Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

Move PC Outlook email to Apps
This previous hint suggested moving contact info from Outlook to Mac using libpst. But libpst is also useful for moving zillions of mail messages that are stuck on a switcher's (in this case, virus-ridden) Windows laptop. Of course, there are shareware apps (like the excellent O2M), but if you like to get your feet wet in the Terminal (and presuming you have Xcode installed), try this:
  1. Download libpst
  2. In Terminal, unwrap it using tar -zxvf libpst-0.5.x.tar.gz (in the same directory where you downloaded the file, obviously)
  3. Go into to the unwrapped folder: cd libpst-0.5.x
  4. Compile it using: make
  5. After compilation, you should have a file called readpst
Now that you have the program installed, execute this command:
readpst -o /path/to/output/folder /path/to/somefile.pst
Then open, choose Import Mailboxes... from the File menu, and pick Other as the type. Then look for the output folder where you saved the converted email, and sit back while imports all the messages.
  • Currently 3.57 / 5
  You rated: 5 / 5 (7 votes cast)

Move PC Outlook email to | 7 comments | Create New Account
Click here to return to the 'Move PC Outlook email to' hint
The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Move PC Outlook email to
Authored by: chadh on Jul 13, '07 08:10:17AM

I've used this tool in the past and it works well for mail and contacts. One important note: It will only work with Outlook 97 style PST files. If you are using a newer version of outlook make sure you choose the Outlook 97 type when you create your pst file.


[ Reply to This | # ]
Move PC Outlook email to
Authored by: iMacC2DGuy on Jul 13, '07 10:06:07AM

Outlook 2007 doesn´t have an option of archiving ´97 style, I guess it won´t work.


[ Reply to This | # ]
Move PC Outlook email to
Authored by: nmerriam on Jul 13, '07 03:03:37PM

Isn't the easiest way to download Thunderbird and have it import your outlook mail, then you can get it into pretty much any other program (including

Of course, the REAL best way to do it is to use a decent email server with IMAP, then any good email client can easily access your mail. Or if you can briefly get access, drag all your local outlook mail to an IMAP server, then log in to that server and drag it all into your new app.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Move PC Outlook email to
Authored by: xcgr on Jul 15, '07 05:32:56PM

The last time I tried that, Thunderbird mangled the heck out of any HTML/rich-text emails that it imported from Outlook, and messed up some of the attachments. I think I was using Thunderbird 1.5.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Move PC Outlook email to
Authored by: goochrules on Jul 18, '07 10:11:04AM

I have Outlook 2002 running on Windows XP SP2 in Parallels for Mac (build 3214).
I installed Thunderbird on Windows, and it was able to import everything from Outlook just fine.
I installed Thunderbird on OS X and copied the profile folder over, and everything again looks fine.
When I try to have import Thunderbird's files (either by choosing 'Mozilla/Netscape' or 'Other' during the import), I end up with more or less the correct directory structure, but only one email per directory, which contains every message that should be in the directory, including base64 encoded attachments.

Any ideas on what I'm doing wrong?

[ Reply to This | # ]
Move PC Outlook email to
Authored by: pediger on Jul 13, '07 06:00:56PM

I couldn't get this to work. I've been struggling for a while to move some business email over to my own server with little luck. Here's what I've tried:

1) Dragging to an IMAP server within Outlook - Creates those dreaded winmail.dat attachments. I think it was creating them on all messages whether they had attachments or not.

2) Bought O2M - This is where Outlook/Exchange is biting me, I think. A few issues. The display part of addresses there contain a comma (Last, First (Dept) <>), which O2M does not put quotes around. So once I get these to my server, treats them as multiple addresses. Second, all addresses in To: and CC: only contain the display name, not the email address, for internal Exchange people. Third, all messages come over as unread. (I have written to littlemachines about all of these.)

3) libpst - Compiled with a number of warnings. When run, I get the following and the file that I think should be the mbox is empty and the other contains VCARD headers around email messages! Any clues? (Oh, and I did have to build a new '97 pst file. It really choked on the Outlook 2003 file.)

Opening PST file and indexes...
debug_fp is NULL
ERROR: Unknown block constant - 0X2 for id 0x262
About to start processing first record...
Processing items...
Processing Folder "Deleted Items"
No items to process in folder "Deleted Items", should have been 0
Processing Folder "test"
"test" - 3 items done, skipped 0, should have been 3
"test" - 0 items done, skipped 0, should have been 0

4) Outlook in Parallels/VMware via pst - Even this doesn't work well. While most of the To: and CC: address do contain actual email addresses, the From: address again only contains the display name. I guess it's just a link to the Exchange GAL.

Anyway, I haven't given up. I can at least move messages. They're just messed up in one way or the other.

Any thoughts or additional recommendations? Especially nice would be forcing Outlook to embed all addresses in the pst, but that's not really for this board to help with. Although for those who are getting libpst to work, I'd be interested to know if you are having similar issues with an Exchange account.

Can Thunderbird import mail from both the pst and the INBOX?


[ Reply to This | # ]
Move PC Outlook email to
Authored by: mailer on Jul 13, '07 10:34:27PM

Our product, MessageSave, makes exporting Outlook email and contacts to the Mac very simple. It preserves email addresses (including Exchange recipients), timestamps, etc.

It supports both messages:
and contacts

[ Reply to This | # ]