View Full Version : Transferring email & address book when moving from pc to mac

January 22nd, 2009, 12:58 AM
I'm posting this technical inquiry in this thread because I'm not clear where else it would be appropriate to post. Anyone with tech knowledge that might help will be greatly appreciated ...

I'm in the process of switching from pc to mac. My current pc is using Windows XP and my email is all on Outlook Express. I've just discovered that it's not an easy process to export / transfer either my Address Book [now designated as *.wab files] or my email filing system (quite extensive folders / sub-folders) & the emails within them (hundreds of individual emails, many business related).

A smart person at the Apple store pointed me to a downloadable software called O2M (www.littlemachines.com (http://www.littlemachines.com)) that helps to convert & move email from pc to mac -- BUT it doesn't work with Outlook Express:

... O2M may be the fastest way to move your Windows® Outlook® email, contacts, and calendar appointments from your PC to your Macintosh® computer!


1. Only U.S./English versions of Windows and Outlook are supported at this time ...

2. Outlook Express is NOT supported. Outlook Express files may be transferred into supported versions of Outlook, and then converted by O2M.
I've googled to find a way to do this conversion ^ but keep running up against technical language that is turning my brain to mush.

The Apple folks are pretty helpful with all sorts of other stuff but it seems that Microsoft has made this task very tricky and nearly impossible to achieve (especially in regards to Outlook Express).

Can anyone offer any help that will get my email moved from an old dying pc to a new iMac?

I'm more than happy to give more info if it will assist in getting my emials & address book transferred.

Thanks in advance ...

January 22nd, 2009, 10:15 AM
Use web-based mail, like gmail, live, or yahoo, this way your mail will be available from any computer, and the issue of transfer does not exist.

January 22nd, 2009, 10:33 AM
You may be able to import a "pst" file. I believe that is what the archived format is.

Take a look (do a search) and try and find information about importing archives into the proggie apple uses.

As the smaller guy, I am SURE they have something out there to try an make it easier for people to jump ship and join them.......

January 22nd, 2009, 10:42 AM
I understand that ^ now and will adjust for future ...

Meanwhile I'm stymied as to how to move my prior stuff to my new machine.

January 22nd, 2009, 11:49 AM
It's the right moment to consider not moving your mail to your new machine, but to the web-based email provider.

January 22nd, 2009, 12:00 PM
Meanwhile I'm stymied as to how to move my prior stuff to my new machine.If you really want to move your contacts from one machine to the other, you need to create a CSV (comma separated values) file.

Instructions here (http://email.about.com/od/outlooktips/qt/et090604.htm) for export from PC, and a link for import to Mac.

January 22nd, 2009, 03:58 PM
Poor Lofter; this happens to me every two years and I have paper rolodexes and gmail contacts and LinkedIn files and heaps of business cards and disks with csv files on them all over the house. Try to resign yourself to the fact that it's inevitable.


If it makes you feel better, when I left one job of two years and got one of the IT guys to back up my mailbox, and five years later I have never opened any of it. I also still have file folders that say "Last minute prints" from when I printed out "valuable" emails from old jobs, and I rarely look at those. Worse, when I want someone's phone number I can't find it.

However, in the spirit of "pack your traveling case first" here's what I would do.

1) Move your contacts in bulk. I am not a Plaxo person, but I wonder if the easiest solution isn't simply to upload your contacts from Outlook onto Plaxo's servers and then download back onto the Mac -- right? Like why should *you* be dealing with all this CSV stuff? These California techies are all like, "cloud computing is the future" . . . make them do it.

2) Extract data from your current email. You know what you'll need; I'd search "212" "646" and "917" to get phone numbers.

3) set up a web-based email (I use gmail) and forward the 100 emails you like best into it, so you can find them again.

4) Walk away from everything else. I know you'll be nervous you left some important memo somewhere -- I've lost the earliest emails my hubby and I sent each other -- but that's why there's alcohol. Drink.

in sympathy,

ali r.
{downtown broker}

January 22nd, 2009, 09:12 PM
Thanks to all for the great info ...

One savvy fellow told about THIS (http://catalog.belkin.com/IWCatProductPage.process?Product_Id=460722) cable from Belkin ...

http://catalog.belkin.com/images/product/F4U001/STD1_F4U001.jpg (http://catalog.belkin.com/IWCatProductPage.process?Product_Id=460722#)

But that ^ costs $50 bucks and no doubt they'd start out by saying "locate your email folder ... " and I'd have no real option except to start drinking immediately. Plus the Apple Online Sales Rep (I had to buy at Apple Online instead of at the Apple Store because of the combo of goodies I had installed) promised me that the switch from pc to mac would be "easy" -- and he also swore that if I opted for One to One that the Apple tech crew would get my emails moved from pc to mac.

Meanwhile someone with a great sense of humor (evidence: he thought I could do this myself in less than a week and with no more than a case of Scotch) directed me to something described as a DBX Converter, supposedly available ONLINE (http://www.google.com/search?q=dbx+converter&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=ie7&rlz=1I7RNWE) for free and which coverts MS files to mac friendly files -- but I took one look at the list of webpages and, even though it was only 11 AM, I downed a shot on the spot ...

Then I bundled up and trundled down Prince Street lugging my dying Dell. I pushed open the Apple SoHo doors and I threw myself on the big glass staircase, clutching my old pc tower and crying really loud. People avoided me (more, I think, due to the ugly old Dell tower in my arms than all my tears). But soon a great Apple-ite named Matt peeled my fingers from around the Dell and took it downstairs where the local Apple genius was instructed to extract my address book and emails and "migrate" them to my new and empty iMac. I dried my tears and was gone by noon. Then, at five this afternoon, the Apple-tons called and said I could pick up my tower -- and that all my most precious stuff was now transformed and newly-Mac'ed. I met someone at the backdoor and he shoved a heavy bag into my arms, clearly glad to see the inferior product exiting the Temple of Apple.

Tomorrow I do my first One to One with a true Apple Genius. And then a friend and I are going to Mac-out over the weekend.

I'm exhausted. And now am spending a quiet last night with my old and sadder-than-ever pc. Sorry, babe, but it's over.

And thanks, Ali -- the drinking really helped me get through the day.

January 23rd, 2009, 09:44 AM
That thing looks like a simple USB cable....

The site may have more info, but I don't have the patience to go through the sales pitch......

Anyway, worst comes to worst, print out your contacts and forward all of your old mail to your webmail account.

Problem solved! ;)