How to export AutoArchive e-mail exported & transferred from MS Outlook
October 19, 2009 1:40 PM   Subscribe

Help me get my AutoArchived e-mail out of MS Outlook and the info from off Exchange server before work shuts it down tonight, please. I'm dumbfounded.

Old job is shutting down my e-mail account today and I'd like to take all of my contacts, calender and saved e-mails for my own use. I know how to export the contacts as an excel file but I cannot find the "AutoArchive" folder on my hard disk.

The IT folks delete all messages from the sever after 9 weeks or so, but my desktop version of Outlook tells me that it autoarchives the messages. Where can I find these and how to I get them?

Also, what could I import them to? Gmail? My iPhone?

The iPhone (not synched with the server, which uses something called GOOD) seems to import contacts, calender etc from Outlook. Is there a way to upload the contacts, calender and ESPECIALLY the AutoArchived email to Gmail so I have them permanently? Or at least save the AutoArchived messages?

Many, many thanks for your help!
posted by willie11 to Technology (8 answers total)
The default locations are as follows:

Windows Vista

Windows XP
C:\Documents and Settings\yourusername\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\Archive.pst

If you don't see the Local Settings or Local folders, they may be hidden. In Vista, Start > Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization > Folder Options > View Tab > Advanced > Files and Folders > Hidden files and folders> Show hidden files and folders. In XP, Start > CP > Folder Options > View tab > Scrolldown, click Show hidden files and folders.

As to what to view them with, I guess anything that can read .pst. Good luck!
posted by Liver at 1:52 PM on October 19, 2009

What I'd probably do is enable IMAP access for your GMail account, and then create/enable your Gmail account in Outlook.

Then, create folders in the GMail IMAP account as appropriate, and copy your messages over from Outlook's folders to GMail. The "folders" in the IMAP interface (Outlook) will be "Labels" when viewed via Gmail's web interface, but the functionality is the same.

There are other ways to do this (exporting from Outlook as .pst files), but I have found that copying messages within your email client, and archiving them on an IMAP server, is the easiest method. I have my own IMAP server set up and running on an old machine for this purpose, but unless you have sensitive data that you can't put on Gmail, I would just use Google's. Particularly if you're under a time crunch; setting up imapd properly is not a job for an afternoon if you've never done it before.
posted by Kadin2048 at 1:53 PM on October 19, 2009

My archive is a .pst file saved in Documents and Settings/(My userid)/Local Settings/Application Data/Microsoft/Outlook.
I found the directory by clicking File->Archive.
(This is on Outlook 2007)
posted by MtDewd at 1:54 PM on October 19, 2009

And I'd back up those .pst files as well, just to be safe. In fact, go ahead and back them up first just in case something goes horribly wrong. No harm in being careful.
posted by Kadin2048 at 1:55 PM on October 19, 2009

Response by poster: Sorry, I'm using Outlook 2003 on a Windows XP laptop.

I found the pst file but am not sure what to do with it. What reads a pst?
posted by willie11 at 2:00 PM on October 19, 2009

Copy the PST file (don't move it!) to a USB keychain drive or some other backup media.

PST is a proprietary format used by Microsoft Outlook. There are other programs which will read it, because the format has been reverse-engineered (much like Microsoft Word), though. I think Thunderbird will import them. There are some Unixy utilities that will convert them to mbox as well.

However, I think they're a pain in the ass if you want to really work with the email in the archive. It's fine if you're just keeping stuff archived and there's only a small chance you're ever going to want it, and in the case you do want it you're willing to do some work to import it again, but I like my email accessible. I like to be able to search it quickly, in particular. That's why I recommend, in addition to backing up the PST files themselves, copying all your messages over to an IMAP server using Outlook before you get locked out.

Also, in my above message I linked to the wrong how-to (I linked to the POP one, not the IMAP one; you want IMAP). Here is the correct one to follow.
posted by Kadin2048 at 2:05 PM on October 19, 2009

The pst file is openable by another copy of outlook somewhere else, so just copy the PST file over if that's what you have time for, and you can open it on a different computer, then you can upload to wherever or do whatever you want. the key is grabbing the PST file. Also, if your contacts are in the global address list (not your address book) they will not be copied in the PST. You need to add any contacts you wish to keep to your address book before copying the pst file.
posted by defcom1 at 7:21 PM on October 19, 2009

I just did this very task for my boss. Here's the guide I followed. I copied his whole "personal folder" to a flash drive, which made the entire task much easier.

This is what I found to move to gmail from Outlook....
posted by Lynsey at 9:49 AM on October 20, 2009

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