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.

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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:

C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook

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).

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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.

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Click the “Show Profiles…” button.

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

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

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

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

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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.

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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”.

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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.

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Click the Add button on the top left.

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

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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!

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Conclusion

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!