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Moving a PST to Gmail

How to copy an Outlook PST into Gmail or other online email storage.

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by Office for Mere Mortals

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Leigh O. asks:

I cannot find any instructions on how to upload the .pst file into Gmail which is what I am using now.”

You can't upload a PST file to Gmail (or any other email service that we’re aware of).

To transfer existing PST data you have to load it into Outlook and also create a synced link between Outlook and the online mail host - in this case an IMAP connection between Outlook and Gmail.

Once that's done you can copy the items from the PST to the Gmail accounts within Outlook – then Outlook will synchronize those items with the online storage.

We’ve talked about the steps in this process in past Office Watch articles:

Moving existing Outlook data

Copying many items in Outlook – troubleshooting

Syncing Google services with Outlook

The same or very similar steps apply if you're migrating to Office 365, Hotmail or any other online email storage.

If you’re not intending to use Outlook with Gmail then you could use temporary copy of Office to copy the items from the PST. Either install an existing copy of Office but not activate it or download the Office trial version.

If you have Office installed then we suggest setting up Outlook with an IMAP link to Gmail. Or use the free Windows Live Mail if you don’t have Office on the computer. Either way this gives you a local copy of the Gmail folders as an informal backup and offline access.

Article posted: Wednesday, 22 February 2012

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