Exporting and Importing Data in Outlook on Macintosh

You can export an email account's messages, attachments, folders, contacts, calendar and appointments, tasks, and notes in Outlook as an ".olm" file as a way to save everything if the account is being disabled, or you simply want to "archive" or store the data on a computer's hard drive instead of in the account space on the mail server.
The .olm file can then be imported to Outlook to view, and, if desired, move the information to different set of folders, including any that are part of another email account (as long as the account is set up in Outlook and has enough available space).

Selecting Items to Export

Outlook on Mac will either export everything - all account/folder headings in your Outlook list, including any existing On My Computer folders - or items flagged with a Category. If you are exporting to save an account that is being disabled (vs. everything in your Outlook list), you will want to label the account items with a Category first:

  1. Click the Home button.
  2. Click the Categorize button in the top middle toolbar and select Edit Categories, then the + (plus) sign near the bottom center.
  3. Type in a unique name to describe the export, such as "Archive Davidson College". You will only want to use this for the mail, contacts etc. that you'd like to export, and can remove the category when no longer needed.
  4. Mark the items you want to export with the category just created:
    • To export everything under an account/folder heading you will need to go in to each folder and select all items in it:
      1. While in the folder click Edit from the top menu in Outlook, then Select All from the drop down menu (or the command and a keys on your keyboard at the same time). Everything in the folder will be highlighted/selected.
      2. Click the Categorize button and the category name to apply to all of the items.

 Please note:

  • For a smaller range of messages, you can hold the control key on your keyboard while selecting two messages; everything between the two will be highlighted. To add non-adjacent messages you can press the command key while clicking.
  • If there are contacts, tasks or other account items you want to include in the export, you will have to label these with the category as well.
  • Categorized items will be marked with the color of the category label and are ready for export. 


  1. Select File and then Export from the drop down menu.
  2. Choose your Export options:
    • If you applied categories to items for export, check the Items in the category option and use the drop down menu to select the category.
    • To export everything in Outlook (all account/folder headings in your Outlook list, including any existing On My Computer folders) you can choose Items of these types: and check which types of items (Mail, Calendar, Contacts etc.) to include.
  3. Click Continue.
  4. Outlook will prompt you to choose a location to save the export file; be sure to keep it in a location you will remember. You can also re-name the file using Save As.
  5. Outlook will begin exporting. It may take a while if a lot of items were selected.
  6. An Export Complete message will appear, click Finish or Done to exit.

The .olm (export) file will be in the location selected in Step 4. The messages, contacts, etc. in it can only be viewed again after importing into Outlook.


Importing an .olm or .pst (Outlook on Windows) export file will store items as a sub-folder of the On My Computer heading in Outlook.

  1. With Outlook open, click File from the upper left menu and select Import.
  2. An Import window will appear:
    • Select Outlook for Mac archive file (.olm) to use data exported from a Macintosh or Outlook for Windows archive file (.pst) to use data exported from a Windows computer, and then click Continue.
  1. If there are a lot of items it may take a little while, eventually an Import Complete message will appear. Click Finish or Done to exit. 
  2. The items will appear under the On My Computer folder list on the left.


Imported Contacts or other items can be seen when selecting the Contacts, Tasks etc. view in the lower left of Outlook and expanding any On My Computer folder on the left.

Keep in mind that items under On My Computer can only be seen from that computer. At any point you can move messages between folders on Outlook by dragging or copying.



Request Help