How to Import or Export an Outlook Signature

By B. Steele

You must import or export signatures the old-fashioned way in Outlook.
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If you are upgrading to a new business computer, you don’t want to waste time having to recreate your Outlook signature on the new machine. Outlook signatures are stored in small files in your user profile folder and may be exported for backup purposes. Outlook doesn’t have a menu option to export signatures, however, so you'll need to navigate to the source folder and manually copy your signature files to a desired backup location. To import, simply follow an easy procedure to paste the files to your new computer.

Exporting Outlook Signature Files

Close Outlook if the program is currently running.

Click the "Start" button, type “%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Signatures” (without quotes here and throughout) in the search box and press “Enter.” You should see three files for each of your signatures: an HTML file, a TXT file and an RTF file.

Press “Ctrl-A” to select all of these files, and then press “Ctrl-C” to copy them to the clipboard.

Click "Start," select “Computer” and browse to a location where you’d like to store your exported signature files. You may create a dedicated subfolder for the files for simplicity's sake. To create a subfolder, right-click in an empty space, hover your mouse cursor over “New” and click “Folder.”

Double-click the new folder and press “Ctrl-V” to paste the files. If you intend to export the signature to an Outlook installation on another computer, it’s best to back up to a flash drive, external hard drive or a network share.

Importing Outlook Signature Files

Set up your email account in the new Outlook installation if you haven’t already done so. You cannot import your signature until after you've created your profile.

Close Outlook.

Browse to the folder in which you saved your signature files. Press “Ctrl-A” to select them and press “Ctrl-C” to copy.

Click "Start," type “%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Signatures” and press “Enter.”

Press “Ctrl-V” to paste the files. The next time you open Outlook, your signature(s) will be available.


If you need to move another user's Outlook signature files, log in with an administrator account and substitute the signatures folder location described in this article with the following absolute path, replacing "username" with the Windows username for that individual:


Microsoft’s Easy Transfer utility and the more advanced User State Migration Tool, both used for exporting user data during computer migrations, will export Outlook signature files as well. Easy Transfer comes with Windows 7, and the User State Migration tool is available as a free download from the Microsoft Download Center (link in Resources).