Export Wizard.

 Important   You should not export items that were created in multiple languages or in a language that is not supported by your system code page to a file type that does not support Unicode. For example, if you have items that were created in multiple languages in a Microsoft Outlook Personal Folders file (.pst), you should not export the items to a Microsoft Outlook 97-2002 Personal Folders file (.pst). The latter file type does not support Unicode. Therefore, all items that contain characters in a language other than those supported by the system code page in text fields, except the body of items such as To, Subject, and ContactName and BusinessTelephoneNumber properties of Contact items, will be interpreted incorrectly and displayed as question marks (?) and other unintelligible text.

 
 
Applies to:
Outlook 2003