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Using an Existing Personal Store
If you used Outlook previously, you might have an existing personal message store (PST)
you'd like to use. But when you create a new profile in Outlook, it doesn't give you the
opportunity to choose the message store to use—it creates a new one for you. You must
go back into the menu and add your existing PST.
Outlook 2003 uses a new message store format that provides Unicode
support and can exceed the 2GB limitation found in Outlook 97–2002
format. As a result, you should consider moving or importing the
contents of your existing PST into the new PST that Outlook creates for
The exception is when you need to share the PST with older versions of
Outlook. In that case, you'll want to keep using your existing PST.
If you want to use your existing PST, open the Tools, E-mail Accounts dialog and choose
View or Change Existing Accounts. Click New Outlook Data File and browse for your
existing message store (see Figure 2.10). Then select it from the Deliver New Mail to the
Following Location list.
Figure 2.10. Click the New Outlook Data File button to create a new message store
or use your existing message store. After adding a PST, select it from the Deliver
New Mail to the Following Location List if you want to use it as the default delivery
The New Outlook Data File button is confusing and misleading. You
can use it to either create a new message store or use an existing store.
If you select an existing PST, Outlook will use it. If you type in a name
for a new PST, one will be created for you. The PST format selection
applies only to new PSTs; your existing PST format does not change.
You can find and replace the PST Outlook creates with your old PST. If the PST names
are the same, Outlook won't know the difference. You can find and rename the PST that
Outlook created and reopen Outlook. When Outlook can't find the PST it was using,
you'll be able to browse for the PST and point it to your old PST.
If you're using the new Unicode format PST, it's better to move the items to the new PST
instead of using File, Import and Export. It takes a little bit more effort on your part, but
links between contacts and other items are more likely to be preserved. If you use
published custom forms, moving the folder also moves the forms. To move the items or
folders yourself, open your existing PST using File, Open, Outlook Data File. Select the
items or folders, right-click, and choose Move to Folder or Move "foldername".
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