Restore Outlook After a Windows 7 Upgrade

Bilpet, planning a clean upgrade to Windows 7, asked the Answer Line forum how to transfer Outlook 2007 data and settings

By Lincoln Spector, PC World |  Windows, Microsoft Outlook, Windows 7

Bilpet, planning a clean upgrade to Windows 7, asked the Answer Line forum how to transfer Outlook 2007 data and settings.

A clean Windows 7 upgrade installation destroys all of your settings, requiring you to manually set up Windows all over again, reinstall all of your programs, and restore your data. It's a lot of work, but it results in a cleaner, more reliable PC. See How to Upgrade to Windows 7 for details.

Because Outlook doesn't store its data in a highly-visible location like My Documents, restoring it after an upgrade isn't an easy no-brainer. (The installation program moves all your existing files to a folder called C:\Windows.Old, so you can recover your documents with a simple drag-and-drop.) But most of it is still pretty easy.

The tricky part is moving your email account information, which Outlook stores in the Registry. In fact, if you've already updated to Windows 7 as you read this, your only real option is to recreate the account from scratch. You may have to check with your ISP or mail service for technical details like the POP and SMTP addresses. No one but you can supply the password.

If you're still running Vista or XP, you can export the information from the Registry. Click Start (Start, then Run if you're using XP), type regedit, and press ENTER. Navigate the left pane as if it's Windows Explorer to the folder HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows Messaging Subsystem\Profiles. Right-click the Profiles folder in the left pane and select Export. Save the .reg file to a safe place from where you can retrieve it after the upgrade.

After you've upgraded to Windows 7 and reinstalled Office, load Outlook. Tell the Startup wizard that No, you don't want to set up email, but you want to Continue with no e-mail support. Once Outlook is up, close it again.

Importing your email, calendar, contacts, and so on is easy: With Outlook closed, open a Windows Explorer window and select Organize, then Folder and search options. Click the View tab. Select Show hidden files and folders, then click Okay. (You can change this setting back when you're done.)

Open your C:\Users\logon\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook folder (where the word logon refers to the name you use to log onto the computer). Rename the file Outlook.pst--it doesn't matter to what, this is just a safety precaution. Then open another Windows Explorer window and navigate it to C:\Windows.old\Users\logon\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook.

Now drag and drop Outlook.pst from the C:\Windows.old... folder to the C:\Users one.

Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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