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I use Outlook 2007 for email. I also happen to use the categories for organizing my mail. This function is cool, because you can use keyboard shortcuts that make categorizing mail quick and easy. The problem I am having is that, since I use Google Apps Sync at home and at work, I can't seem to figure out how to transfer the existing category assignments that I spent months creating at work.

As my email comes and goes, I assign this and that, with thousands of messages all belonging to specific categories. When I finally installed and started using Google Apps Sync at home, the synchronization process works great, but all my messages are blank, i.e., don't have the color categories I assigned at work.

What's worse, I actually changed computers at work, and now am facing the same problem on the new workstation.

Using: Windows XP Pro, Outlook 2007, Google Apps.

Anyone run into this and find a solution?

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Unfortunately, since Gmail does not have the concept of categories, neither does Google Apps Sync. To have a categorization system that does synchronize, you will need to use folders and flags.

If you want to set up a new installation with all your old messages already categorized, I believe you can do this by exporting your mailbox to a PST, then import it on the new computer. The categories won't synchronize, but at least you'll start off with everything categorized.

Briefly, to export your mailbox, you'll want to use the "Import and Export" option in the File menu and export to a Personal Folder File. On the new computer, you'll probably want to either (a) clear out the existing mail then import the PST, or (b) shut down Outlook then replace the PST in your profile's Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook folder with your exported copy. Start Outlook, and you should see a copy of your work computer's mailbox.

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I will give this a try... I know how to do all these steps, but I think the categories don't actually transfer. Have you tried and successfully completed this yourself? It has been a while since I actually wrote the question, so I can't remember what I tried. Thanks for a refresher anyway. – nicorellius Jun 14 '10 at 4:37
Actually I haven't and I don't have an Outlook installation handy to test with. I suppose I'm not 100% sure it will work, I just assumed it would. Oops. I'll test it when I get a chance. – Stephen Jennings Jun 14 '10 at 4:53
This is a tricky one so I don't blame you for assuming that. I will test soon as well. Let me know what you find out... – nicorellius Jun 14 '10 at 5:06
Looks like you are right. I did a test and saved a PST file and opened it up, and the categories were there... This still doesn't really solve my original problem, though: I need to use Google Sync for mail. What I can do is export PST, bring it into a new installation that has been synched already, and then copy messages over with the categories. The only problem, however, is that I will have duplicates of my messages. Errgh... Not quite what I was looking for. – nicorellius Jun 15 '10 at 16:20
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Unfortunately, the above answer does not quite get at what I need. It is a partial solution. I am reluctant to give it the correct check, because it doesn't solve the answer all the way. Plus, I knew how to do this already and I didn't actually do it because of the pitfall of Google sync duplicating the messages.

I believe the correct answer is that there is no way to do this. Google doesn't know what "Categories" are, so therefore until Google develops this code, I will have to make do with what I have to solve my problem.

Thanks for giving it a go!

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