Sending Outlook folders

I've collected some emails in a separate folder together with some contact information in a subfolder. I now need to transfer this information to somebody else.

Is it possible to send an entire Outlook folder and possibly the subfolders as well at once?

You can do this, but doing this via email might not be always the most efficient way. If you are both within the same Exchange organization, consider using permissions instead to share this information. The co-worker can than also easily copy it to his/her own mailbox.

Sending specific items or a single folder via email

If you only need to forward a select few items or a single folder, then you can select these items (use CTRL+A to quickly select all items in a folder) and then press the Forward button. Outlook will now create a new message with the original messages as attachments (so they won’t be modified with an FW: header).

The recipient can now drag and drop these items from the received message into their Outlook folders. If this is inconvenient, then the recipient can also first save all attachments to a folder and then move these msg-files from Explorer into Outlook via drag and drop to a folder of choice.

Sending multiple folders via email

If you need to send multiple folders and/or keeping the folder structure is important, then sending a pst-file might be more convenient. To create a pst-file use;

  • Outlook 2000
    File-> New-> Personal Data File…
  • Outlook 20002/XP, Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007
    File-> New-> Outlook Data File…
  • Outlook 2010
    New Items-> More Items-> Outlook Data File…

Note: Make sure you store the pst-file to a convenient path such as My Documents\Outlook.

You can now move or copy the folders from your mailbox to the newly create pst-file. Once you’re done, disconnect the pst-file by right clicking its root folder and choosing “Close <name>”. To complete this disconnection you must close and restart Outlook. Once you’ve done that, you can send the pst-file via email.

Things to note

There are some things to note when sending via email;

  • ANSI vs Unicode
    If you are using Outlook 2003 or later and the recipient is using Outlook 2002/XP or earlier, then you’ll have to choose to use ANSI format instead when creating a pst-file.
    When sending individual msg-files, you must set Outlook not to use the Unicode Message Format when saving messages or the recipient cannot open the msg-files.
  • Size limits
    To prevent hitting any size limits set by your mail administrator or ISP, it is recommended to zip the pst-file before sending.
    To compress individual msg-files into a single zip-file, instead of using directly using the Forward button, drag and drop the items (not the folder) out of Outlook and into a folder in Explorer. Select all messages, right click a message and choose;
    Send to-> Compressed (zipped) folder
    If you are still hitting the attachment size limit, see this post.
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