Import email, contacts, and calendar from an Outlook .pst file

Thanks to customer feedback this article was updated on April 15, 2016.

First, make sure you're using a desktop version of Outlook - 2007, 2010, 2013, or 2016. To verify you're using a desktop version of Outlook, look at the picture below:

This is what the ribbon looks like in Outlook 2016.

Now look at Outlook on your computer:

  • If your ribbon has a File option in the top left corner, then you're using a desktop version of Outlook and you're in the right place! See one of the procedures below.

  • If your ribbon doesn't have a File option in the top left corner, see What version of Outlook do I have? to find your version of Outlook and to get to right import steps. Or, get a desktop version of Outlook.

Choose from the following list of import instructions. To create a .pst file, see the instructions to export your email data from Outlook.

If you have an Office 365 mailbox, you can use Outlook 2007, 2010, 2013, or 2016 to move all of your email, contacts, and calendar items from one email account into your Office 365 mailbox. How to get Outlook for your desktop

Here's what an Office 365 mailbox looks like in Outlook on the web; Outlook on the web is different from Outlook on your desktop.

What the ribbon looks like in Outlook on the web.

After you get Outlook for your desktop, do these steps:

  1. Add your "source" email account to Outlook on your desktop. Wait a bit for all of your email and contacts to show up.

  2. Add your Office 365 email account to Outlook on your desktop.

    After you add your Office 365 email account to Outlook on your desktop, Outlook will automatically sync with your Office 365 account. You'll see the contents of your Office 365 mailbox appear in Outlook on your desktop.

  3. Next, choose from the export instructions to export your email from the source account to a .pst file.

    For example, if you have Outlook 2010 on your desktop, choose "Outlook 2010: Export Outlook items to a .pst file".

  4. Choose from the import instructions (below) in this article to import your email to Office 365.

    For example, if you have Outlook 2016 on your desktop, choose "Outlook 2013 and Outlook 2016: Import Outlook items from a .pst file".

    Because Outlook is syncing with your Office 365 email account, when you import your email using the instructions, the email will go directly into your Office 365 email account.

These instructions assume you've already exported your Outlook email, contacts, and calendar from another instance of Outlook, and now you want to import them to Outlook 2013, Outlook 2016, or your Office 365 mailbox.

  1. At the top of your Outlook 2013 or 2016 ribbon, choose File.

    This is what the ribbon looks like in Outlook 2016.
  2. Choose Open & Export > Import/Export. This starts the wizard.

    Choose Open & Export, and then choose Import/Export.

  3. Choose Import from another program or file, and then click Next.

    Import and Export Wizard

  4. Choose Outlook Data File (.pst) and click Next.

  5. Browse to the .pst file you want to import. Under Options, choose how you want to deal with emails and contacts, then choose Next.

    Choose the .pst file you want to import.

  6. If a password was assigned to the Outlook Data File (.pst), enter the password, and then click OK.

  7. If you're importing the contents of your .pst file into your Office 365 mailbox, choose that mailbox here.

    If you're NOT importing into your Office 365 mailbox, choose Import items into the current folder. This imports the data into the folder currently selected.

    To import your email, contacts, and calendar to your Office 365 mailbox, choose that mailbox here.

  8. Choose Finish. Outlook starts importing the contents of your .pst file immediately. It's finished when the progress box goes away.

    If you're importing your .pst file to your Office 365 mailbox, you may see a message that it's trying to connect with Office 365. This happens when the Internet connection is interrupted, even for a moment. Once your Internet connection is re-established, Outlook will continue importing the .pst file.

Tip:  If you want to retrieve only a few emails or contacts from an Outlook Data File (.pst), you can open the Outlook Data File, and then, in the navigation pane, drag and drop the emails and contacts from .pst file to your existing Outlook folders.

If you think your .pst file is corrupted, see Repair Outlook Data Files (.pst and .ost).

Were these steps helpful? Please leave us a comment.

These instructions assume you've already exported your Outlook email, contacts, and calendar from another instance of Outlook, and now you want to import them to Outlook 2010 or your Office 365 mailbox.

  1. At the top of your Outlook ribbon, choose the File tab.

    In Outlook 2010, choose the File tab.

  2. Choose Open > Import. This starts the wizard.

    Choose Open, then choose Import.

  3. In the Import and Export Wizard, click Import from another program or file, and the click Next.

    Choose import from another program or file.

  4. Select Outlook Data File (.pst), and then click Next.

    Choose .pst import

  5. Choose Browse, then choose the .pst file you want to import, and choose Next.

    Notes:  Under Options, if you want the imported information to replace duplicate items already in Outlook, choose that. Otherwise, choose Do not import duplicates.

    Choose the .pst file you want to import

  6. If a password was assigned to the Outlook Data File (.pst), you are prompted to enter the password, and then click OK.

  7. Set the options for importing items. Choose Filter if you want to only import certain emails. Choose the More Choices tab if you want to only import emails that are read or unread.

    The default settings usually don’t need to be changed. The top folder — usually Personal Folders, Outlook Data File, or your email address — is selected automatically.

    Choose Filter if you want to import only certain emails.

  8. Include subfolders is selected by default. All folders under the folder selected will be imported.

  9. Select one of the destination options:

    • Import items into the current folder - this imports the data into the folder currently selected.

    • Import items into the same folder in - this imports the data into the destination folder of the same name as the source folder, e.g., from Inbox to Inbox. If a folder doesn’t exist in Outlook, it will be created.

  10. Choose Finish. Outlook starts importing your data immediately. You'll know it's finished when the progress box closes.

Tip:  If you want to retrieve only a few emails or contacts from an Outlook Data File (.pst), you can open the Outlook Data File, and then, in the navigation pane, drag and drop the emails and contacts from .pst file to your existing Outlook folders.

If you think your .pst file is corrupted, see Repair Outlook Data Files (.pst and .ost).

Were these steps helpful? Please leave us a comment.

These instructions assume you've already exported your Outlook 2007 items as a backup file, and now you want to restore them. Or, you want to import them into your Office 365 mailbox.

  1. At the top of our Outlook 2007 ribbon, choose File.

    In Outlook 2007, choose the File tab.

  2. Choose Import and Export. This starts the wizard.

    Choose Import and Export.

  3. In the Import and Export Wizard, click Import from another program or file, and then click Next.

  4. Click Personal Folders File (.pst), and then click Next.

  5. Click Browse, and then choose the file to import.

    Note:  Under Options, it is recommended that you click Do not import duplicates unless you want the imported information to replace or duplicate items already in Outlook.

  6. Click Next.

  7. If a password was assigned to the Personal Folders file (.pst), you are prompted to enter the password, and then click OK.

  8. Set the options for importing items. The default settings usually don’t need to be changed.

    • The top folder — usually Personal Folders or your email address — is selected automatically.

    • Include subfolders is selected by default. All folders under the folder selected will be imported.

  9. Select one of the destination options:

    • Import items into the current folder - this imports the data into the folder currently selected.

    • Import items into the same folder in - this imports the data into the destination folder of the same name as the source folder, e.g., from Inbox to Inbox. If a folder doesn’t exist in Outlook, it will be created.

  10. Click Finish.

Tip:  If you want to retrieve only a few items from a Personal Folders file (.pst), you can open the Personal Folders file (.pst), and then in the navigation pane drag and drop the emails and contacts from Personal Folders file (.pst) folders to your existing Outlook folders.

Were these steps helpful? Please leave us a comment.

Hi, I'm Jakob. I work on the articles for importing to and exporting from Outlook, and answer your questions. Author's note: When you enter a comment at the bottom of the page describing the problem you're experiencing with .pst import, I'll try to reproduce it in my environment and then add the solution here. Below are answers to some of the problems customers have experienced.

  1. How do you import an Outlook pst into Windows 10 Mail? See my answer to question 4, below.

  2. Can we import 2010 backup. pst file into 2013 outlook? Yes, you can do this.

  3. I can't locate a .pst for my Hotmail address, and have done a search by *.pst. Found other .pst files but not that one. I assume you've added your Hotmail address to your desktop version of Outlook, and exported everything from your Hotmail account to create the .pst file. If you can't find your .pst file, just do the export again to create another one. You can export data from your accounts to .pst files hundreds of times (I've done it!). When you get to the following dialog box, note the name and location of your .pst file so you can find it.

    At this dialog box, specify the name and location of your .pst file.

  4. I want to import my .pst file into Windows mail. Is this possible? Mail for Windows is a basic tool that you can use to read and send mail. Outlook for your desktop is also a tool for reading and sending mail, but it's much, much more powerful. With both of these tools you can read and send mail from whatever email account you connect to them. For example, you can connect a Gmail account to Windows Mail and Outlook for your desktop at the same time!

    Only Outlook for your desktop has the ability to move email, contacts and calendars from one email account to another. For example, let's say you add 2 email accounts to Outlook desktop: Jakobsol77@gmail.com and Rob@contoso.com. Wait a while for all of your email and contacts to show up. Then export all of the email from Jakobsol77@gmail.com, and import it into Rob@contoso.com. Finally, add Rob@contoso.com to Windows Mail and see all of your email there, too. Does that make sense?

  5. How does one import email from other programs such as Gmail? To import from a Gmail account in particular, to another email account, see these instructions and video. To import email from an email account (such as from Yahoo Mail) to another email account such as Office 365, here's what you do in Outlook for your desktop:

    1. Add both email accounts to Outlook, for example, jakobsol77@yahoo.com and jakobsol78@contoso.com (in this example, it's the Office 365 email account).

    2. Wait a bit for all of your email and contacts to appear. Depending on how much you have, this can take a long time.

    3. Export your email from jakobsol77@yahoo.com.

    4. Import the .pst file to jakobsol78@contoso.com.

  6. Error message: "You do not have permission to access the file." - 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.

  7. I restored my contacts from the backup .pst. Are the restored contacts in the Outlook .ost file or the re-dated .pst file? 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.

  8. Tell me how to get my old Outlook subfolders back. See the answer to the question below. Rerun the export process, and be sure to select Include subfolders.

  9. My emails were imported but not my contacts or calendar items. How do I fix this? 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.

  10. Error message "The source and destination folders for this operation cannot be the same" - 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"

  11. Error message "Could not complete operation because the service provider does not support it" - 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.

.Pst files are created when you export or back up email, contacts, and calendar to an Outlook .pst file. Here's when you should export/import a .pst file:

  • You want to move email from one email account to another email account.

    For example, let's say you have an old Yahoo email account, jakobsol77@yahoo.com. And you want to move your email to a new Office 365 email account, jakobsol78@contoso.com.

    Using Outlook on your desktop, you can add both accounts to Outlook. Wait a while for all of your email to show up (if you have a lot, this can be a long time). Then, use Outlook to export the email from your Yahoo account to a .pst file. Finally, import the .pst file to your Office 365 account.

  • You're moving from PC to PC: You're moving your email from one computer with Outlook on it to another computer with Outlook on it.

    For example, let's say your old computer has Outlook 2007 and you just got a new computer with Outlook 2016. Export your email data from Outlook 2007 and import (described in this article) it to Outlook 2016.

  • You're moving from PC to Mac: For example, when you're moving your email from Outlook on a PC and importing to Outlook 2016 on a Mac.

  • If you only want to move or backup your contacts (email addresses), you don't need to do a .pst export/import. Instead see Export contacts from Outlook. It explains how to export (which is actually a copy) your contacts to a .csv file and then you can import them to Outlook, Gmail, or another email provider.

  • If you want to retrieve only a few emails or contacts from a .pst file, open the .pst file and then drag and drop the emails to current Outlook folders. When you're done, you can close the .pst file again.

.Pst files are created when you export or back up email, contacts, and calendar to an Outlook .pst file. Outlook makes a copy of your email to the .pst file.

  • When Outlook exports emails to a .pst file, it includes any attachments. So, when you import a .pst file, you'll see your attachments.

  • Outlook does not export meta-data such as folder properties ( views, permissions, and AutoArchive settings); message rules; and blocked senders lists. So, they won't be imported, either.

  • When Outlook exports email, contacts, and calendar info to a .pst, it makes a copy of the information. Nothing is deleted from Outlook. You'll still see and have access to your email, contacts, and calendar in Outlook.

Other topics about importing to Outlook

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