Fix problems importing an Outlook .pst file

Following are the main problems customers encounter when they import a .pst file to Outlook. If you have a different problem, or if these solutions don't work for you, please contact us!

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If you saved the .pst file to a CD-ROM you'll get this message. Copy the .pst file to your computer, a USB flash drive, or other location. Then right-click the .pst file, choose Properties, and click to clear the Read Only check box. Now try to import the .pst file. See this kb article for more info.

This type of error can also happen if you switched from logging on to your computer with a local account to a Microsoft account while the .pst file was in use. To fix: right-click the .pst file, choose Properties > Security > Edit > choose your Microsoft account, and choose Full control. Now restart Outlook.

To solve this problem, rerun the import process. When you get to the following dialog box, choose Import items into the current folder.

Choose "Import items into the current folder"

This means the mailbox you're trying to import to needs to be configured as an IMAP mailbox. This is often the case with Outlook.com accounts. Here's how to configure your account to use IMAP:

  • First, remove your email account from Outlook on your desktop. For example, if you have more than one account in Outlook 2010, you can right-click your selected account and choose Remove to remove it from Outlook. If it's the only account currently in Outlook, choose File > Account Settings > Account Settings > Remove.

  • Now, add the account back to Outlook on your desktop, but this time you're going to set it up as an IMAP account:

    1. At the top of Outlook on your desktop, choose File.

      In Outlook 2010, choose the File tab.

    2. Choose Add Account.

    3. Type a name for your account (example: Jakob), the email address (example: jakob77@outlook.com), and password you use to sign in to your email account on the web site. Choose Manually configure server settings or additional service types. Choose Next.

      Choose Manually configure server settings or additional service types.

    4. Choose Internet Email.

      Choose Internet Email

    5. Enter these settings:

      • Account Type: IMAP

      • Incoming mail server: imap-mail.outlook.com

      • Outgoing mail server (SMTP): smtp-mail.outlook.com

      • User Name: youralias@outlook.com (or whatever your email address is).

      • Password: type the password you use to sign in to your email, for example, on the Outlook.com web site. If you have Two-Step Authentication enabled, get an App Password.

      • Choose More settings.

      Enter the settings shown in this picture.

    6. Select the Outgoing Server tab, and choose My outgoing server requires authentication.

      Choose My outgoing server requires authentication.

    7. Select the Advanced tab and then enter these settings:

      • Incoming server (IMAP): 993

      • Use the following type of encrypted connection: SSL

      • Outgoing server (SMTP): 587

      • Use the following type of encrypted connection: TLS

      Enter the advanced email settings.

    8. Choose OK.

    9. Choose Next to test your settings. Note: the most common reason for the connection not working is a typo in the email or password. Unfortunately Outlook doesn't tell you that's the problem but gives you an uncomprehensible error message. If the connection doesn't work, double-check everything for typos.

Now you should be ready to import your .pst file into the email account.

The most likely cause is that the contacts and calendar weren't exported to the .pst file. Try exporting your info to another .pst file. When you get to the following dialog box, make sure Include subfolders is checked. That way contacts and calendar are exported too.

Choose the email account you want to export.

I think your restored contacts are in both places: your offline cache (.ost) and your re-dated .pst file. When you imported your contacts from the back up .pst file, a copy of your contacts was made, and they were deposited in the appropriate contacts file. You can delete or rename the backup .pst file if you want.

The most likely cause is that the contacts and calendar weren't exported to the .pst file. Try exporting your info to another .pst file. When you get to the following dialog box, make sure Include subfolders is checked. That way subfolders are exported too.

Choose the email account you want to export.

See Also

Import and export Outlook email, contacts, and calendar

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