OL97: How to Migrate Custom Categories to Other Users

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Article ID: 164625 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q164625

IMPORTANT: This article contains information about editing the registry. Before you edit the registry, you should first make a backup copy of the registry files (System.dat and User.dat). Both are hidden files in the Windows folder.
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In Microsoft Outlook you can add new categories to the default Master Category List. This article describes how to share a modified Master Category List with other users.


To share the Master Category List, you must export the Categories key from the registry and distribute this key to other users.

WARNING: Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall Windows 95/98. Microsoft cannot guarantee that problems resulting from the incorrect use of Registry Editor can be solved. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

For information about how to edit the registry, view the Changing Keys And Values online Help topic in Registry Editor (Regedit.exe). Note that you should make a backup copy of the registry files (System.dat and User.dat) before you edit the registry.

To Export the Categories Key

  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. Type, regedit in the Open box and click OK.
  3. Navigate to the following registry subkey:
  4. Click the Categories folder and on the Registry menu click Export Registry File.
  5. Select a location for the file such as the Desktop or a diskette; type a name for the file such as "Categories" then click Save.
You can now distribute the file to other users. To update the registry on another computer, double-click the <file name>.reg file and the new categories will replace the Categories list in Outlook.

CAUTION: This procedure will overlay the existing Master Categories List on the receiving computer. Any changes made to that file will be lost.

NOTE: It is possible for your records to contain user-defined Categories that are not stored in the Windows registry. To ensure they are in the registry, you must add them to the Master Category List.

To Add User-defined Categories to the Master Category List

  1. Click Edit on the File menu and click Categories or in a new Mail, Appointment, Contact, Task, or Journal item, click the Categories button.
  2. In the Category dialog box, type a name for the new Category.
  3. Click Add To List.
  4. Click OK.


NOTE: For more information about how to restore the default Master Category List in Outlook, type "Master Category List" in the Office Assistant, click Search, and then click "Reset the Master Category List."


Article ID: 164625 - Last Review: January 19, 2007 - Revision: 1.1
  • Microsoft Outlook 97 Standard Edition
kbhowto KB164625
Retired KB Content Disclaimer
This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.

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