How to export data from a Microsoft Outlook .PST file to a .CSV file

Mobiliti Inc.'s Outlook Mail2Excel is a freeware tool that automatically extracts certain fields from email in a Microsoft Outlook personal store ( .PST) file and exports them to another format.

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(You could write a Microsoft Outlook VBA script to perform this task, but that's a project most Exchange Server administrators probably don't want to undertake.)

This third-party utility works with .PST files from Microsoft Outlook 2002 and Outlook 2003, and allows you to copy an arbitrary number of fields from email messages in the .PST. The results are written to a .CSV file and can be imported into Microsoft Excel or any other application that uses the .CSV format.

In order to determine which fields to extract, you'll need to edit the .INI file that comes with the program. You define how many fields in each email to look for, which fields to export, and any additional information that might be needed to do the export (such as the field separator character, which is set to a colon [:] by default).

Once you've configured the .INI file, you can run the program, point it at the Microsoft Outlook .PST file to analyze, define the output file, and select which folders to search in the .PST file (a good timesaver if you want to confine the export to a particular folder).

NOTE: Outlook Mail2Excel does not provide any visual feedback while it is running; the only way to know when the run has concluded is when the program starts responding to user input again. Also, the program may not work properly with Unicode-formatted .PST files. Before attempting to export anything from a .PST file, you should close Microsoft Outlook.

About the author: Serdar Yegulalp is editor of the Windows Power Users Newsletter.

Do you have comments on this tip? Let us know.

Related information from SearchExchange.com:

  • Learning Center: A primer on Exchange .PST files
  • Learning Center: The Microsoft Outlook Toolbox
  • Expert Advice: Exporting Exchange public folder contacts to Microsoft Excel
  • Expert Advice: Our SearchExchange.com experts' favorite freeware
  • Reference Center: Microsoft Outlook and Exchange Server administration tools
  • Reference Center: Personal store (.PST) file tips and resources
  • Please let others know how useful this tip was via the rating scale below. Do you have a useful Exchange Server or Microsoft Outlook tip, timesaver or workaround to share? Submit it to SearchExchange.com. If we publish it, we'll send you a nifty thank-you gift.

    This was first published in August 2006

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