I have a outlook PST file that has email and contact folders. In outlook, I have my primary PST file where all the emails are downloaded and displayed. When I open the 2ndary PST file, which contains the emails and contact folders, the 2ndary PST opens fine, and I am able to see the 2ndary emails and contacts.

The issue is when I try to COPY or MOVE the contacts or emails from the 2ndary over to the primary. When copy: Cannot copy items When move: Cannot move items. This is performed via shift and mouse drag-n-drop.

I've also tried to EXPORT the contacts/emails from the 2ndary PST file to a brand new 3rd PST file. Outlook doesn't display any error message and supposedly 'completes' the export. When I open the 3rd PST file, the folder structures are exist, but have no contact (no emails for email folders, no contacts for contact folders)

In short, the emails and contacts in the 2ndary PST file are stuck there and cannot be copied/moved elsewhere. HELP!!!!

  • This is just a guess, but check the file permissions on both .pst files - make sure you have permission to do such a thing! – Dave Feb 23 '15 at 8:18
  • When you say check the file permissions, do you mean the PST properties -> security tab? I'm an admin, and have ownership of the PST files. Thanks! – Khanh Feb 24 '15 at 10:21
  • Sounds like the PST file is corrupted. Take a back up or Google search repair pst to find alternative software since you already tried the built in repair pst option. – Dave Feb 24 '15 at 10:36

Backup and repair your PST file(s). Sudden PC shutdowns, Outlook crashes or software defects can damage PST file structure what is not uncommon problem with Outlook repository. Generally, Outlook has pretty good fault tolerance of damages in PST file and keeps working, making only minor "strange effects" similar to those you reported.

There are more ways how to repair your PST file. I'm not going to give you exact steps here, but you have many places where you can start, mostly with Inbox repair tool (scanpst.exe).

I was doing these repairs several times. If you will succeed, then congratulations, if not, then the best thing you can do is to move as many items as you can from damaged PST file into new one.

EDIT: other ways:

  • (1) instead of drag&drop, copy using Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V

  • (2) perform operation (1) on smaller scale, ideally record by record. Maybe undamaged records could be copied this way?

  • (3) if no success, try first to copy records to another place (folder) in the same PST.

  • (4) contacts only: switch contacts view to grid view, press Ctrl+A then Ctrl+C and then paste them into text file (or Excel). Not perfect, but you can export your contacts this way. Optionally you can add all used contact columns into grid so nothing will be missing.

  • I have the original PST file, which Outlook is unable to open. I've already used ScanPST.exe, and it did make some repairs. The issue I described above is AFTER ScanPST.exe has made the repairs on the 'recovered' PST file. I would LOVE to move the items, but it won't move from the recovered PST file to ANY PST file (new or existing). Thanks for your help -any other suggestions? – Khanh Feb 24 '15 at 10:18
  • @Khanh - pleas see enhanced answer for other suggestions. – miroxlav Feb 24 '15 at 11:21

Select the folder, then go to View, and select Current View, then Messages. I don't know why, but it worked for me.

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