I’ve done this countless times back when I was using Microsoft Outlook.
My approach turns out to be extremely easy, though the steps may not be quite as obvious as you might hope.
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This technique assumes you have two machines. One I’ll call it the “old” machine, that has Microsoft Outlook up and running and on which you currently receive email. The other that you’re setting up I’ll call the “new” machine. Your plan is to move your email and your email access from your old machine to your new one.
Almost everything you need to copy is in a single file, your “PST” or “Personal Store”.
Step 1: Install Outlook on your new machine. Set it up as completely as you can, including email account definitions, but don’t download any email. Not yet.
Step 2: Determine the location of the new PST file on the new machine. Where is my Outlook “PST” file located? will show you how.
Step 3: Determine the location of the old PST on the old machine. This is the PST file that contains all of your current email, contacts, and calendar.
Step 4: Save your rules to a file if you use Inbox Rules.
Step 5: Shut down Outlook on both old and new machines.
Step 6: Copy the old PST from the old machine to the new, replacing the new PST on the new machine. If required, rename the PST in the process to match the name of the PST on the new machine. (Typically copying is done via a network connection, but burning your PST to a CD or DVD is also quite common and a good way to create a backup of the file at the same time. Be sure to reset the read-only attribute when you copy the file to your new machine.) Also copy the file containing your Inbox Rules if you created one earlier.
Step 7: Fire up Outlook on your new machine. It should come up with your email, contacts, and calendar, all transferred from the old one.
Step 8: Finish configuring Outlook on the new machine. Particularly if you have Inbox Rules, this would be the time to import them and make sure they’re working properly.
Step 9: Never use the Outlook on the old machine again. Doing so might cause some email to be downloaded into that old PST and if you’re using your new machine to download email that’s not where you want it. There’s no simple way to transfer just “some” of the email from one machine to another. It’s possible, but the steps are definitely more involved.