Pretty Complete Guide To Moving Outlook to a new Windows computer


GOAL: To Move Outlook 2010, Outlook 2013, or Outlook 2016 to a new computer running Windows 7, 8, or 10. 


The steps are similar for all versions of Outlook and Windows, but dialog and folder paths can vary.


Step 1: Get the files from old computer – get them outta there!

If you use POP3 or have archives or local .PST files in your profile, you’ll need to move them to the new computer. It’s not necessary to move data files used for IMAP email,, or Exchange mailbox as the mail (and calendar and contacts for and Exchange) are stored on the mail server.

The .PST file contains your POP3 email, calendar, and contacts.

If you have an IMAP account in Outlook 2010 or older, you’ll have email in one .PST file and a separate *.PST file for Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, and Notes. You’ll need to copy the *.PST used for calendar and contacts to the new computer.

Outlook 2013 uses an *.OST file for IMAP accounts, and can store Calendar, Contacts, and Tasks in the *.OST file, in folders labeled ‘(This computer only)’. If you have Outlook items in the ‘This computer only’ folders, you’ll need to export the Calendar, Contacts, and Tasks (and Notes) from these folders to a *.pst file to use them on the new computer.

You may have more than one .PST. In most cases, they will be in the default location Outlook uses. In Outlook 2010 (and up), the default location for *.pst files used for POP3 or for calendar and contacts is in My Documents\Outlook Files.

When the .pst files are in the default location for Outlook 2007 and older (in C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook), you can quickly access the default .PST location from Windows Explorer by pasting this line in Windows Explorer’s address bar to jump to the folder.


You’ll see a list of files in the Outlook folder. You need to copy the Outlook Data Files (.PST). Note that Outlook needs to be closed to copy a .pst that is in the active profile. Outlook can hold .PST files open for as long as 30 minutes after you close Outlook; if you receive any errors when copying the .PST, wait a few minutes and try again

You’ll copy the .PST files to the new computer. If you have several .PST files in the folder and aren’t sure which one is the one with your data, look at the file dates and file sizes. If you have 265kb .PST files, they are empty and don’t need to be moved.

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