How to Transfer Outlook Email Account Settings to a Laptop

Written by aubrey kerr
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How to Transfer Outlook Email Account Settings to a Laptop
Transfer Outlook settings to a laptop. (laptop image by Jorge Figueiredo from

There are six main Outlook settings files, according to Microsoft. You'll need to export these files onto a flash drive, then import them onto your laptop to transfer them. When exporting the files, make sure you back up and transfer any other e-mail data or contacts you want to access on the laptop. Also, make sure your laptop has Outlook or another Windows e-mail program installed so it can successfully import the .pst files.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Flash drive

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  1. 1

    Make a new folder on your desktop for your Outlook backup files.

  2. 2

    Open the "File" menu in Outlook and go to "Import and Export," then "Export a File."

  3. 3

    Choose the files you want to back up and transfer to your laptop. For e-mail account settings, choose "Outcmd.dat," "Profile Name.fav," "Profile Name.htm," "Profile Name.rtf," "Profile Name.txt" and ""

  4. 4

    Select the file types separately and export each file individually. Outlook only allows one file type to be chosen and exported at a time. Export the files by clicking "Next," then "Browse" and choose your Outlook backup folder as the export destination.

  5. 5

    Repeat the process for each file type, and export your contacts and old e-mails, if applicable. Those will be .pst files.

  6. 6

    Open the Outlook backup folder on your desktop and make sure all the files appear, then save it to a USB flash drive.

  7. 7

    Insert the flash drive into the laptop. Choose "Open folder to view files" in the AutoPlay window that appears, and copy the files to the desktop.

  8. 8

    Open Outlook on the laptop. Windows Mail can also import these files if you're switching to that program. Go to "File," "Import and Export," then "Import from another program or file." Select the file type from the menu and import each file. Again, you may need to import each file type separately.

Tips and warnings

  • You'll only see and need to back up the file if you created signatures in Microsoft Word. Otherwise your signatures will be backed up with the Profile Name files.
  • Microsoft reports that the automatic Personal Folders Backup utility won't back up settings files. You have to back them up and transfer them manually.

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