Following yesterday's tip about merging calendars, several people asked why I didn't recommend using Import and Export.
I didn't mention it because it's bad. Easy yes, but it has too many drawbacks and its use is discouraged under most circumstances.
Import and Export are bad because:
- Only visible Outlook items are processed. If you have custom views, custom forms or other hidden items, they won't import and you'll need to recreate them.
- The last modified date is changed to the date of the import or export, which will affect Archiving since it uses the modified date.
- The link between contacts and other Outlook items is broken by import/export. It can be fixed, but it takes about as much time as moving the items would.
Anything stored in a folder, like a custom view 'for this folder only' or a form published to a folder, will move to the new pst when you move or copy the folder. If you move an item, the modified date is not affected and links aren't broken.
When creating a new profile you should always use the old pst. The only exception is when installing Outlook 2003; in most cases you'll want to use the new Unicode format pst which supports unlimited file size and unlimited numbers of items per folder.
Published April 6, 2006. Last updated on June 17, 2011.