How to Copy Outlook Folder Structure (only) to a New Outlook Data File.

Last updated on May 16th, 2019

Sometimes when working with Outlook, there is the need to create a new (empty) Outlook PST Data file but to keep the current Outlook folder structure from the old Outlook PST data file. This is useful especially if the current Outlook file is too big in size and you face problems when working or managing it and you want to create a new PST file with the existing (current) folder structure.

In this tutorial I'll show you how to copy the Outlook folder structure only (without the emails) to a new -empty- Outlook PST data file. At the end of the process, you will be able to use the new Outlook data file, as the default store location, for your emails, calendar and contacts.

How to Transfer the Outlook Folder Structure to a new Outlook Data File.

Step 1. Create the New Outlook PST file by using the Archive command.

To copy the existing folder structure from the current Outlook PST file to a new (empty) Outlook data file, you have to create the new Outlook PST file using the "Archive" feature in Outlook. To do that:

1. Open Outlook and go to:

  • Outlook 2007:  File -> Archive
  • Outlook 2010 & Outlook 2013: File -> Info –> Cleanup Tools -> Archive…
  • Outlook 2016: File-> Info -> Tools -> Clean Up Old Items

copy outlook folder structure

2. At Archive options, apply the following settings:

1. Choose to Archive this folder and all subfolders.
2. Select the Personal folders.
3. Specify a date far back to the past to make sure that no mails are moved to the new PST file.  (e.g. 1/1/1950)
4. Then click the Browse button.

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5. Type a recognizable name for the new Outlook data file (e.g. "OutlookNew.pst) and click OK.*

* Note: At the end of the process, this file will be the default store location for Outlook.

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6. Click OK again to start the archive process.

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7. When the archive process is completed you should see under the "Archive Folders" group, the same list of the folders that you already have under the "Personal Folders" group. *

* The "Archive Folders" is the newly created PST file (e.g. "OutlookNew.pst in this example) and the "Personal Folders" is the old (existing) PST file (e.g. "Outlook.pst" in this example)

transfer outlook folder structure

8. Close Outlook and proceed to the next step.

Step 2. Set the NEW PST file as the Default Store Location for Outlook.

1. Navigate to Windows Control Panel and set the View By: to Small icons.

2. Open Mail (32-bit).

mail options

3. Click Data Files…

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4. Double click at Personal Folders.

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5. Rename "Personal Folders" to "Personal Folders OLD" and click OK.

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6. Now double click at "Archive Folders".
7. Rename "Archive Folders" to "Personal Folders" and click OK.
8. Highlight the "Personal Folders" and click Set as Default.

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9. Click OK at the "Message Delivery Location" information message.

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9. Click Close twice to close all windows.

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10. Launch Outlook.
11. You 're done! From now on, all your new mails, contacts, calendar, and tasks will be stored under the "Personal Folders" group, which is the new empty PST file (e.g. "OutlookNew.pst") and your existing information in Outlook (mails, contacts, calendar, tasks) can be found under the "Personal Folders OLD" group which is the old PST file (e.g. "Outlook.pst").

That's it! Let me know if this guide has helped you by leaving your comment about your experience. Please like and share this guide to help others.

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