How to transfer outlook settings to a new computer or install

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How the lazy way takes a lot more work…maybe?  Well that is to say, I have a new computer and it is really easy to transfer over the .pst file from outlook to transfer all of the data contained in my outlook data file from my previous computer, however getting all the mailboxes I use named the way I use them, etc is not quote so easy.  I also have a lot of rules and send and receive settings.  So this is my notes on how to bring it all to it’s new home.  Which would have been helpful the last time I reformatted my hard drive, but… here I am now and it works!  Below are the steps, which are simple (please don’t blame me, call me or email me for tech support), but requite attention to detail, some decent computer knowledge and the willingness to “try”.

Warning Geek Necessary to complete!

  1. Copy your current .pst file to another hard drive, usb drive, server or someplace safe where you can access it from the new computer or the old computer after you formatted the drive

    location (Windows 7, Windows Vista – varies slightly in XP, but if you are doing this you know where it is anyway):

    • C:\Users\yourusername\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook
  2. Install Outlook on the new computer, in my case Outlook 2003 and Office Pro 2003, cause I already have it… (Note if you are formatting your hard drive do the above step and the registry copy below and some of the other steps below BEFORE you format the computer duh cause you are deleting them!)
  3. Once installed open outlook create a mail account so it is set up then continue below.
  4. I copied the outlook folder of newly created extend.dat fie and the Outlook.pst file and the Account folder; this was probably not necessary, but if you screw it up you can at least save a lot of hassle by just putting things back like they were before you messed with them.
  5. Go to Start => Run => type in regedit to open the reg editor (do this on the current machine that has the Outlook settings you want)
    then go to Open your registry editor and navigate to the following key which will look something like the one below starting with the S-1-5-21… and the other numbers may vary, but generally it is the first ‘long number key': 

    HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-21-1740960292-2366928130-3957424490-1000\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows Messaging Subsystem\Profiles\Outlook

    • Export the entire Outlook key to a file on a drive you can get to later (same as the .pst file would be smart)*
      *you will do the same process on the new computer or new install, so you will have two files.  Before you can import into the registry for the NEW OUTLOOK you will need to open the old key and open the current key (the one you are going to replace) and find and replace the S-1-5-21-1740960292-2366928130-3957424490-1000 number with the one on the current outlook install.   To open and edit the registry keys right click and hit edit and they will open in Notepad. I used word for the find and replace and then just put it back in Notepad and saved.
      I would save this as a new key just for safety sake.
  6. Now delete the key in the ‘New Outlook’ and then import the key to replace it.

Here is the Chicago part of the story (Your my inspiration!)

My next post will be the rules and signature import/export – well rules exported and came with the registry key update, signatures go here!

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