General discussion

How to transfer Outlook stuff at work to personal account?

May 10, 2019 5:02PM PDT

I am going to be retiring soon (shhhh... my boss doesn't know yet) [and] over the last 27 years I've built up quite an address book! And a few emails which currently reside within the Microsoft Outlook platform. I would like to transfer this to a personal system (address book, calendar, and email) and like many people I do have a Gmail account but not sure whether that is best and if so how to go about doing that. Thanks!

--Submitted by Scott H.

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you must remember
May 10, 2019 6:00PM PDT

all business contacts are the property of the business. you first need to make sure it is okay with the boss. some people will leave a job taking contacts with them then start their own competing business. some have been sued and even jailed for doing it. that said...

a simple online search will tell you how to move contacts from outlook to gmail.

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First, Check your emplyment contract.
May 10, 2019 6:14PM PDT


Depending on the attitude of the company you work for, exporting a contact list and taking it to non-company assets (Computers) may be seen as stealing customers/competing by your employers. Just a fair warning.

Motorola already has a FAQ for this if you want to import to GMail:

Be careful though, GMail doesn't really easily support multiple address books, so it would be mixed in with your personal one.

The .CSV file can also be imported into some other mail apps. Some, like mailbird, require you to export your address book as vCard (.vcf) files instead of a .csv file. You can select which format when you get to the outlook export screen.

You can transfer the files to a thumbdrive and take it home. Assuming of course they don't frisk you at the door.

Happy Retirement!

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Email stuff to myself
May 10, 2019 8:17PM PDT

I have various devices all of which access my gmail and other accounts and various subscriptions.
But unlike Mac and Iphone etc, they dont always talk nicely to each other so the easiest way to move stuff to the main pc and storage is to email it.
I might take photos with my phone so I will email them to myself.
That way I can access them far easier to add to the permanent storage and get backed up.
I might be browsing online and find a great webpage so I email the link to myself and access it later from the pc.
You can do the same with your work email, links etc. Over time just email a different thing each day or two until its all done.
Put several emails of similar subject into a folder and email it to your home account.
At home you can start a new folder and drop them into it. Then play with the info at home when you have time.
Of course as previously stated much of your work stuff remains the property of the employer so do respect that fact.

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How to import contacts from Microsoft Outlook via Gmail
May 10, 2019 8:52PM PDT

In Microsoft Outlook, go to the contacts field.
From the File menu, select Import and Export.
Select Export to a file and click Next.
Select Comma Separated Values (Windows) and click Next.
Select Contacts and click Next.
Select Replace duplicates with items exported.
Click Browse.
Click Desktop and create a name for the file.
Click OK.
Click Finish.
From your computer, go to
Log into your Gmail account.
Click GMAIL on the left hand side of your screen..
Click Contacts - the Contacts list now opens.
Click More
Click Import
Click Choose File, and then navigate to the .csv file that you created and select the file
Click Import
Your contacts will load.

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As Others Have Said, Be Careful
May 10, 2019 11:33PM PDT

You really do need to discuss this with a boss or with HR. Many enterprises don't allow you to take business contacts with you especially if they are government and/or government contractors. You should know if that fits you. We were law enforcement and we discovered that we could not use Google products because our customers were covered under U.S. Federal Law for Criminal Justice Information Systems (CJIS) and one requirement was that Google employees did not have background checks. Also, Google says on their website that they don't support medical record storage without a special agreement (BAA-PHI) so no HIPAA stuff. So, depending on the enterprise, don't assume you can stick stuff out on the web/cloud.

Post was last edited on May 10, 2019 11:35 PM PDT

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Can You? Yes - May You? Maybe...
May 11, 2019 3:55AM PDT

Whether or not you are allowed to will depend on your employer and any operational security policies for conduct and system management they may have - proceed at your own risk.

Unless features have been locked out/down, you can use standard export features to send address books and calendars to a file, preferably CSV/iCAL, and then copy this to a USB stick or upload a password protected zip to a cloud account (a password protected and encrypted file is less likely to draw attention.)
These can then be easily imported into Gmail or

emails from a long tenure will need a USB stick - try to forward that many or upload a mail archive that big is slow, and someone is going to notice and ask pointed questions.
you will want to setup a new local outlook archive and move your personal data into this archive - the key is personal data, you shouldn't be moving anything that may be subject to workplace data security policies into a file that will be leaving the site before you wrap up.
This archive will need to be added to an Outlook installation at home to be accessed, and then from there either left for use as required or moved to an online folder from within Outlook

And finally, don't leave the final move to your last few days - get the bulk of the data moved as soon as you can or there may be questions and concerns, and possibly missed opportunity to finish.

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As others have said
May 12, 2019 3:47PM PDT

I worked for a company that had a mix of government and private customers and hired many buyers who brought contacts with them.
I would say your customers, contacts would be your property and if stored on company servers would sticky up things.

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Careful but don’t be freaked out
May 17, 2019 5:59PM PDT

Wow. Lots of armchair lawyers here with some absolutist advice. First of all this is affected by what state you are in.

Business contacts /might/ be your employer’s property but they might not. The contact info might be a trade secret if they keep that information private and your competitors knowing it would hurt your employer. But they might not.

If you think your retirement is not just cover for going to a competitor in a short time and you intend to stay absolutely retired just tell your employer that. I doubt they will be unhappy unless you’re leaving on bad terms. Just ask them for a short letter confirming your use will be only personal.

But if there’s a chance you may end up working again and wanting to use your contacts, then my advice is hand write all the important emails down. Or send linked in invites now.

If you know this is all cover for joining a competitor...then go see a trade secrets lawyer first.

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Not Lawyers
May 18, 2019 11:02AM PDT

But some of us read important documents before we sign them, including when starting a new job. I've seen former employees get dragged into court with some of this stuff before. Including taking code. If they PAY you to create the code, it usually belongs to them, not you.

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Use GMail
May 18, 2019 7:25AM PDT

If you have Outlook, you can make a .pst file backup of your contacts which are then saved to your documents folder. Next, go to your Gmail account, and you can then import them to your Gmail account. Now, when you are home, you can then go to your Gmail account and export to your Outlook contacts. I have done this to use Gmail as an online backup to my home based Outlook. Also, since I have an iPhone, the iPhone syncs to Outlook so I have the exact contact list on my phone as well as on my pc using Outlook.

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PST File From Outlook
May 18, 2019 12:38PM PDT

What are the steps in Outlook to archive or save data as a PST file? I would want to convert it to a DBF file; or if I could save emails and calendar/appointments as a CSV file, I could then convert that file to an Excel file. What are the steps, please?


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Do try what you find on the web for this.
May 18, 2019 12:45PM PDT

Many versions of OL already save in PST or such. As to DBF that's a name I haven't heard in a long time. Sadly it usually is a shill question so please top post your question but fill in the missing details about your version of Outlook plus what uses DBF today. Not what uses DBF but what you have that needs it as it's getting more rare except for the usual spam posts.

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