Exporting Microsoft Outlook Email Folders and Contacts into .mbox and .vcard Format

Below are step by step instructions you can follow to reliably export specific Outlook email folders or entire mailboxes including attachments. We tried a variety of other methods but the resulting attachments were corrupted. These instructions are useful for creating files that can easily be imported into sylpheed or other non-proprietary-format e-mail clients.

  • First you must download a $10 software package called Outlook2Mac. You can download Outlook2Mac by clicking here. VUMC Department of Biostatistics members should pay for the software using PayPal online and then submit your electronic receipt to Tonya Mills for reimbursement.

  • Once you have successfully downloaded Outlook2Mac, it must be installed. Click here for detailed instructions on installing and running Outlook2Mac for the first time.

  • Next, launch Outlook2Mac to begin converting email or contacts folders. Once Outlook2Mac is open, you must first choose the location where you would like your converted files to be saved. The default location is "c:\My_Outlook_Files." After selecting a location, click "Next."

  • The following screen is where you select which email folders you would like to convert, if any. Note: Subfolders are NOT automatically selected when the parent folder is selected. Each folder and subfolder has to be selected individually for conversion to another format. Select any folders or subfolders you wish to convert to .mbox format and then click next. In the next few screens, Outlook2Mac will allow you to set various options or restrictions for the conversion depending upon your needs. Be sure to read each carefully, as the default selection may not be the most optimal. For more detailed descriptions of these options and instructions on converting your email folders, click here and see Steps 1-6. If you do not wish to convert any email folders, leave them all unchecked and click "Next."

  • The next screen is where you select your contacts folder for conversion. For more details, click here and see Steps 7-8.

  • Once you have selected the folders you wish to convert, click "Start."

  • At this point, you will receive a warning which reads "A program is trying to access e-mail addresses you have stored in Outlook. Do you want to allow this?" This is because Outlook has recognized that Outlook2Mac is trying to access its contents. In the lower left-hand corner of the pop-up window, select "Allow access for" and then select "10 minutes" from the pull down menu and click "Yes" to allow Outlook2Mac to access the necessary information in Outlook.

  • The converted files should then be found either in the default folder "c:\My_Outlook_Files" or in the folder you specified. These files can then be password protected and zipped using WinZip and either 1) copied to a cd, or 2) easily transfered to the Department of Biostatistics website by clicking here and following the instructions below:
    • Go to bottom of screen and click "Attach."
    • In the "Attach new file" section, click "Browse beside the "Local file" line to find the file you wish to update.
    • Add a brief description on the "Comment" line.
    • Go to the bottom of screen and click "Upload file."
    • When you get a pop-up that says you are about to transfer a file from your computer, click "Continue."

Converting .mbox files to Sylpheed format

  • Using a web browser on your new Linux machine, download the .zip file by right-clicking on the attachment in SandBox) to /tmp. Open a command window and type:
    • cd /tmp
    • unzip (name of zip file you downloaded)
    • enter password when asked

  • Under Sylpheed create all the folders and subfolders corresponding to your original folders in Outlook. Then, for each folder/subfolder click File - Import .mbox file and import the appropriate .mbox file into the appropriate empty folder.

Converting .vcard files to Sylpheed format

  • Follow the same instructions for downloading and unzipping the .vcard file(s) as in the section above.

  • Under Sylpheed click "Tools - Address Book - vCard - File - New vCard". Then use the browser to select the appropriate .vcard file in Sylpheed.

Should you have any additional questions about exporting Microsoft Outlook email folders and contacts into .mbox and .vcard format, please contact ColeBeck in the Department of Biostatistics.

-- PatriciaHarrison - 10 Feb 2004 -- FrankHarrell - 28 Jan 2004
Topic revision: r6 - 17 Feb 2004, PatriciaHarrison

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