Applies To: Outlook 2010 More... Less

Outlook Data Files (.pst) that were created in Microsoft Outlook 97-2002 can be used in Microsoft Outlook 2010. However, the older Outlook Data Files have a smaller storage capacity of approximately 2 gigabytes (GB) and do not support multilingual Unicode data.


There is no automated procedure to convert to the newer file format. You must create a new Outlook Data File (.pst) data file in Microsoft Outlook 2010, and then import items from the older file into the new file.


Note:  The default Outlook Data File (.pst) created with Outlook 2010 cannot be used with Outlook 97-2002.


Step 1: Create a data file


  1. On the Home tab, in the New group, click New Items, point to More Items, and then click Outlook Data File.
  2. In the Create or Open Outlook Data File dialog box, in the File name box, type the name as you want it to appear in the Outlook Navigation Pane, and then click OK.
  3. By default, data files are not password-protected. To add a password to your data file, under Password, type that password that you want to use in the Password and Verify Password text boxes.


Important:  Microsoft, your Internet service provider (ISP), or your e-mail administrator do not have access to your password, nor can they assist you with recovering the contents of the Outlook Data File (.pst) if you forget the password.


Step 2: Import items to the new data file


  1. Click the File tab.
  2. On the Open tab, click Import.
  3. Click Import from another program or file, and then click Next.
  4. Click Outlook Data File (.pst), and then click Next.
  5. In the File to import box, enter the path and name of the .pst file that you want to import.
  6. Under Options, select how you want duplicates to be processed, and then click Next.
  7. Choose the folder that you want to import the Outlook Data File (.pst) from. If you want to import the entire Outlook Data File (.pst), click the topmost folder in the tree, and then select the Include subfolders check box.
  8. Click Import items into the same folder in, and then select the destination Outlook Data File (.pst) file in the drop-down list.
  9. Click Finish.