Need help with Importing Outlook. pst from restored external hardrive.

  1. Posts : 101
    Windolws 10

    Need help with Importing Outlook. pst from restored external hardrive.

    My wife's Win7 hard drive crashed (with Outlook 2007) and it has been rebuilt/restored to an external USB drive by a drive rescue company (our regular Acronis image backup did not have the .pst file).

    She has been using a brand new Win10-Home 10.0.8363 computer with Office 2016 for several weeks.

    She desires to retrieve at least her 1-200 saved email addresses off of the old drive.

    Based on past experience, I know I can probably Copy the old outlook.pst file directly onto the same location where the Win10 copy is and it will overwrite the existing Win10 file, erasing the current data.

    1. Can I instead Import the outlook.pst file to Win10 from from the external rescue drive even tho it has not previously been "Exported"?

    2. Will using the Import function just Append the old data to the new and not delete anything on the Win10 leaving the new combination of both on the Win10?

    3. Will that bring over all her old Incoming/Outgoing emails as well?
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  2. Posts : 889
    W10-2009 19042.1348

    I think you can just open the file and the emails will be there. I am not so sure about how (or if) contacts stored in the .pst will display. OK, just checked with a 19-year old .pst and it has contacts in it - just select 'contacts' on the LHS (not sure what Outlook 2016 looks like) and you should see more than one contacts folder under 'My contacts' (but MS may have played with all this since my 2010 version).
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  3. Posts : 11,324
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 21H2 Build 19044.1706

    I still use Outlook 2007 but spent a year using Outlook 2016 and exchanged information between them frequently.

    You do not need to use any Import or Export functions at all.

    I suggest just opening the old pst and copying entries in the individual folders from it.
    - Outlook automatically recognises two versions of the same Contact*** entry so you'd be able to manage any clashes.
    - EMails, Calendar entries, Notes copy across without any problems.

    *** I noticed that you just referred to email addresses but Outlook contacts also includes any other data recorded for them such as phone numbers, postal addresses, unstructured descriptions, ...

    Just use File, Open & export then open the old pst file & do the copying and then close the old file when you have finished.
    - You can then move the old file into your backups/archives.
    - I suggest working off a copy of the Outlook 2007 file just in case you end up moving things instead of copying them.

    You'll see this layout in the Outlook 2016 'Navigation pane', 'Folder view'
    Need help with Importing Outlook. pst from restored external hardrive.-navigation-pane.png
    and the first thing to do is check which group is which file. The 'main' Outlook 2016 file is probably the groups 'General', Notes, ... and the old Outlook 2007 file is probably a group called 'OutlookFolders'.
    So just behave like you were dragging files between folders in File explorer.


    - Backups of Outlook are relevant only if you are still using POP email retrieval rather than the IMAP/EAC method that Outlook 2016 would have tried to push you into
    - You can check which type you are on by getting the left-hand pane to show its Folder view [as illustrated] and right-clicking on General, Properties, Advanced.
    - - If the main file in use is still a pst file then backups are relevant.
    - - If the main file is an ost file then everything is always kept on the server so there's nothing for you to backup locally.

    You can move a pst file to wherever you want while Outlook is closed. When it opens it will object and tell you to browse to the file's location. It will then happily open that pst file straightaway and again every time Outlook is started.
    - This allows you to put the pst file somewhere that is included in your routine backup plan [mine is within my Documents folders].


    I hated Outlook 2016
    Last edited by Try3; 02 Jul 2020 at 13:32.
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  4. Posts : 11,324
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 21H2 Build 19044.1706

    By the way, I do not know why your Acronis backup would not have held your Outlook 2007 pst file. It would, by default, have been at

    I also use Acronis. I can 'mount' its image files and browse around them to folders such as C:\Users\%UserName%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook if I want to retrieve individual files.

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  5. Posts : 11,324
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 21H2 Build 19044.1706


    I have stopped fiddling with my first post. {I found that I had kept a few Outlook 2016 screenshots so I was able to augment my original post with more detailed & useful guidance.}

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  6. Posts : 101
    Windolws 10
    Thread Starter

    Thanks guys,

    It's a little overwhelming right now,
    I'm definitely have POP.
    Let me play with it a little first and then I'll get back to you or I may feel more comfortable getting someone to help take care of it.

      My Computer

  7. Posts : 11,324
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 21H2 Build 19044.1706


    It's up to you but I'd suggest that if you are capable of using File explorer then you can do this job yourself.

    1 Try the first step - making a copy of the old pst file so you know you can play around with it without losing anything.
    Since the new Outlook 2016 is also using a pst file [because it uses POP], it will also use a pst file so make a copy of that aswell while Outlook is closed. That will also allow you to try the job without risking anything.

    2 Then come back to this thread if you want to get advice about the next stage - opening the old pst file in Outlook 2016.

    3 And then come back to this thread again if you want to get advice about the next stage - copying/moving items from the old to the new pst files.

    4 And then you can come back again if you want advice about moving the Outlook 2016 pst file from its default location to a location that will get backed up in whatever your routine backup routine is.

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  8. Posts : 101
    Windolws 10
    Thread Starter


    Thanks for the encouraging words.

    I'll definitely give it a try and report back, probably over the weekend.

      My Computer

  9. Posts : 101
    Windolws 10
    Thread Starter


    I decided to try it out using the Passport/recover drive om my Win7 first.

    I decided to use the Import function because my wife didn't want to lose several weeks of new messages on the Win10.

    The import function works great and just added/combined the recovered .pst to the existing one.
    Now I'm comfortable that I can do the same thing going from the Passport to the Win10.

    Thanks again for your great support.

      My Computer


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