How to migrate to Outlook 2007 & Windows Vista

As you probably know, Microsoft Office 2007 has never been the main focus of our site. Even so, many of our visitors requested a guide on how to migrate their e-mail to Microsoft Office Outlook 2007. We are trying to listen, as much as possible, to what our readers ask, so we decided to create this guide in order to help them with this request. This was not an easy task as there are many scenarios to cover.

This is why we limited the scope of this tutorial only on how to migrate your e-mail from Outlook Express, Windows Mail and other versions of Microsoft Office Outlook.

If you are already using Microsoft Outlook 2003 or 2007 and you want to upgrade to Windows Vista and/or Microsoft Office Outlook 2007, then you should first create a backup. To do that, read our guide on how to backup your Outlook inbox.

If you are using Windows 2000 or Windows XP and Outlook Express as your default e-mail client, the procedure is a bit complicated. That’s because Outlook 2007 cannot import your e-mail from a backup folder. Outlook 2007 imports your e-mail only if it is installed on the same machine & operating system with Outlook Express. If you plan to migrate to Windows Vista and Outlook 2007, then you need to install Outlook 2007 on your Windows 2000/XP machine, migrate your e-mail and then create a backup from Outlook 2007. Only then you can install Windows Vista and Outlook 2007 and import your e-mail from the backup created in Windows 2000/XP.

Another solution would be to create a backup of your Outlook Express e-mail, install Windows Vista, migrate everything to Windows Mail and then import it to Outlook 2007.

Import your e-mail to Microsoft Office Outlook 2007

First, you need to go to the File menu and click on Import and Export.

Import and Export Wizard

The Import and Export Wizard will open. Depending on the e-mail client you are importing from, you will have different options.

Importing your Outlook e-mail backup

If you had Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 or 2007 installed and you have created a backup before migrating, select Import from another program or file.

Import and Export Wizard

In the Import a File window, select Personal Folder File (.pst) and press Next.

Import and Export Wizard

In the Import Personal Folders window, click on Browse.

Import and Export Wizard

Navigate to the location where you have stored your e-mail backup, select the “.pst” file and press Open.

Open Personal Folders

Now, you will return to the Import Personal Folders window. Press Next and the importing procedure will start.

Import your Windows Mail / Outlook Express inbox

If you want to import your Outlook Express/Windows Mail backup to Outlook 2007, then select Import Internet Mail and Addresses.

Import and Export Wizard

In the Outlook Import Tool window select Outlook Express 4.x, 5.x, 6.x or Windows Mail. Also, check the Import Mail and Import Address book boxes and press Next.

Import and Export Wizard

In the Import Addresses window you can set how you want duplicates to be handled. Select the option you prefer and press Finish.

Import and Export Wizard

The importing procedure will start and, depending on the size of your inbox, it may take from a few seconds to a few minutes to finish.

Import your Outlook Express / Windows Mail account settings

After you have imported your e-mail, you should import your account settings. To do that, in the Import and Export Wizard window, select Import Internet Mail Account Settings and press Next.

Import and Export Wizard

Now you will have to select the e-mail client you want to import from. Choose Microsoft Outlook Express or Microsoft Windows Mail and press Next.

Import and Export Wizard

The wizard will show you a number of windows where it loads the settings found in Outlook Express or Windows Mail. Press Next until all the settings are imported to Microsoft Office Outlook 2007.

Related articles:
How to setup an e-mail account in Outlook 2007
Backup your Outlook Inbox
Configure Microsoft Office 2007 to save files using the old Office 97-2003 format

38 thoughts on “How to migrate to Outlook 2007 & Windows Vista”

    • Migrating Outlook data
      In fact it’s MUCH MUCH easier. On the old machine, with Outlook closed, copy the pst file. Move it to a folder on the Vista machine on which you have read/write permissions.
      Open Outlook on Vista and do File-Open-Outlook Data File. Navigate to where you copied the file to.
      That’s all there is to it.

      • Migrating Outlook Data from 2003 XP – 2007 Vista
        Thanks so much, Gordon. Your tip to use File>Open>Outlook Data File worked. Wish I’d read this post BEFORE migrating files from XP/Outlook 2003 to Vista / Outlook 2007 with Windows Easy Transfer.

        My experience was similar to those in other user groups: Although Outlook contacts appeared, they were not appropriately associated with an address book, and the the checkbox “Show contacts as an Outlook Address Book” was grayed-out and could not be checked. By the way, using “Import/Export” functionality DID NOT solve my problem.

        Since I’d already used my new machine for a few days, my data file had been augmented from that on the old machine, so I did not re-copy it. Instead, I worked soley with the Outlook 2007 data file. I copied it to my desktop, and deleted it from Outlooks default datafile location, deleted my user profile, created a new user profile, and then used File>Open>Outlook Data File from within Outlook to locate it. Ultimately, I moved the datafile back to the default location. Don’t know if this was overkill, but my Contacts now function properly.

        • Migrating outlook contacts
          Hi there.

          I am using Outlook 2007 under Windows 7 and i am facing the same {“Show contacts as an Outlook Address Book” checkbox was grayed-out and could not be checked.}
          i need a way to transfer my contacts to Outlook 2007 under windows 7. i tried what you did under Vista and did not succeed. . any other advices ?



  1. trouble moving messages to Vista
    moving my contacts went exactly as you described but,

    when I get to end of moving messages(where you say “be sure no duplicate nodes” (have no idea what that means or how to accomplish this feat) I get the message……..

    “No messages can be found in this folder or another application is running that has the required files open.
    Please select another folder or try closing applications that mayu have files open.”

    I can open the folder and see the messages are there but…..???/

    any help would be appreciated
    Thanks , Bill

    • Migration from outlook Express to Vista
      I do have the same problem: I have followed the same procedure; all mails are transferred, the number of them is marked, but when I open them the file is completely empty. I have improted the folders several times, but I get each time no result.
      Who can please help me out?

      • Outlookexpress to Vista
        I tried to import my backup outlook express to Vista (window mail) many.many time, I just fail to import.
        Is anybody, could help, I ‘ll appreciate
        Thank you
        Lawrence Han

  2. trying configure my Windows Vista receive email into outlook 07
    I am trying to configure my computer to receive my email through Outlook 2007. I have Windows Vista and I am trying to set up my email through Outlook …can anyone HELP ME

      • Migrating email from Outlook Express to Outlook on a new PC
        Nearly two years on from this article ….
        Where is the wretched tutorial you promised in March 07 “in a few days” ?????

        Why is a migration requirement that is as obvious as the one from your basic email package Outlook Express to a more grown up Office Outlook so difficult and inadequately explained???

        I have over 40 years IT experience. I spent a good deal of time thinking about and explaining migration scenarios to customers. But Microsoft? Can’t be bothered to think about the problems it seems.
        Now I am trying to help a retired friend set up his new machine.

    • Migrating emails from Windows mail to Outlook 2007

      You can directly import your emails from windows Mail to Outlook2007 or first you can export messages from Windows Mail and make as (Personal File Folder.pst) then this folder can choosed in OutLook2007.

      Wish you solved your problems.


  3. Importing Outlook pst files
    EVERY SINGLE POST on all the Outlook support groups says:
    DO NOT USE THE IMPORT/EXPORT FUNCTION to move Outlook data from one Outlook to another.
    Why not?
    (Courtesy of Russ Valentine [MVP-Outlook])

    Importing an entire PST may well corrupt your profile and may create a ghost
    PST that you can’t close. Importing PST’s will lose:
    1. Custom Forms
    2. Custom Views
    3. Connections between contacts and activities
    4. Received dates on mail
    5. Birthdays and anniversaries in calendar
    6. Journal connections
    7. Distribution Lists

    Opening a PST file will preserve all of these. That is why we do not advise
    people to import a native file into Outlook.

    PLEASE remove all this stuff about using Import/Export – it caused people to lose data and is unneccesary.

    • I’ve got an XP machine with
      I’ve got an XP machine with Outlook 2003 and am trying to get the pst from there into my Vista machine with Outlook 2007. Importing didn’t work, as you’ve stated. You say “Opening a PST file will preserve all of these” but how do I do that?

      Whether I try to just open it or try to Open With, I get the message pop up “The command line argument is not valid. Verify the switch you are using.”

      Thank you


    • Opening Outlook 2003 PST in Outlook 2007
      I tried your suggestion in attempt to preserve views, forms etc. Everything worked except views. All my custom views created in Outlook 2003 were set to work on the specific folder however in outlook 2007 I only see the default views.

  4. Outlook PST File
    Opening the PST only works if you are using the same version of .pst files. Outlook 2003 and 2007 share the same .pst style, versions before that (well i think as far back as 98 anyways) have a different encoding and therefore must be exported to a pst file and then imported. You may also have to select inbox and export that and then export your contacts. I am not an expert I just know that worked for me in an Office XP to Office 2007 migration.

  5. Outlook 2003 pst files
    I used pcmover to migrate outlook2003/windowsxp to vista/windows email. pcmover did not migrate my oulook application but the pst files are there. Is there anyway to import my messages into Windows Mail? I get the error message Messages cannot be imported from the MAPI client.

  6. Import outlook pst file to Microsoft Vista computer
    I have followed your steps by step on the import of outlook pst file to Vista computer but I was stopped at the “Import messages”- No messages can be found in this folder or another application is running that has the required vfiles open. Please select another folder to try closing applications that may have files open.

    I had use my colleague Microsoft XP computer which could easily open by clicking on the Achive file for the outlook pst file.
    Why is Vista program is not able tom open the outlook pst file on my Vista computer?
    I need your urgent advice as it is so difficult to fix this problem.

  7. Doesn’t work for me
    The error message I get is “The file . . . is not compatible with this version of the personal folders information service. Contact your administrator”. I am trying to migrate from Outlook 2002 on XP to Outlook 2002 on Vista.

  8. Doesn’t work for me either
    Works importing into Office 2007 on Windows XP but not on Vista. Gives me a message that the file is being used when I try to import it.

    Took all of 1 minute to import it onto the CEO’s laptop which is Windows XP all I’m getting is the “moving” circle. Makes me insane. Trying to figure out and search for a solution takes up valuable billable hours to my clients.

    Some serious how to information would be helpful here.


  9. I am so confused now!
    I need your help.

    I have Outlook 2007 and I have saved the .pst file on my XP.

    I got another new computer now and I have Vista x64 on it and I just install Outlook 2007 on it also.

    I have successfully imported the .pst file.

    The problem now is now I have two profiles.

    I cannot delete the other profile because I cannot sent email out. Thats why it has this profile. And I cannot delete this .pst file! I just cant get rid of it.

    My .pst file is my Default.

    So I now have 2 profiles in my Outlook 2007.

    Please help. Thanks!

  10. Migrating Outlook 2007 email account settings
    I have a different problem involving migrating from XP to Vista using Outlook 2007 on both machines. I have multiple accounts (I mean more than 100 different email-accounts on different servers and with different usernames/passords). Can anyone tell me an easy way to migrate the account settings (including all 100+ email accounts and all rules, signatures and stationery attached to those accounts)? Thanks for your help.

  11. import did not work
    I exported the pst file to an external hard drive. I went to import the file from the external HD to my new outlook vista 2007. It worked up to the point that I was asked to open the file. It gave me an error message that access to the file was denied. I tried re-exporting the file and saving it with out any encryption. I got the same “access denied…” message. Do you have any suggestions?

  12. Migrating data from Outlook 2002 & XP to Outlook 2007 & Vista
    PDA or smart phone may be a good solution here, at least it was for me. Used Blackberry to populate the new Outlook from the portable device with data from Outlook 2002. I had tried all the fixes in this thread. None had worked. The only obstacle I had to overcome was downloading and installing a new version of Blackberry desktop software whic was free from RIM. After that it was just like starting up a new Blackberry. I still can’t migrate the PST files.

  13. Please, just read the 2nd post of this thread! Or do this.
    For all of you having problems migrating 2003 to 2007–please just read and do the 2nd post in this thread by Gordon Burgess-Parker. It works. This is the method I used before I stumbled upon this thread. Everything transferred over. All Outlook is looking for is the PST file. Just copy your old PST to your new directory for Outlook 2007 and open it. That’s all!

    If you want to know where to copy your old PST file, go to Tools, Account Settings, click on the Data Files tab, and there is the directory. On Vista, it is probably C:Users***user ID***AppDataLocalMicrosoftOutlook. Your PST file contains everything–email, calendar, contacts, notes, etc.

    If you’ve already received mail or added contacts, etc. to Outlook 2007 before you did this, make sure Outlook 2007 is closed, navigate to the above folder with the PST file, rename it to something like “OutlookOLD.pst,” copy your Outlook 2003 file to this directory, open Outlook 2007, then import the renamed file. It will add your new emails, etc.

    Now if I can just find out how to work with these stupid new color categories I’ll be happy.


  14. migrating email from an XP machine to Vista
    Hello, Im not real techy but I cant seem to find this specific scenerio. I have an XP machine with Outlook 2003 and I’m trying to move my emails to my new Vista machine with Outlook 07. I was able to import a portion of the data, but it is missing the date/time and other content. Any ideas?

  15. I want to export my emails from Windows Live Mail to Outolook 20
    Well im doing that, exporting to outlook. I have a lot of mails, and transfer 40.000 mails, take me 23 hours!!!

    How can do that faster???

    Its too slow!!!

    • 40.000 messages?
      I don’t think there is a fast way of transferring 40.00 e-mail messages. Do you really need them all? Isn’t it easier to delete the old/non-relevant e-mails?
      You might end up with just a fraction of what you have now and the transfer would go much faster and smoother.

  16. Date and time not same as Windows 7 date and time
    My outlook 2007 send and receive time is not the same as the time of Windows 7. Exsamble. windows 7 time is 18h00 and I send a test mail from outlook 2007, the the time display in outlook for the mail send is 03h30.

  17. how 2 copy Windows Contacts to Outlook 2003
    i tried your directions, but in O2003, on the Outlook Import Tool box, Windows Mail is not listed as a choice along with the Outlook Express versions. I tried selecting OE anyway and it asked for folder to import from. I’m not really sure WHERE my actual address book data is; i tried unsuccessfully by clicking on the blue Contacts under my name. Nothing imported. Can you help??

  18. different solution problematic in copying contacts to O2003
    i just posted about trying to copy Windows Contacts to Outlook 2003 (on my vista pc). as an alternative, i have a cd with my old Outlook 2000 info. when i tried to import from e:outlook.pst, i am told that my access is denied, i don’t have permission. every time i right click on properties on the file/folder in e drive, the read-only is checked off. every time, i unclick and try again, only to receive the same message! i’m hoping you can tell me which way/and how to copy my contact info to O2003. i need this to synch w/my pda. i’m content using Windows Mail (and thus need to keep Windows Contacts), so once i get the contacts copied, i guess i’ll have to update both programs with changes.
    btw, of lesser importance, i’d like to copy my O2000 calendar that’s on the cd (i assume) on the same outlook folder/file to my O2003.

  19. Outlook 2003 Email Addresses from XP to Vista Outlook 2003
    I would like to copy, move or migrate our email addresses from our Windows XP desktop with Outlook 2003 to our Windows Vista Laptop with Office 2003. I’ve not yet opened or confingured our POP3 email because from what I’ve read so far it may be part of the Outlook email setup. So far from what I’ve read too I’m still confused and not quite sure what to do setp by step because I’ve not found specific instructions detailing the task from XP to Vista. Can anyone help? Thank you very much. KS

  20. Problem with contacts in MS Office Outlook 2007 after upgrade
    I upgraded from my old computer running XP Pro SP2 to Windows 7 with MS Office Outlook 2007 using Windows Easy Transfer. Now my contacts will not work with my emails. When I select a new email and then use TO: to find a contact, I have no addressbook and get the following error: “The search cannot be completed. You must have an address list to search in. If you don’t have an address list then conact your Microsoft Exchange Adm.”

    I have selected Contacts: and then looked at the properties of a contact folder to see if the addressbook is attached to email and the selection is dimmed. I have not been able to attach my contacts folder to my emails, can you help?

    Hello there,
    can you please guide me properly how do I import all my email form outlook2007 to yahoo mail.
    I want to bring all my outlook mail to yahoo mail.

    Looking for your reply.

    Thanking you

  22. import windows mail to Outlook 2007
    I upgraded my computer from VISTA to WINDOWS 7. In Windows Mail I used the export windows mail and contacts to a file. It was the only option that seemed to work. Now I need to import mail and contacts into Outlook 2007 and cannot. The workflow shown in this forum is not working for me. I do not have a pst file. Now what can I do?

  23. import mail into outlook 2007
    what can i do if i exported my emails from windows mail on vista to my back up drive,installed windows 7 and outlook 2007 want to import my emails again but when i use the option import internet mail and adresses then it only imports my adresses and not my emails,when i use the account settings give me error say’s can’t cause there none acounts created,tried import from another program or file also doesn’t work,if i drag and drop my email into where it was it don’t drop it there it opens a new email and want me to sent it,

    any tips or solutions anyone can give me please,


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