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Outlook 2003 Accounts File

By dani_17 ยท 30 replies
Nov 16, 2003
  1. Hi!!

    Does anybody know how to backup the Account settings of MS Outlook 2003 so I don't have to reacreate all of them when reinstalling windows?

    They are separate from the .pst file, or the rules backup file... I can't figure where they are stored...
  2. DuxAranea

    DuxAranea TS Rookie

    I've been looking everywhere for days to find out how to do exactly what you describe - move Outlook accounts from one computer to another, or to simply back up email accounts. Versions of Outlook preceding 2002 had a feature built in for this, but beginning with 2002 there is no feature. Plus it appears that Microsoft has mercilessly hidden its means of storing Outlook accounts from anyone who might be trying to find them.

    During my search I found no "manual" solutions, but I did find several third-part programs to do the job, which leads me to believe that Microsoft made deals with third-party developers that led to the exclusion of the account export feature in newer versions of Outlook.

    Nevertheless I was determined to find out how to do it, since there must be a way, and I did, and here it is. It's not pretty but it's also not too difficult.

    Open your registry editor and navigate to the following key:

    HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-21-1343024091-507921405-725345543-1003\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows Messaging Subsystem\Profiles\Outlook

    Export the entire Outlook key to a file. You've now backed up your email accounts. To restore the backup to another computer, simply import the backup into the new computer's registry. You may need to delete the Outlook key off the new computer first.

    Hope you all find this useful :)
  3. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,181

    In Outlook Express, it was possible to export the account settings in .iaf files. You had to go to Tools -> Accounts -> Mail & then for each mail account click on Export.

    I've never used Office Outlook but isn't there a similar option ?
  4. dani_17

    dani_17 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 143

    Nope, theres no option for that. And nothing documented that stores the files.
  5. DuxAranea

    DuxAranea TS Rookie

    Has anyone tried what I suggested above? I'd be interested to know if it worked.
  6. DuxAranea

    DuxAranea TS Rookie

    One thing I forgot to add: the name of that long key beginning with S under HKEY_USERS will be different for every computer/user. But it should begin with the letter S and be followed by a long string of numbers and hyphens (-).

    Note also that there are two such keys, identical except that one ends in "_classes" and the other does not. The one WITHOUT the _classes is the one you're looking for.
  7. lowman

    lowman TS Rookie Posts: 332

    Make sure you have "Show Hidden Files and Folders" selected on Folder Options, under Tools:

    Then, go to Documents and Settings\username (user's profile folder)\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

    Copy all the files in that folder for each profile settinmg you want to save, and save them for each use.

    After making all the changes you are planning - copy those files back into the same folder under each user's profile.

    It's not a perfect or automated way to do it, but it works.
  8. brianjhess

    brianjhess TS Rookie

    Registry Export Almost Works

    Before using DuxAranea's method, I think you first have to copy the folder information for each account (.pst). The method works, or almost does. It transfered the settings but I had to retype all of my passwords. Also, I had Outlook installed on drive D: on my laptop and drive E: on my desktop. So, I had to redirect Outlook to the correct drive/folder for each account. It was a lot easier than reentering everything but still tedious.
    Does anyone know where the passwords are stored?
    The following URL gives the location of most files used to store Outlook options, email folders and rules but won't help much with account settings.

  9. brianjhess

    brianjhess TS Rookie

    Lowmans advice will not transfer account settings.
  10. Liquidlen

    Liquidlen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,070

  11. Zingo

    Zingo TS Rookie

    Found a program that will move account settings

    Checkout http://www.backsettings.com/outlook-backup.html
    The Backrex program is able to backup Outlook settings and restore them. The demo version should work fine for you. You only need to re-enter your e-mail account passwords.
  12. loraksus

    loraksus TS Rookie

    Word of advice on this, it toasts your outlook profile if you have your default settings etc, stored on a different drive letter (i.e. \Documents and Settings is stored on C:\ in one computer and D:\ in another).

    To fix this, go start, control panel, mail, show profiles, and then remove the existing profile, add a new one and do it from scratch. Kind of a shame, since the accounts actually do get carried over (but the default .pst can't be found and, as a result, outlook won't start - you can't remove it via the mail applet either)
    BTW, this is for Outlook 2003, might be different for other versions.
  13. loraksus

    loraksus TS Rookie

    BTW, there is a program called revelation (by some guy named snadboy) that is great for uncovering what your passwords are...
  14. Liquidlen

    Liquidlen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,070

    The " Import & Export account Wizard will setup "New " accounts in Outlook.by transferring from other existing email accounts.

    It can do this with Outlk&exp ,Eudora
    Tools>Options > Mail setup tabs.
    The help files give you instruction,
    Hint * read and prepare Data before you run the wizard , but this does work.
  15. mlokhandwala

    mlokhandwala TS Rookie

    It works !

    OK, I can confirm that this technique works.

    Simple steps:
    1. Copy the PST files
    2. Copy the profile files (from Local Application Data)
    3. Copy registry as given below. (Do not forget to replace the User ID with the one one the new computer. Just do a search replace in notepad)

    In my case, the PST files were in different folder on the new computer. It gave me an error, and allowed me to select the files from their new location!

    Am up and running on the new computer!

    Thanks a lot guys.

  16. HillJack

    HillJack TS Rookie Posts: 19

    Or you could just use the Microsoft Office 2003 Save My Settings Wizard in the Office 2003 Tools menu, and it would be done for you in a couple simple clicks. Run it again and point to the backed up pst to restore.
  17. arl

    arl TS Rookie

    HillJack's suggestion worked great - and took about two minutes.

    HOWEVER... the Save My Setting Wizard for Office 2003 saves ALL settings for ALL Office 2003 components, including some you might want to start fresh on. My .OPS file (the settings file created in the save) was over 2.5MB! If all you want is Outlook email account settings, it might be better to manually reenter or use the method posted above by DuxAranea.
  18. mlokhandwala

    mlokhandwala TS Rookie

    I had a particular unique problem. I have a POP3 email account with several thousand emails lying on the server. Outlook uses some technique to allow the mails to reside on the server and yet download the newer ones.

    When trying to shift to another computer, even after copying the .PST files, Outlook would start downloading all the mails from day one, which means I would have downloaded 300 MB of duplicate mails at least.

    Using the technique of copying the registry, amazingly, prevented Outlook from downloading those emails, and it continued downloading only those which were new!

    It would be good to know what happens in such a case when the Save settings wizard is used.


  19. jcp411

    jcp411 TS Rookie

    I know this is an old thread but I found it and it had useful information for me and I thought I'd share what happened upgrading to Outlook 2007 (from 2003).

    Basically I just backed up (exported) all my email and then I had to recreate my accounts over in 2007 (couldn't and didn't want to attempt to try to do registry changes in Vista). But the best part is usually when I set the new accounts up like this it wants to download all the email on the server (as I use that as a backup, like someone was saying earlier). This can be a mess so I did the inevitable of setting it up to all go into one folder so that it would be easier to delete. Alas though it didn't download anything that wasn't already downloaded! So it worked! And I'm happy! :) Thanks all!
  20. gudgrief

    gudgrief TS Rookie

    Here's an update for Windows Vista Ultimate

    For Vista, it looks like the S-1 key changes.
    After installing Outlook on vista Ultimate, the key I needed was
    HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-21-1426295737-716374110-2280380716-1000\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows Messaging Subsystem\Profiles\Outlook

    Naturally I had to edit the .REG file exported from my old system.

    As you've probably noticed, in Vista, Documents and Settings has changed to AppData. Just find the Outlook folder under your user.

    Also, as noted in one of the other replies indicated, your email account passwords get lost, you can fill them in in the dialogs that pop up during the first send and receive.

    BTW, I use Roboform to store my Internet logins, so it was no problem.
    Buying Roboform was one of the best investments I've made.
    Try it, you'll like it.
  21. nstefi

    nstefi TS Rookie

    I found this thread very useful. Many thanks for DuxAranea.
    I just wrote down for myself a standard procedure, how to do it and I thought I could share this with other people in more detail.

    On the old computer (or under old user account):
    Search for a folder, which name starts with "S-1-5-21" under "C:\Documents and Settings\User" folder.
    I found this number as the folder name under my user profile: (each user profile has a different number assigned)
    "S-1-5-21-602162358-1637723038-682003330-1003" in this location:
    C:\Documents and Settings\User\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Credentials\S-1-5-21-602162358-1637723038-682003330-1003

    Export the following key with all the subkeys to a reg file:
    [HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-21-602162358-1637723038-682003330-1003\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows Messaging Subsystem\Profiles\Outlook]

    On the new computer (or under new user account):
    Identify the new user credential nr in the same way. (Search in C:\Documents and Settings\User2 folder for a folder name starting with "S-1-5-21")
    Save the following reg key:
    [HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-21-3848782885-161907834-480387931-1639\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows Messaging Subsystem\Profiles\Outlook]
    where "S-1-5-21-3848782885-161907834-480387931-1639" was the credential nr of the new user.

    We have to import in the registry the old information but keep the new credential number, so in the first saved .reg file, replace all occurences of
    S-1-5-21-602162358-1637723038-682003330-1003 with S-1-5-21-3848782885-161907834-480387931-1639

    Import the changed .reg file.

    Start Outlook.
    It will still ask you for the account passwords the first time when you do Send/Receive.

    Before doing this I made a mistake to configure the Outlook to use the .pst file from another location and after I imported the .reg file, it gave me an error, because it couldn't locate the .pst file in the old place. I just had to choose the file from the new place and it was done.
    But it would have been easier to do this procedure first for importing the email accounts.
  22. cmos

    cmos TS Rookie

    try this for ease......

    Backing Up Your Settings and Preferences
    You might want to make a backup file of your settings and preferences if you are going to reinstall Outlook or if you are going to move to another computer. To back up your Outlook preferences and settings, (as well as preferences and settings for other Office applications), do the following:

    From the Windows XP Start Menu, select All Programs > Microsoft Office > Microsoft Office Tools > Microsoft Office Save My Settings Wizard.

    Follow the instructions provided by the wizard.

    NOTE: The Save My Settings wizard backs up only your preferences and settings, such as your email account setup, display preferences and so on. To back up data such as email messages, your local address book, tasks, and so on, use the archive feature.

    To restore your settings, run the Save My Settings wizard again and select the option to restore the settings.
  23. chuckyung

    chuckyung TS Rookie

    Do NOT use Windows Office 2003 Tool! BEWARE & HELP

    I used the Windows 2003 Office Tool to create file to save my Outlook 2003 email accounts as described in prior posting. This was on a fully-updated XP Pro workstation. I then imported the file into Outlook 2003 on Vista Home Premium. Now I can't use Outlook 2003 on the Vista box b/c I get an error "Can't find file Outlook1.pst. I did a full search on both the Vista and XP Pro boxes and could find no such file

    I uploaded one pst file containing my email and folders. I uploaded a second containing my email addresses. Both of those worked great.

    I never uploaded any file or created any file named Outlook1.pst.

    It never amazes me how low Microsoft - the world's richest corporation - will go to force people to buy their newest programs. We have laws against monopoly and these laws should be used be break up this blood sucking gargantuan into smaller companies just like we did to the phone companies. The result of breaking up the phone companies is our modern communications revolution and rock bottom pricing. Microsoft should be broken up immediately and all of the bloodsucker executive who dream up these flaws put in the slammer. I remember when I first bought Outlook 2003. Immediately upon installing I could not longer send any file from a program through Outlook 2003 such as MS Word, PowerPoint, etc. as I could with Outlook 2002 - the objective being, of course, to force me to buy Office 2003 Suite from these blood sucking monopolists. Yuck!

    Now that I am through with my diatribe, could ANY non-Microsoft employee out there please help me solve this issue?

    If you don't like my rant, let me know. :=)
  24. Brainiac PC

    Brainiac PC TS Rookie

    DuxAranea's method works perfectly for XP and Vista, but with one caveat: you must edit first the exported registry file to replace the user number (S-1-5-21..., etc.) from your old computer with the user number on the computer to which you are transferring the accounts. Use the find/replace option in notepad to make this simple.

    You will also need to copy all of the .pst files from your "C:\Documents and Settings\[your user name]\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook" folder to an identical folder on the computer you're transferring to.

    Jeremiah Smith
    Brainiac Computer Services, Inc.
  25. ntoren

    ntoren TS Rookie Posts: 19

    Can I export messages to Windows Mail?

    I have an XP machine that's on its last legs and I'd like to copy all the old messages in Outlook Express to the new computer's Outlook Express (now called Windows Mail). Windows "Easy" Transfer is not working so my steps so far:
    in Outlook Express, File > Export > Messages

    BUT I get a notice : This will export messages from Outlook Express to Microsoft Outlook or MS Exchange.

    However, I want to export them to a new computer and into Windows Mail, not into Outlook or Exchange. Will this erase all my old messages and not successfully transfer them to this program? A bit hesitant to try.

    Many thanks!
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