Moving Mail from Outlook to Entourage – (or any Mac email program)

I am currently in the process of moving to a Mac at work (yes!) and my main concern in the switch was moving all my email from Outlook.  If you don’t know already (though you might expect) Outlook uses a proprietary format called .PST.  There is no obvious way to just migrate the messages and your folders to another system… at least on the surface.  Turns out there are actually a few ways, but by far the easiest was this simple guide at Riches Communications.

The basics are as follows…

  • Install Mozilla (Full version with email) or Thunderbird on your PC.
  • Import Mail from Outlook (Tools / Import)
  • On my machine this took about 30 minutes.  I have a few GB of email with plenty of attachments included courtesy of a boatload of work projects.
  • From here, I would really recommend you read the article as the visuals are probably simpler to understand than my description, but basically you just rename each folder with an extension of .mbox.
    • Mozilla uses the standard .mbox format which can then easily be imported into the email program of your choice.  I actually have to use Entourage, though this absolutely works in Mail.app and certainly Thunderbird (which probably does not require the renaming).  Entourage incidentally uses a proprietary message store as well, but can at least handle the standards on import.
  • All you need to do with your renamed folders is drag them to Entourage which asks if you want to import (yes) and brings the mail to the local folders. 
  • As I mentioned I had a lot of mail so this took a while as you have to repeat the import loop for each folder and you can only import one at a time.  Other than time and the manual nature of this process it’s actually quite painless and totally works.  I imported all my mail to my personal PowerBook at home and burned the mail database to a DVD so I can easily import it today on my new machine at the office.

    I think it’s interesting to note that you can’t actually import your mail (with all your folders) into Outlook Express!  It will import some of your mail – actually just the inbox which leaves you hanging since most people do not maintain all their mail in a single folder.

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    7 Comments

    1. Alicia

      Well, I think you should always have up to date email backups. I used to do it manually by saving the .dbx files, until I found http://www.amicutilities.com/outlook-express-backup/ – Outlook Express Backup Genie that does it automatically at regular times.

      I choused it over other because it can work with both MS Outlook and Outlook Express

      Alicia

    2. Jason

      I LOVE YOU!!!! It works PERFECTLY!!



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