Microsoft Outlook has been one of the most preferred email client for a long time. Outlook entertains a vast demographic of users ranging from employees of big organizations to small business owners. Since its first release in January 1997, MS Outlook has come a long way after two decades of improvements. Apart from its labeled use as an email client, MS Outlook offers users variety of features like Calendaring, Scheduling, Tasks, Contacts etc. Outlook has been released for two major OS giants Microsoft as well as Apple. Outlook was released for Macintosh for using it in Exchange server but finally, Outlook for Mac 2001 was released. Since then, Outlook has been popular among both of the OS giants’ users Microsoft and Apple. But this led to segregation of Data storage file formats and hence spawned the need to convert OLM file into PST format or vice-versa.
Although Outlook for both of the Operating Systems are very much similar in terms of functionality, the main reason that has caused the difference between the two variants is their different data storage formats. Outlook For Mac uses OLM file format for storing data while MS Windows Outlook uses PST and OST formats. This particular issue has made data migration among both of these ‘same’ clients difficult as one needs a particular format pertaining to that specific client to access the data. In this article, we are going to learn and understand methods to convert OLM file into PST format as well as discuss advantages and limitations.
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The Need For OLM to PST Conversion:
It is now clear that OLM and PST files are the data storage files of Outlook for Mac and Outlook for Windows respectively. Since there are a number of users who use Outlook as their preferred email client some specific part of this demographic use Outlook on a Mac and the rest of them use it on Windows PC. The basic need for OLM to PST Conversion remains the same – When a user migrates from Outlook for Mac to Outlook for Windows. The reason for this can be many:
- Changing company or organization.
- Changing or Upgrading to a new computer.
- Temporarily accessing Outlook via a different computer.
- Using Multiple computers.
There are various ways to convert OLM file into PST format, but here we are going to learn two of the most commonly used methods to convert an OLM file into a PST file. The methods are:
Manual Method: This method is used as a temporary fix to convert OLM file into PST format. The method works fine, but the procedure for this method is complicated and becomes very tedious .
Using File Conversion Tool: This method employs the use of a conversion tool thus making the process of conversion much simple and effortless.
Now that we have a basic idea regarding these methods, let us discuss these methods in detail and understand their very procedure.
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Manual conversion is a bit tricky and should not be used until and unless you completely understand the procedure. As this procedure, if done improperly, might even corrupt your OLM file. (Users are advised to keep a back-up of the OLM file before proceeding with the manual method of converting OLM file into PST format)
This procedure can be done in following steps:
- Setting up an IMAP account.
- Set up Outlook for Mac with your IMAP account.
- Transferring your emails from your Outlook account to IMAP account.
- Synchronize the IMAP account with Windows MS Outlook and copy the emails.
Setting up an IMAP account
To set up an IMAP Gmail account, follow the procedure:
- Create a new Gmail account.
- Go to the Settings, i.e. click on the “Gears” icon and select “Settings”.
- Click on Forwarding and POP/IMAP.
- Enable IMAP Access.
- Google may block by default third-party mail clients like e.g. Outlook. To Enable Third-Party Mail Clients, you may enable “Less secure apps” (third-party mail clients) from My Account > Sign-in & security > Connected apps & sites > “Allow less secure apps”.
- Enter the following information in the IMAP account settings of your email client:
- Server: imap.gmail.com
- Encryption/Authentication: SSL
- Port: 993
- Username: Your Gmail email address
- Password: Your account password
Set up Outlook for Mac with your IMAP mail account
Follow the procedure mentioned below to Set up Outlook for Mac with your IMAP mail account you created.
- Open Outlook for Mac.
- If this is the first account you’re adding, follow the prompts. Otherwise, go to step 3.
- Select Tools > Accounts.
- Click the plus (+) sign > New Account.
- Enter the email address of the account.
- Follow the prompts to complete the account setup.
Transferring your emails from your Outlook for Mac account to IMAP account.
Now that you have set up Outlook for Mac with the IMAP account, you now need to transfer your emails from your Outlook account to the IMAP account. Follow the steps mentioned below for the same:
- Open Outlook for Mac.
- Right-click any mailbox item that you want to move. Click Move > Copy to Folder.
- Now type the name of your IMAP folder and click Copy.
- After copying the selected mailbox data to IMAP mailbox, you need to click Send/Receive button to update your Outlook for Mac IMAP folder.
Synchronize the IMAP account with Windows MS Outlook and copy the emails.
The final step of the procedure is to synchronize your Outlook client on Windows PC with the same IMAP account you created in Gmail.
- Set up the same Gmail IMAP account you created on your Windows Outlook client.
- Move the emails from the IMAP account to your Windows Outlook Inbox Folder by dragging and dropping.
Limitations Of Manual Method:
- Though if performed carefully, the manual method can convert OLM file into PST format quite well, but this method does have some limitations of its own.
- Since the manual method is very complicated and is dependent upon internet speed and server reliability of the IMAP email client, it makes the conversion procedure very slow.
- Conversion of entire databases is not recommended as an OLM file size can be very large and this tedious conversion procedure renders the entire method impractical.
- To perform the manual procedure correctly the user needs to have a sound knowledge of both the email clients and a working knowledge of IMAP accounts. Hence is not recommended for novice users.
- If the procedure is performed incorrectly, the OLM file might even get corrupt which may cause data loss.
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Using File Conversion Tool:
Another method for conversion of OLM files into PST format is to use a conversion tool. This method eliminates the human effort factor thereby eradicating chances of any human errors as well. For this method, “SysInfo OLM to PST Converter“ is the perfect tool which has been designed to overcome all the limitations of the Manual method.
Hence to cover all bases of OLM to PST Conversion, this tool has an added capability of recovering corrupt OLM files as well. In order to convert OLM file into PST format, follow the procedure mentioned as follows:
- Launch SysInfotools OLM to PST Converter on your system. Click on the Open button.
- Now click on Browse button to select an OLM file from your system directory and select the OLM file and then click on the Open button, the selected OLM file will be shown.
- Click on OK to start the scanning process. Once the scanning process is completed, click OK.
- Expand the file items one by one. Double-click any email to see its preview in the preview pane.
- Now select all the folders on the left-hand side pane which you want to convert and save into a new file and then Click Save.
- Click on Browse button and select any location to save the data of an OLM file into a new file, select the file format in which you want to save the recovered data (PST in this case) and select other saving options. Click on OK to start the saving process.
- The tool starts saving of data into the selected file format at the specified location. It will take hardly a few seconds to be completed. Once the saving process is completed, click OK.
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Advantages Of Using OLM To PST Converter:
There are certain advantages of using Conversion tools over Manual Conversion technique. OLM to PST Converter makes the entire procedure simple and lucid. Some of the interesting features that make OLM to PST Converter preferred choice among professionals are:
- This conversion tool is very easy to use to use comes with advanced customization features as well which makes this tool ideal for both novice users and professionals.
- OLM to PST Converter is very safe to use and is free of any complications that might cause OLM file corruption unlike in the case of manual conversion method.
- This conversion tool is very fast as this process does not require internet or email accounts for conversion. This tool works independently and is capable of converting OLM files of large sizes into PST format within few minutes.
- Apart from its primary function to convert OLM file into PST format, this tool is also capable of recovering maximum possible data from corrupt OLM file and allows users to save the recovered data in PST format as well as other formats which include EML, MSG, and MBOX.
- OLM to PST Converter supports OLM file created in all versions of Outlook for Mac and creates PST files which are compatible with all versions of MS Outlook for Windows.
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In this article we have learned about OLM and PST files, we have learned how to convert OLM file into PST format, discussed advantages and limitations of these processes and also discussed the very need to convert OLM file into PST format. Apart from other methods of conversion, these two methods are the most used procedures for OLM to PST conversion. Among these methods, the Manual method is surpassed by Using Conversion Tools method in various criteria. Professionals recommend using conversion tools for such procedure as Manual Method has many drawbacks which have been discussed already.