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I recently upgraded to Windows 7 and went the "format from scratch" route.

I backed up my C:\ drive to the free space on my D:\ drive.

So now I have Outlook 2007 reinstalled and I have my .pst files and so forth from the previous installation.

If memory serves the answer on getting all those emails back into Outlook again is "create a new .pst file for the account and then reimport everything".

What I'd like to do is be able to just put the .pst file where it's supposed to go and then have Outlook 2007 just "remember" everything. But I'm pretty sure this doesn't work.

Is there a way to restore Outlook from a pst file without having to re-import everything?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Put the old PST file in a place you'll find it easily. In Control Panel, find the Mail settings, and create an email account. Under data files, add the old PST file. Set the default delivery to the old PST file. That should do it.

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OK, Randolph Potter's response was good but I found one easier.

Basically I just did this:

  1. Opened up Outlook
  2. Went through the steps to create my email account
  3. Once I got to the main interface, I very quickly went to File -> Work Offline so that it wouldn't check for new email (if you want a safety net, mis-type your password)
  4. I exited Outlook
  5. I went to C:\Users\{USERNAME}\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook and made a backup copy of Outlook.pst (it's tiny, like 238k or something)
  6. I copied over my 2.59GB Outlook.pst file from my backed up files over it (did a copy instead of a move in case this went bad)
  7. Started up Outlook and it just had all my emails/folders in place.
  8. Turned off "Work Offline" (fix your password if you put it in wrong on purpose) and it checked for new mail and put it in the right place

So yeah, a little bit of a workaround but it kept me from having to reimport everything for hours.

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Same thing, different method. Glad I could help though. – user3463 Oct 17 '09 at 22:46
Yeah mine's easier for some, yours for others. – Tom Kidd Oct 20 '09 at 14:24

I would re-import. Outlook 2007's import option is pretty painless, just time consuming. You could always try the old switcheroo, open outlook, don't configure email, the close it once it generates an empty Outlook.pst. Then quit outlook entirely, make sure it it no longer a running process in Task Manager (you may have to restart), and swap the empty one (rename it, don't delete it just in case) with A COPY of the old pst. I have had mixed success. Sometimes it works.

And sometimes I have to restore the empty outlook.pst then import throught eh menu in Outlook.

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Outlook mail settings are stored in the registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows Messaging Subsystem\Profiles

I haven't tried it but ... there's some VB.NET code here (if you're a coder) to display these values.

If you're not a coder,or ven i you are, Google that registry key & a few keywords. If you have already wiped & lost your old OS, um, don't bother.

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