How to Extract Data From a PST File to Microsoft Outlook

By Jeff Grundy

When it comes to data on your computer, few types are as irreplaceable as email messages. Because your messages are so important, backing up your Microsoft Outlook profile and messages is essential. In the event of a hard drive crash or virus attack, a backup of your Outlook .PST file allows you to keep a copy of all your important email messages. Even if you lose your messages, you can import them from the .PST file after you reinstall Microsoft Outlook.

Connect the external hard drive or USB flash drive holding the backed up .PST files to the computer. Wait for Windows to configure the external device as a storage device on your computer.

Click “Start” and then “Computer.” Double-click the drive letter of the external hard drive or USB flash drive. Navigate to the folder on the device that contains the .PST file.

Highlight the .PST file. Right-click the file name, then click “Copy” on the pop-up menu.

Navigate to the “C:\Users\USER_NAME\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook” folder where “USER_NAME” is the name of the Windows user account for which to import the Outlook profile and messages. Right-click inside the folder window, then click “Paste” on the pop-up menu.

Launch Microsoft Outlook on your computer. Click “File” on the ribbon bar and then click “Import and Export.”

Click the “Import from another program or file” option and then “Next.” In the “Import a File” window, select the file type “Outlook Data File (.pst).” Click the “Next” button.

Click the “Browse” button in the “Import Outlook Data Files” dialog box. Navigate to the folder where you copied the .PST file from the external storage device. Highlight the file name, then click the “Open” button.

Click and select the “Replace duplicates with items imported” option. Click the “Next” button.

Wait for Microsoft Outlook to import the profile and messages from the .PST file. Once the import process finishes, click the “Finish” button. Outlook displays the messages in the “Inbox.” Outlook also adds name and email address information from the .PST file to the current profile.