Import Outlook PST into Windows Mail

I’ve been asked recently how to import an Outlook PST file into Windows Mail and I thought it would be worth sharing how to do this.  I headed over to the Windows Mail forums (part of the Windows Vista community) to see if there were any solutions already documented.  There were.

Here are some key points I took from one of the posts, the most important of which is POINT 3.

  1. Outlook must be installed on the computer that the .pst file is to be exported.
  2. Individual messages from Outlook (.msg) cannot be dragged and dropped into WIndows Mail (or even Outlook Express on XP for that matter)
  3. In Outlook on Windows XP export the PST to Outlook Express then import those into Windows Mail
  4. Outlook Contacts will need to be exported as a Comma Separated Values text file for import into Windows Contacts
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Comments (100)

  1. james says:

    Hi Jan,

    That’s true – thanks for sharing!


  2. Jan V says:

    Problem is that you’ll come across this import problem when you’ve got Vista running on your machine and not XP with Outlook.

    The thing I did was install a trial version of Office 2007 which had Outlook 2007 in the package.

    (Import the old pst file(s) in Outlook 2007 trial) – optional

    After that the appropriate MAPI driver is installed on your system and you are able to open the old pst files in Windows Mail.

    Having done this you can easily copy-paste the stuff you want to your Inbox/Calendar/etc.

  3. Antonio Valinho says:


    What about .dbx files ?


  4. Ricardo van Milligen says:


    if I’m right, those .dbx files are from Outlook Express which is standardly build in WindowS XP.

    You should be able to import those to Windows Mail very easilly.

    Just start Windows Mail, File, Import.

    Select the Outlook Express verion you are using, and then browse to the .dbx file.

    Then double click it and Windows Mail should import them!

  5. JOY says:

    how to import message from outlook express to outlook with vista program.

  6. Raymond Parent says:

    Same old problem of file transfer tricks.

    Mine is from Windows ME outlook express to Windows Mail. When I followed proposed procedure, I was told I needed a mapi driver to allow this transfer. How about pulling me out of this rot?


  7. Bruno says:

    Ok, ppl and the microsoft mail says thats ez to import files from the import tool like dude previously explained a few post ago. but my problem is that windows mail bring two option in the import screen where the first is the right option. ok but my windows mail brought the first option disabled allowing me to select only the second option that required a file wich is not the .dbx file from key/identities/outlook express folder that i backed up.

    how do u import my .dbx files to my windows mail?

    ps.: i dont want to install free trial or n other version of microsoft outlook 2007 or 2003.


  8. Shell says:

    So there is no other way to move Outlook or Outlook Express files from the old computer to Microsoft Mail on my new computer other than to buy or download Outlook as a intermediary?!!!

     When I have physically put the .dbx file on my computer, Mail doesn’t find it.  It asks for location of an "OE6 store directory" but doesn’t allow you to show the location.

    Can’t this company make anything simple??

  9. JWdB says:

    How can it be cool technology if it is so difficult to migrate to? Vista is a joke.

  10. Sylvia says:

    This is all very well, I installed Outlook 2007 and it kept "not responding" and I wasn’t able to do anything with it.  I gave up and took it off.  

    I just need a solution for being able to have a common diary and contacts that works with both XP and Vista when I’m off-line.  Any suggestions?

  11. Mark Kent says:

    Well, got my mail imported, but now when I try to use Vista Contacts, and I hit "import" I get an error box with a big red X and no text.  I can’t edit contacts already in there, or create new ones manually either.  Only thing I can think of is I edit the registry for wab.dll to point to Common Files.  Anyone know what the original entry was?  (I know should have written it down, sorry).  Or what could be screwing up Vista Contacts otherwise?

  12. ali_jane says:

    So glad to find this page after wading through so much stuff! Unbelievable that there were only instructions on imports if you were upgrading to Vista on the same machine rather than a new one on the Windows help page.

    I had a copy of Outlook 2000 I could put on the new Vista machine, but after installing it refused to import anything because it said the wab.dll was missing. I went from Microsoft Office on the XP machine without creating a .pst file after all.

    For people looking for more step by step instructions (if you suck at this stuff like me):

    I ended up importing the Outlook mail to Outlook Express on the old XP computer, then copying the Outlook Express mailboxes to the new Vista computer and importing those in Windows Mail.

    1) Start Outlook Express, fill in some random information to set up your dud account (mine wouldn’t let me just next through that process with empty fields and the application had never been used)

    2) File > Import > Messages select Microsoft Outlook or Microsoft Exchange then All Folders

    Find out where your messages are being stored in Outlook Express:  

    3) Tools > Options, on the Maintenance tab there’s a button labeled Store Folder, select and copy the name of the directory (last file folder name should be "Outlook Express")

    Copy the entire folder of mailboxes to a storage place the new computer can access:

    4) Start > Run paste in the file path copied in step 3 and click OK

    5) Click the up arrow to get to the parent folder, select the "Outlook Express" folder

    6) copy the entire Outlook Express directory to a flash drive, burn to a cd, or put somewhere else it will be accessible from the new computer

    7) on the new Vista computer copy the Outlook Express directory from your cd/flash drive/whatever onto the desktop (or anywhere else easy to find)

    Import into Windows Mail:

    8) Open Microsoft Mail on the new Vista machine

    9) File > Import > Messages select Microsoft Outlook Express 6 then click Next

    10) select "Import mail from an OE6 store directory" and click OK

    11) Click Browse and find the "Outlook Express" folder you saved on your desktop. (Don’t go into the directory, just highlight and click "Select Folder" then click Next

    12) Select "All folders" (unless you really do only want some of them) and click Next

    You should see it importing the messages.

    Haven’t attempted copying the address book. The computers I’m doing this from aren’t mine and there doesn’t seem to be anything in the address book, although if you start typing in the To line previously used address do appear. If anyone has any suggestions about where those addresses are actually stored please let me know!

  13. Bob Hyatt says:

    Let me see if I understand this.  As to point number 1, I need to install Outlook on the Vista computer?  (I assume that’s the case since obviously Outlook is already on the XP computer, which has the emails.)  Then export the pst file on the XP computer from Outlook to Outlook Express, and then import from Outlook Express into Windows Mail on the Vista computer?  Sorry, this is all above my pay grade. Thanks.

  14. Tombo says:

    I use Windows Mail Import (Windows XP to Vista) but it does not recognize Outlook express .dbx files. I select the option Import/messages….select OutlookExpress6 and the .dbx files can not be imported or are unrecognized. Even import account settings and get a message "No other  e-mail accounts could be found". Which is stupid. Of course no mail accounts could be found which is exatly why I want to import them.

  15. Alison Lesley says:

    Thanks Ali_Jane for well written excellent advice.  I’d been puzzling on how to do this and wondered if exporting to Outlook Express was the way forward but I wouldn’t have been able to do it without these notes. I’ve still to find a way to export Contacts and the Calender though.  Next time I upgrade software I’ll pay rather more attention to what I’m buying…..

  16. ali_jane says:

    Hi Tombo,

    You need to tell Windows mail that you’re going to import the messages using the .dbx files, rather than from another account. After you select OutlookExpress6 there should be a prompt where you choose the radio button for "Import mail from an OE6 store directory" and click OK.

    Once you’ve done that Windows mail isn’t looking for a specific .dbx file, it’s looking for the directory (folder) which contains all the .dbx files you’re going to import. Even if you’re only going to give it one .dbx file put it in a folder and when you browse select the outside folder.

    (see my steps 8 to the end)

  17. ali_jane says:

    Hi Bob,

    If you have the newest copy of Outlook on the Vista computer Jan V’s comment (at the top) implies you shouldn’t need to go through everything that I did. I was trying to get from Outlook on the XP computer to Windows Mail on the Vista computer. I’d take a look and see if you have an option within the Outlook on Vista to import a .pst file, and if it gives an error consider Jan V’s solution.

  18. Aether says:

    Thanks, Ali_Jane….not navigating into the store directory (just selecting the "second to last" folder) did the trick for me.

    I looked everywhere for a fix, and to think it was so simple as being counterintuitive;)

  19. Scott CLark says:

    I installed the trial Outlook 2007 and found that the "Import/Export" menu choice was disabled.  Dead in the water.

  20. sumir kaundal says:

    how to Import Windows Mail into Outlook?

  21. John says:

    Ali_janes’s advise indeed works

  22. George III says:

    Also trying to import Outlook Contacts into Vista’s Windows Contacts. Both are loaded on same machine and I don’t care which one I end up using – just need help getting one or the other working!!

    Outlook 2000 and all my contacts and Personal Folders transfered over OK from my old drive onto the new Vista machine. All works ok except that when I create a new mail and go to the ‘To’ to select addresses from my Contacts, I get: "messaging interface returns an unknown error".  Any help on this??

    Regarding Windows Contacts, I can’t get it to ‘Import’. When I select ‘Import’ I get an error box with a big red X and no text (as did Mark Kent above). Any ideas as to what this problem is?

  23. Tina B says:

    Ali Jane you are a wonderful wonderful person to go through so much trouble in giving us step-by-step instructions!  You have saved me many hours of pain and frustration.  Everyone worked beautifully for me as per your initial instructions.

    Thank you very muchly.

  24. BjørnT says:

    Thanks a lot, ali_jane.  After several evenings of cursing Microsoft and their new product, your receipt for importing messages into Vista Mail saved the day. Fortunately the old computer had Outlook Express installed.  I can’t figure out why MS would want to let down all the millions of Outlook-users..

  25. Andy says:

    Magic thanks ali_jane going to make my afternoon easier now ill let yall know how i get on

  26. John hudson says:

    Thanks to you all and especialy ali_jane  I was able to getcontacts and messages moved to my wifes new vista laptop

    The Ancient Mariner

  27. Pier Italy says:

    Many thanks to Ali_Jane for their excellent advices –

    my tips to transfer the contacts in Outlook 2000 gathered in my previous computer into Windows mail in a new laptop (MSI M670), passing through Outlook Express 06, are as follows:

    1. export the Outlook 2000 contacts as a ‘comma separate values’ file and save it on your old computer desk top

    [in outlook 2000: 1. export in a file; 2. ‘comma separate values (windows); 3. choose a name for the contact file; 4. possibly ‘map’ the single fields (name, surname, address etc) in which the text will be saved; 5. save the file on the desktop, to be easily found]

    2. import the file into Outlook Express 06 in your old computer

    [1.  file; 2. import; 3. other address book; 4. comma separate values; 4. find the file (saved on your old computer desktop) to be imported in OE06; 5. check the mapping of the single fields (so that they shall  exactly match with the fields indicated under point 4. above); 6. import the outlook 2000 contacts into outlook express]

    3.  export the Outlook express 06 contacts (as a comma separate values file) on your old computer desktop or other flash memory stick or external HD;

    4. transfer the file under point 3 on your Vista computer desktot (or connect the flash memory stick/external HD through a ubs port);

    5. open Windows Mail and follows these further steps:

    1. file ; 2. import ; 3. windows contacts; 4. CSV; 5. find the file you previously saved on the new computer desktop (or in the memory stick/ external HD); 6. again, check the mapping and, above all, check that the text fields and the contact fields are identical (surname=surname; electronic mail= electronic mail address;home address=home address, etc. ) – this is the most important step, since allows the transfer of the right text (from outlook 2000 to outlook express 06 and from oe06 to vista) into the right contact fields; 7. import (it will take some time).

    If the enitre process is correct, at the end hopefully you should find a list of names with the right text (name, surname, phone number, cell. number) in the right field.

    Unfortunately the process takes some time – Microsoft (and the pc suppliers) should provide this basic tips when the product is sold (consumer welfare!)


    Pier – Rome

  28. aaron says:

    So reading thru all this what is the easiest way to get my Outlook stuff exported in Vista? Step by step.

  29. greenstem says:

    sorta on topic,

    why change away from outlook ?

    I am trying to decide between outlook 2007 and vista windows mail.

    From everything i read, i think windows mail is enough,BUT … I often get .rtf attachments (jokes, etc)and apparently these are still only readable on outlook. I have told the sender to change his settings, but normally they are forwards being forwarded again.

    Seems like overkill to use outlook2007 just to read the jokes, but I have it in an office 2007 bundle, just need to decide its pros/cons verse default vista mail

    any advice is appreciated

  30. pete says:

    HOW DO I GET OUTLOOK EXPRESS?!  I can’t find it anywhere on Microsoft’s sight.

  31. Penny NZ says:

    Thanks to you both, ali_jane and Pier. I have successfully navigated my first steps through the quagmire of the new system. Doesn’t seem to be what you would expect in terms of hassle-free use, that’s for sure.

  32. david sadler says:

    outlook express is included as part of internet explorer 6 on windows xp machines

  33. Dave M2 says:

    Regarding Windows Contacts, I can’t get it to ‘Import’. When I select ‘Import’ I get an error box with a big red X and no text (as did Mark Kent & another above). Any ideas as to what this problem is?

    can’t create new contacts either!!

  34. Dave M2 says:

    Regarding Windows Contacts, I can’t get it to ‘Import’. When I select ‘Import’ I get an error box with a big red X and no text (as did Mark Kent & another above). Any ideas as to what this problem is?

    can’t create new contacts either!!

  35. Richard says:

    I’ve the same problem as Dave M and Mark Kent.  Can anyone help?

    Thanks in advance,


  36. Emzy says:

    Ali_Jane ! YOU ARE THE BEST!!!!


  37. Andrew says:

    OK, so excuse my ignorance but what format do I use to export from Outlook 2003? excel, access, pst, csv … etc?

  38. stef says:

    What about moving calendar info from old box XP Outlook 2000 over to new box Vista Mail?  Anybody been successful?

  39. stef says:

    Wow…i’m impressed with you guys!  I followed the instructions here on moving both email (thanks ali_jane) and addressbook info (thanks Pier Italy) from XP Outlook 2003 (apparently has same issues as 2000 version) to new box with Vista Windows Mail.  Worked like a champ!  One questioning moment for me was while following Pier’s instructions, step 3, my version of Outlook Express only offered exporting options ‘Address Book’ and ‘Messages’…i chose ‘Address Book’ and continued on…it worked great (Pier’s instructions say export ‘Contacts’ – same thing, i guess).  Still seeking calendar migration tricks…no luck yet.  Anyway, thanks again guys!!!

  40. Gary says:

    I have the same problem as Richard, Dave M and Mark Kent. Has anybody found any info on this yet?

    Thank you,


  41. Ann says:

    I installed the trial Outlook 2007 and found that the "Import/Export" menu choice was disabled.  Dead in the water.

    Does anyone know if the import/export area is disabled until you purchase the real copy?  I can’t download my contacts into Outlook 2007 on my new Windows Vista hard drive.

  42. John says:

    This doesn’t seem to work with the 2 PCs in our home.

    PC 1 has XP and Outlook 2000 can’t export Inbox to Outlook Express. This export filter doesn’t seem to be installed and we can’t determine how to install it from the CD.

    Furthermore, PC 2 with Vista has Import and Export buttons in Contacts that only lead to a dialogue box with no text, a red circle with a white plus sign in it, and an OK button.

    The really bad part is we can’t even use the New Contact or New Group buttons to manually add the old Outlook Contacts.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated (and the help champion’s name will be revered by all in our home).

  43. Marv says:

    Anyone know how to Export Aol contacts, folders, and files to csv and import to Windows Vista contacts etc.?

    Thanks I hope.


  44. Newc says:

    I had the same problem as some other people, whereby I’d followed the above instructions by importing my .pst folder to OE6 on my old computer (from Outlook 2003) and then copied the .dbx inbox to my new computer.  Importing it into Windows Mail didn’t work.  Then I read this –

    and it’s right.  You have to transfer all folders, not just your inbox, to your new computer.  This will let Windows Mail ‘see’ the new folders and you can select just inbox to import into Windows mail if you so desire.

    Hope this is of help,  newc

  45. jamie says:


    Thank you!

    I spent house dicking around with the Windows file transfer and tried all sorts of things to import my messages without success. I followed your steps and completed it in 5 minutes and it worked perfectly.

    Thanks a million for your post


  46. colin says:

    I exported my account from Outlook Express and it created a .iaf file.  I put this in the same foilder as my .dbx files but when I try to import an email account I still get "No other  e-mail accounts could be found". Any suggestions how I can fix this?


  47. Øyvind Orre says:

    Got an old disk with both Outlook 2000 and Outlook Express installed on. No problem importing the Outlook Express .WAB-files to Windows Mail, but the Outlook 2000-stuff is more or less impossible to get imported. I don’t have the possibility to boot from this disk, and therefore not able to export anything from Outlook 2000. Anyone see a solution to this problem?

    Thank you microsoft for all the frustration.

  48. Øyvind Orre says:

    Got an old disk with both Outlook 2000 and Outlook Express installed on. No problem importing the Outlook Express .WAB-files to Windows Mail, but the Outlook 2000-stuff is more or less impossible to get imported. I don’t have the possibility to boot from this disk, and therefore not able to export anything from Outlook 2000. Anyone see a solution to this problem?

    Thank you microsoft for all the frustration.

  49. Erik says:

    ali_jane you’re awesome!

    I did what you said and it worked perfectly!

  50. Gabriel says:

    I have an XP machine and Outlook 2003 on it.  I want to import my PST file into Outlook Express.  But when I try import in Outlook Express, it does not allow me to select the PST folder, just the folders that are still on my exchange server (in other words, the folders on my computer won’t import into Outlook Express 6.0)  I tried exporting the files on my hard drive to a backup.pst file but I can’t get Outlook Express to find that either.  Any insights anyone?

  51. Steve says:

    The trick for me was copying it to the desktop, all I got were error messages trying to import from the existing directory. Copyied them to desktop and it imported in just a few second, thanks a load for the info.

  52. Mark Alcock says:

    Does anyone know how to import an Outlook Express address book into Windows Mail while retaining the contact groups?



  53. nick says:

    Ali_Jane… worked like a charm… thanks, Nick

  54. Duncan says:

    Thanks ali_jane it worked perfectly for me. Well written

  55. Messed up guy trying to import to VISTA says:

    WHY THE $%$%$%&%/ DOES NOT Microsoft suply all of us thousands of users with a simple way to do this

    if you are in portugal the special chars and the marvelous ideia that ms had of translating everything messes up the mapping and you cant import s$#t

    makes you want to be a pirate and pirate everything just to make you feel relivied

    i feel better now

  56. Robert H. Goretsky says:

    Thanks to Ali_Jane and Pier Italy for the detailed instructions on importing the Contacts and folders.  Going through Outlook Express worked perfectly — its a shame that’s the only way to get this done for now.. Thanks from Robert H. Goretsky of Hoboken, NJ

  57. Tapio says:

    To be able to Get a PST file imported into Windows Mail you need to meet the following requirements.

    1. You need to have a intact and fully functional PST file exported from Outlook

    2. (Vista only) You need to install Outlook on the computer to where the PST is to be imported.

    How to:

    If you have outlook on an xp machine, import to olexp on that machine, move the olexp folder to vista, import to windows mail.

    But you still have problems with the contacts. So before doing the above perform the step3 below.

    1. If the Outlook is allready on the same machine as Windows Mail and you only wish to import the messages and contacts to Windows mail you can ignore the step 2

    2. First import the PST into outlook

    3. Now comes the little tricky part. Windows mail cannot directly import contacts from Outlook, but this workaround is pretty handy.

       Select all contacts-> right click on them and select Send full contact as VCard Do not send the message only save it it will be stored in Drafts.

    4. Open Windows mail and select: File-> Import-> Messages-> Microsoft Exchange or Microsoft Outlook

    5. Notice the new folder called Imported FolderDrafts open the message inside the Draft folder and right click on the attachments-> Select Save all.

    6. Now import the Contacts from the folder where you just saved all the VCards

  58. Peter Ward says:

    Ali, fantastic, thanks! You saved me hours (though the process took hours as well 🙁 ). Unbelievable that MS considers Vista to be an improvement over XP — network disk links, network printer links, and now a simple email client, all totally screwed up. No wonder MS has decided to offer XP for a while longer. If only I’d had that option, I’d have jumped at it, knowing what I do now. Advice to others: if you have a reasonable knowledge of XP and have it working, stay away from Vista!

  59. Michael B says:

    Thanks ali_jane!  Your step by step instructions were perfect.  I can’t imagine how anyone does this without such explicit instructions.

    By the way, importing contacts is much easier.  You just export your Outlook contacts to a CSV file, which can be imported directly into Windows Vista Mail using the import feature.

  60. OrangeMood says:

    How to syncronized beetween Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 at XP to Windows Mail at Vista for message & email address?

    The import menu at Windows Mail can not accept any format…

    Thanks b4.

  61. David B says:

    I have had the same problem as several other people.  When I go to Windows Contacts and select "Import" I get an error box with a big red X and no text.  I have loooked in several places for a solution and have not been able to find one.  Any ideas as to what this problem is?

  62. Lisa A says:

    How do I find the Import Export button using Outlook 2007 and Vista?  I cannot find it anywhere

  63. Larry says:

    I have a copy of my pst file from my xp running office 2007 with the new outlook. I am trying to add it to my new vista machine with new outlook and have addded it as my personal folders but my old inbox and sent mail do not show up, but my other folder do, what am I doing wrong?

  64. Gary says:

    I have a copy of my pst file from my xp running office 2007 with the new outlook. I am trying to add it to my new vista machine with new outlook and have addded it as my personal folders but my old inbox and sent mail do not show up, but my other folder do, what am I doing wrong?

    I’d guess you already have an Inbox and Sent Mail in New Outlook.

    So create Inbox2 folder first, in old location.  Move your messages from Inbox to Inbox2.  Ditto for SentMail.

    Then import again (but only those 2 folders, otherwise  you might have a ton of duplicates).

    Try it.

  65. Gary says:

    Well, got my mail imported, but now when I try to use Vista Contacts, and I hit "import" I get an error box with a big red X and no text.  I can’t edit contacts already in there, or create new ones manually either.  Only thing I can think of is I edit the registry for wab.dll to point to Common Files.  Anyone know what the original entry was?  (I know should have written it down, sorry).  Or what could be screwing up Vista Contacts otherwise?

    I’m not working in that right now, so I can’t tell, but I wanted to give it a stab.  Do you know the location for WAB.DLL.  Search?  Is it in Windows folder or Program Files, or System32?

    When you performed "Import" of messages, make sure it did not put anything under a new Identity.

    For example, the Outlook Express address book somehow focuses on which Identity you are using.  So if you are using a new/different Identity on new PC, which is that 32-digit CLSID name and a Store Folder under Users with a 32-digit CLSID parent, then Outlook Express treats other folders as "foreign" or non-existent.  Maybe Windows Mail does too.

    Maybe see if you can opens Contact independently of Mail, like for Outlook Express you would close Outlook Express  and directly open the Name.WAB file, so you could see everything and move it around.  Something similar in Windows Mail??

  66. Swimmer says:

    For anyone looking for a commercial solution to e-mail and contact conversion problems, take a look at Address Magic Personal ( You can download a limited demo to see if it works.

    No connection with the company – just a satisfied user.

  67. Bruce says:

    Thanks for the info.  My situation was slightly different.  I wanted to transfer outlook 2000 mails into my new computer’s Microsoft Mail.  I had the trial version of Office 2007 preloaded on the new computer and activated it according to some previous suggestions but for some reason everything else was there except Outlook?  In any case on my old computer I had both Outlook (which I used) and Outlook Express.  From other posts it was obvious that the path needed to be Outlook -> Oulook Express -> Windows Mail.  So I openned Outlook Express and imported my select message directories from Outlook 2000 (straight forward).  From OLE I then followed instructions I found at: find my Store Folder.Then I copied the Store Folder to my memory stick (remember I had OL and OLE on my old computer and Microsoft Mail on my new computer)Then on the new Vista computer I openned Microsoft Mail and then: file -> import -> messages -> OLE 6 From there I choose the Store File (named Outlook Express) that I had stored on my memory stick (now in new computer)

  68. mike says:

    Hey Gang,

    I just ran into the same problems (bought a new Vista box with Windows Mail, tried to import Outlook 2003 messages, contacts, etc to no avail). I had already taken the XP box apart, so solutions here didn’t apply to me. Here’s what worked for me…I downloaded the trial version of offic 2007 from the MS Office homepage, configured the installer to only install Outlook 2007 (just check the right boxes after choosing custom install) and when it was done, it opened all the old mail (I put the old computer’s drive in a USB enclosure, so I had access to everything.) Then I dragged the mail I wanted to save into Windows Mail. Worked like a champ. Hope this helps someone!


  69. Doug says:

    I just setup a new system (Dell) with Vista Home Premium and Windows Mail and was faced with the same dillema as many of you – moving my messages from Oulook 2000 inbox on WinXP to Windows Mail on Vista. There is a post dated "Monday, July 16/07 by ali_jane" which worked perfectly! Thanks ali_jane! It lists a 12-step procedure and it worked without a hitch (funny how ’12-step programs’ can be useful). The address book was easier. Simply export the address book as a file – comma separated values (Windows) – and Windows Mail will import the contacts. Thanks again to all.

  70. Carla says:

    Ok, here we go, i just figured this one out, and didnt need 12 steps.. forget the .pst file… go back into your outlook (2000,2003 whatever) export contacts as .csv camma seperated values,  choosing all the paths you want to include. then open windows mail, and import the .csv file again choosing all the paths you want imported as well.

    no middleman of outlook express…

    no downloading of ’07 required.

    hope this helps!

  71. Jools says:


    Read all the above and hope you can help.

    I have backed up my Outlook pst file that is now on an external disk drive. The problem I have is that I do not have the PC with Outlook anymore so cannot re export the file – I want to import this file into Windows Mail (Vista). (I also want to import my contacts)

    Would you have any good ideas?



  72. NaveenS says:

    Would like to know if there is anyway you can transfer the mails you have in windows mail to outlook 2007 on the same machine????

  73. Derrick says:

    I discovered a "work-around" solution to moving outlook express messages into Windows Mail after having trouble doing the outlook express export (failed to execute) and Windows Mail failed to see the .dbx files when I tried to import.  

    The solution that worked for me was to select all of the messages in a particular folder in Outlook Express and then drag them into a windows folder (I just created one on the desktop  of the same name to keep things organized).  The emails showed up as files in the new folder.  These I was able to drag and drop into the Windows mail folder of my choice.  Attachments came along as well.  

    I’m not sure if you can drag and drop messages from Outlook to a windows folder or not but it’s worth a try.

  74. art lesher says:


    I have both XP and Vista installed and wondered if it is possible to 1) launch both at the same time; and 2) if so, export or transfer my XP Outlook Contacts to Vista Contacts? Thanks,

    Art Lesher

  75. Rick says:

    Another trick…  You CAN move your imported folders under the Local Folders folder using drag and drop.  This will take forever with all the drag-scrolling, however.  One trick that helped me was to rename the new Imported folder to aaImported.  That way, it stayed at the top near the Local Folders and no more drag-scrolling was required.  Thanks again to all posters.

  76. Bloody Annoyed says:

    It appears as though once the Microsoft Office 2007 Free trial has expired you can no longer export your contacts from Outlook.

    Does anyone know of a way to do this without having to resort to installation of another Office 2007 trial just to get MY contacts out of a PROPRIETRY file format.

    And you wonder why OOXML is not a goo way to go as an open standard.

    Well done Microsoft, you’ve managed to blow both feet off this time…

  77. Juan says:


    Export from Outlook 2003 and import in Outlook Express, then Export a new file and import it in Windows Mail.


  78. Billy.W says:

    Can I add, if you have to put Outlook 2003 or 2007 onto the Vista machine to open thes .pst file (bear in mind that Outlook XP/2002 has a password retention problem in Vista) then use that for your mail instead of Microsoft Mail.

  79. Billy.W says:

    Can I add, if you have to put Outlook 2003 or 2007 onto the Vista machine to open thes .pst file (bear in mind that Outlook XP/2002 has a password retention problem in Vista) then use that for your mail instead of Microsoft Mail.

  80. Diederik says:

    For me yet another path worked (problem: outlook 2000 pst files & contacts not loadable in Vista mail)

    1) downloaded trail version Office 2007 from US site.

    2) installed only outlook 2007 on Vista (this found all 2000 PST files. Needed to enter the trial product key code a 2nd time to activate and hence enable the Import/Export menu option.

    3) exported in 2007 my messages as a PST file.

    4) this  "2007"PST file can be immediately imported by Vista Mail.

  81. Kirsten says:

    I am so grateful to have found this link!  Thank you ali_jane!!!  My biggest problem was getting outlook express on the old machine – I’d already upgraded to IE7 which no longer has OE as a part of it.  You can’t download OE if you have IE7 cuz your computer will tell you there’s a more current version of IE (than IE6) and it won’t download.  I had to take IE7 off the old machine, then install the OE/IE6 software (free) from microsoft.  What a crock!  But it worked, so thank you thank you thank you!!!

  82. jim says:

    What do you do if the XP machine, with Outlook (OL) doesn’t have an option to export to Outlook Express (OLE)? Nor does it look like the install CD has a converter/export option for OL to OLE.

  83. Jenny says:

    I have just got a new laptop with vista.  I need to load a pst file from my outlook 2003 package to windows mail.

    To achieve this i imported the 2003 pst into my trial version of outlook 2007 (worked great), then I loaded windows mail and imported all mails from outlook 2007- the import took hours and I endedd up with a complete mess!  My folder structure has not been maintained- instead i just have about 80 folders called Imported Folder (n) where ‘n’ is an incremented number.  How can i import my mails with my folder structure?

  84. paul says:

    For me I would prefer to continue using OUTLOOK AS i HAVE.

    I use all part of OUTLOOK 2003 for everything both work & personal…

    Im sick of hearing people using seperate calendars when there is no real need to do so.

    WHich is why syncing them is a cool deal.

    But in my case, I would rather have WINDOWS MAIL call up OUTLOOK and never be used.

    Unfrotunately even with the ‘vista defaults’  WINDOWS mail still pops up.

    WINDOWS CALENDAR – while Ok, would prefer it sync with OUTlook calendar.

    windows contacTS – seemed cool  initially as it got populated by my OUTLOOK stuff ..

    But since IM OUTLOOK heavy… I would still prefer the OUtlook contacts/address book.

    If I could either sync them or fool Vista into pointing to OUTLOOK on them I would.

    Ive even tried cheating and creating a exe that would in reality call up OUTLOOk, and that almost worked.

    tRIED SHORTCUTS, BUT PARTS OF vista will always call up the exe.

    Personally I consider some parts of these 3 items to be substandard.

  85. Carla says:

    I transferred my settings from an XP laptop to a Vista one.

    I accidentally opened an old version of Outlook (2000) that was on the Vista laptop and before I could stop it, it had downloaded all my new emails from my server (which doesn’t keep a copy)

    All my old emails from my XP laptop have loaded in Windows mail but I now cannot load the new downloaded ones. I have them all in a single folder and have tried to follow instructions in previous emails with success as I am not very computer literate.

    I have tried downloading the new version of Windows Office but it downloaded without loading Outlook and deleted the old version of Outlook in the process. I kept a copy of the pst file before starting the download so I still have this.

    Is there any way of importing these emails into my Windows Mail folder?

    Thanks for any advice

  86. MCGMB says:

    ali_jane your are the best!!!

    I followed your instructions and everything worked perfectly.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to make what appeared to be very difficult very simple instead.

  87. Brian Russ says:

    Hi James,   Still havent attempted to convert my contacts and emails from XP to Vista yet. I have been spending time looking up all the forums on these subjects. Seems this Ali May should be imployed by Windows instead of those who create these problems. You know you keep reading all these comments and problems that this issue has caused.

    Makes you angry just to read alone at what is happing. Windows really need to get off there arse and fix this problem. Anything less is UNEXCEPTABLE. All these peoples time is equally as important as any others. All these hours  we consume, is very poor indeed. My suggestion before was for Microsoft to put together a small program that can be installed to desktop, to simply get the job done with much less WASTED TIME by us. It appears to me, even as a layman, that Vista has this internal ability to do exactly that. When you install over XP with Vista, these contacts and messages are imported straight into windows email.

    Shouldnt be that hard surely. If they are so busy with Win 7, ??, I recommend they get there priorities in the right order and solve our problems for us. Really, those who are resonsible cannot justifyable "take a bow".

    Brian Russ

  88. rejoanhossain says:


    I am Bangladeshi. our very poor people. i don’t know how setup windows xp. plz ask me. I wish all the best. Bye.

    Rejoan Hossain

    +88 02 8952673

  89. Steger says:

    WHY must it be so hard?? I use Vista 64 SP1 and have pst file of all my mails from xp SP3.

    I get error trying to import the file.

    Vista sucks at this (among many other small annoyances).

  90. Peggy says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! I have spent the last 4 or 5 hours looking for the way to get my Outlook 2003 messages from my XP machine to my new computer with Vista Windows Mail. Not one forum told me I couldn’t do it; that I had to load Outlook to the new computer to get the "imap" (whatever that is) so I could import the files. Once I did that, it was a snap. Now I can uninstall Outlook from the new computer. Thanks again.

  91. nick says:

    In Dutch we would say: "Gouden Instructie".

    Being an absolute nerd I was already considering to keep

    parts of the old hardware to save/archive my personal and business mails.

    The instruction of Ali_Jane…… wonderfull. Worked perfectly even for this nerd. Why doesn’t microsoft become more customer oriented in these cases?

    Who ever you are Ali_Jane! You saved my …. mail life!

    Thanks, thanks, thanks. May the horses stay with you!


  92. Larry L says:

    I cannot get Outlook Express to run, I go to the Microsoft link for IE 6 SP1, but it seems to recognize that I have a later version of Internet Explorer on my system and will not replace the new version with the old version. I can download IE6setup.exe and run it, but I get the message "The most recent versions of all items are already installed" Even if I tell it to "Reinstall all components", I cannot find any outlook express after restarting the computer. The download also created outlookexpress.sit. I am running Windows 2000 and want to import my old E-mail messages from Outlook via outlook express into Windows live mail on my new Vista computer. Thanks for any help!

  93. Brian Russ says:

    Hi James,   Few weeks since my last comment about Microsoft. My views havent changed at all since then.

    I have managed to finally retreive my email messages complete with folders.

    I have put together a way that I managed to stumble across after I had read all the most informative posts. I have put it in real layman terms so the real "neebies can do this.  This is real simple and took me 10 minutes to achieve.

    Good Luck.

    XP Outlook Express to Vista – email messages

    Two separate machines, XP pro, and the other, Vista Home premium.

    XP Pro (or other probably)

    Use Windows explorer.

    Open + My Computer.

    Open + C Drive.

    Open + Windows.

    Open + Application Data.

    Open + (84DI55fe——).

    Open + Software.

    Open + Microsoft.

    Outlook Express  – copy complete folder (Outlook Express) to memory stick, or Disk.

    (Everything you need is in this folder as it is).

    Second Machine – Vista Home Premium( or other probably).

    Open Windows mail.

    File   –   Import   –    messages.

    Select  Microsoft Outlook Express 6.

    Next   –   ( then just) OK   –  then Browse.

    Find your saved folder(on memory stick or Disk).

    Next   –    All Folders    –   next.


    James, or any other useful helper.

    I have managed to import my contacts from XP to Vista, but they are not with the origional folders. Thats OK I dont mind doing all the bloody work again. So I created my own folders in the new Vista contacts, and moved all my contacts into those folders. The question is when I go to create a new message, and hit on the "To button, I cannot see the folders(with the address’s in them) to access a contact. I figure I must have an incorrect setting in my options. Or is is it that Microsöft have stuffed up again, still!

    Why,   Can anyone tell me.

    HELLO___ Is Microsoft even listening.

    No wonder people are really annoyed. Recon Microsoft owe us all an apology. "

    James,  The method I used for the email messages, (including all folders) should be the same or similar to what I have described, for the contacts.  Only trouble is that I cannot find where the Microsoft Outlook Address Book folder is stored. I have searched high and low.

    Ive been without my use of Email address’s for a couple of months now so this is becoming quite urgent now.

  94. Jase says:

    Brilliant works like a charm…..thanks all

  95. Vinod says:

    Dear Sir,

    I have Outlook 2000, in my vista comp. When I try to send a mail, i get error that WAB dll file is missing.

    I seem to be having problems in shifting my pst file to windows mail.

    can u pls help me out..


  96. james smith says:

    Hi everyone

    I think the easiest way to do this is to download Dmailer sync it allows you to synchronzie all your email data from Outlook, Outlook Express and Windows Mail. Then you can restore that data to Outlook, Outlook Express or Windows Mail. You can even synchronize your files and internet Bookmarks or Favorites at the same time this is helpful if you are moving computer.

    Using this software will not cost you because you can do this within the free 30 day trial period.

    You can download it from:

  97. Greg P says:

    Ok, all of this sounds great, BUT…

    I have a .PST file that was part of a backup set from an old pc.  That pc crashed & I now have a Vista pc with Microsoft Mail loaded.  I installed the trial version of Outlook but can not export with the trial version.  What do I do???


  98. Hddi11 says:

    Ali_Jane , Thank You sooooooo much for your post it was RIGHT on even for a puter idiot like myself. It was well written and work as tho I knew what I was doing!!!   A+++++

  99. New_user says:

    Thank you ali_jane for your well written help. It saved me

    a lot of time.

  100. charles weidner says:

    google article seems to be easy to follow:

    also a site that may be helpful to new vista users