ENT2001: How to Use IMAP to Move Messages Between a PC and a Macintosh in Entourage, Outlook, or Outlook Express

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Article ID: 311129 - View products that this article applies to.
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This article describes a method of moving mail message data between Outlook or Outlook Express on a Windows-based computer and Outlook, Outlook Express, or Entourage on a Macintosh OS-based computer. The article also provides a reference to several articles that discuss how to move mail message data between the two platforms.


Outlook and Outlook Express for the Microsoft Windows operating environment use files that are not compatible with Entourage or with the Macintosh versions of Outlook and Outlook Express. You need to use an alternative method to migrate data from one platform to the other.

The most common solution is to export the contact data from the Windows-based computer as a tab-delimited text file. This is a format that both platforms easily read.

Use an Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) account to transfer the data. Using IMAP maintains the TO: and FROM: lines. If the transfer of address book data does not work, you can add e-mail addresses from the e-mail message headers. This method puts the messages on a server that can be reached from either platform, rather than putting the messages on a local hard disk.

To transfer contact data by using an IMAP account, follow these steps:
  1. On the originating computer, export the contact data as a tab-delimited text file, and then import the contact data on the destination computer.
  2. Create an account on an IMAP mail server.
  3. Configure the e-mail programs on both the originating computer and the destination computer to be able to send and receive mail through the new IMAP account.
  4. At the originating computer, drag the mail message files into the Inbox for the new IMAP account so that the IMAP server stores the messages.
  5. At the destination computer, open the IMAP account, and then drag the messages into the appropriate folders.

    Because there are limits to the size of the IMAP mail box, you should clear out the IMAP Inbox between message transfers.
For additional information about moving data between Windows-based computers and Macintosh OS-based computers, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
196207 OL2000: How to Import Addresses from Outlook Express for Macintosh
286197 OL2002: How to Configure Outlook to Receive Messages from an IMAP Server
197645 OL2000: (IMO) Configuring Outlook to Receive Mail from IMAP Server
272325 ENT2001: How to Set up an IMAP E-mail Account in Entourage
264580 OLEXP: How to Configure Outlook Express for an IMAP Server


Article ID: 311129 - Last Review: January 31, 2007 - Revision: 3.2
  • Microsoft Outlook Express 5.01 for Macintosh
  • Microsoft Outlook Express 5.0 Macintosh Edition
  • Microsoft Outlook Express 4.0c for Macintosh
  • Microsoft Outlook Express 4.5 for Macintosh
  • Microsoft Outlook Express 4.02
  • Microsoft Outlook Express 4.0 for Macintosh
  • Microsoft Outlook Express 4.0 for Macintosh
  • Microsoft Entourage 2001 for Mac Special Edition
  • Microsoft Outlook Express 5.02 for Macintosh
  • Microsoft Outlook 2001 for Mac
  • Microsoft Exchange Update for Entourage X (Office v. X 10.1.4 Update)
  • Microsoft Entourage X for Mac
kbinfo KB311129
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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