How-To Geek

How To Switch Back to Outlook 2007 After the 2010 Beta Ends

Are you switching back to Outlook 2007 after trying out Office 2010 beta?  Here’s how you can restore your Outlook data and keep everything working fine after the switch.

Whenever you install a newer version of Outlook, it will convert your profile and data files to the latest format.  This makes them work the best in the newer version of Outlook, but may cause problems if you decide to revert to an older version.  If you installed Outlook 2010 beta, it automatically imported and converted your profile from Outlook 2007.  When the beta expires, you will either have to reinstall Office 2007 or purchase a copy of Office 2010.

If you choose to reinstall Office 2007, you may notice an error message each time you open Outlook.


Outlook will still work fine and all of your data will be saved, but this error message can get annoying.  Here’s how you can create a new profile, import all of your old data, and get rid of this error message.

Banish the Error Message with a New Profile

To get rid of this error message, we need to create a new Outlook profile.  First, make sure your Outlook data files are backed up.  Your messages, contacts, calendar, and more are stored in a .pst file in your appdata folder.  Enter the following in the address bar of an Explorer window to open your Outlook data folder, and replace username with your user name:


Copy the Outlook Personal Folders (.pst) files that contain your data. Its name is usually your email address, though it may have a different name.  If in doubt, select all of the Outlook Personal Folders files, copy them, and save them in another safe place (such as your Documents folder).


Now, let’s remove your old profile.  Open Control Panel, and select Mail.  In Windows Vista or 7, simply enter “Mail” in the search box and select the first entry.


Click the “Show Profiles…” button.


Now, select your Outlook profile, and click Remove.  This will not delete your data files, but will remove them from Outlook.


Press Yes to confirm that you wish to remove this profile.


Open Outlook, and you will be asked to create a new profile.  Enter a name for your new profile, and press Ok.


Now enter your email account information to setup Outlook as normal.


Outlook will attempt to automatically configure your account settings.  This usually works for accounts with popular email systems, but if it fails to find your information you can enter it manually.  Press finish when everything’s done.


Outlook will now go ahead and download messages from your email account.  In our test, we used a Gmail account that still had all of our old messages online.  Those files are backed up in our old Outlook data files, so we can save time and not download them.  Click the Send/Receive button on the bottom of the window, and select “Cancel Send/Receive”.


Restore Your Old Outlook Data

Let’s add our old Outlook file back to Outlook 2007.  Exit Outlook, and then go back to Control Panel, and select Mail as above.  This time, click the Data Files button.


Click the Add button on the top left.


Select “Office Outlook Personal Folders File (.pst)”, and click Ok.


Now, select your old Outlook data file.  It should be in the folder that opens by default; if not, browse to the backup copy we saved earlier, and select it.


Press Ok at the next dialog to accept the default settings.


Now, select the data file we just imported, and click “Set as Default”.


Now, all of your old messages, appointments, contacts, and everything else will be right in Outlook ready for you.  Click Ok, and then open Outlook to see the change.


All of the data that was in Outlook 2010 is now ready to use in Outlook 2007.  You won’t have to wait to re-download all of your emails from the server since everything’s still here ready to be used.  And when you open Outlook, you won’t see any error messages, either!



Migrating your Outlook profile back to Outlook 2007 is fairly easy, and with these steps, you can avoid seeing an error message every time you open Outlook.  With all your data in tact, you’re ready to get back to work instead of getting frustrated with Outlook.  Many of us use webmail and keep all of our messages in the cloud, but even on broadband connections it can take a long time to download several gigabytes of emails.

Matthew digs up tasty bytes about Windows, Virtualization, and the cloud, and serves them up for all to enjoy!

  • Published 04/27/10

Comments (19)

  1. GoodBytes

    When does the Beta ends again?

  2. Matthew Guay

    Office 2010 beta will expire on October 31, 2010.

  3. Linda Lutz

    Hey Matthew,
    I think you wrote a great article with excellent screen shots. I have a problem that when I open control panel, Mail does not exist. I know that normally this is the case if you have not installed or opened Outlook, but it is installed. Any ideas? Thanks!!

  4. Linda Lutz

    Ok, me again. I just found the answer and it might be helpful to other users too. If you are using Windows Vista 64 bit, you have to go into – control panel – additional options – view 32-bit control panel items and there is the mail option. I have been struggling to fix this for weeks and now it is finally working. Thanks for your help!!

  5. Matthew Guay

    @Linda – Glad you liked the article, and also glad you found the help you needed. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Kappa

    Cool. One question, though: How to prevent Outlook 2007 from receiving all the messages AGAIN, upon restoring .pst? (No, I cannot uncheck “Leave the messages on the server” ’cause that would have messed up my Webmail experience…)


  7. Matthew Guay

    @Kappa – If you’re syncing Gmail, one option is to check your IMAP settings to only sync mail received after a certain day (today’s date would likely be good). Other email systems should have similar settings you can choose.

    However, if you’re syncing with IMAP sync, I don’t think it will redownload emails. It should see that they are already downloaded and not download them again. But you can change your online IMAP settings just in case.

    Either which way, hope this helps!

  8. Steve K

    Many thanks for this. I had another problem (and found the solution) so I thought I’d add the info here.

    Problem:error message about [word/excel/any-office-app] not installed for current user.

    Research: many sites said it would work fine when run as administrator. Tried, True.

    Solution: Registry edit to set full control permissions on the following key and subkeys:


  9. Matthew Guay

    @Steve – Glad you found the help you needed here, and thanks for sharing the info!

  10. George

    After I select the Data Files tab, and click on Add, when I select my Office Outlook personal Folders File (.pst), and click on OK, I get an error message that says: “This information service is not installed on your system.”

    What next, PLEASE? – I’m desperate!

  11. Broge

    My advice….stay with outlook 2007. Outlook 2010 as only MS would make something more difficult and complicated to use..Boooooooooooooooo

  12. Judy Joseph

    I just would like to say thank you for taking the time to place an instructional manual such as this on-line. I could kiss you right now I am so happy. For three days I have been pulling out what is left of my hair attempting to restore some important documents that I lost between the conversion from Microsoft 2010 back to Microsoft 2007. I have trolled the internet for so long I was just going to give up and have a good cry. Bless you so much and thank you for helping people like me who are not as savey as some yet have a desire to learn through reading and having visual aids of the steps.


  13. Samy

    Hi Can you help? I recently uninstalled Outlook 2010 and re-installed outlook 2007. The problem I am having now is how to get back my outlook.ost into outlook.pst. I forgot that relocated from where I was using an Exchange server. Any help please. I have now outlook 2007 (outlook.pst), but all my files are in outlook.ost. I can’t afford a third party utility out there. I just don’t have that money. Thanks for helping.

  14. Colin

    Brilliant, well written and very clear. Many thanks

  15. Ab Neufeld

    Where would I find the back button in windows 07

  16. Lynaia

    I work at a college and they have 2010 on some computers and 2007 on others, now it seems when we log into 2010 and back into 2007 it loses the profile. do we have to reset the profile each and everytime we want to use 2007 again or is there some kind of setting/patch that might be able to help?

  17. Rose

    Thank you so much! Looked everywhere for a solution to the dreaded profile message on operning Outlook and nothing has worked except exactly following the instructions given in this article. I now have a clean and stable Office 2007 again. Very well written and much appreciated!

  18. Ian

    I can’t uninstall outlook 2010. The trial version has expired and I get a “licence expired” message. I am using office 2010 home and student. This does not have outlook so option to delete outlook is not available. When I try my office 2007 pro disc, it is the same – a red cross through outloook 2007, and its not availabel to uninstall (because outlook 2010 repaled it)!
    How do I uninstall outlook 2010 please?

  19. David H

    Thank you for a very accurate and complete solution to this problem. I have used your site on several occasion and your solutions have been spot on. Thanks very much.

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