OL2000: How to Migrate Custom Categories to Other Users

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Article ID: 197342 - View products that this article applies to.
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IMPORTANT: This article contains information about editing the registry. Before you edit the registry, you should first make a backup copy of the registry files (System.dat and User.dat). Both are hidden files in the Windows folder.
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In Microsoft Outlook you can add new categories to the default Master Category List. This article describes how to share a modified Master Category List with other users.

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To share the Master Category List, you must export the Categories key from the registry and distribute this key to other users.

NOTE: The registry key reference in the steps below only exists if the Master Category List has had a custom entry added.

WARNING: Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall Windows 95/98. Microsoft cannot guarantee that problems resulting from the incorrect use of Registry Editor can be solved. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

For information about how to edit the registry, view the Changing Keys And Values online Help topic in Registry Editor (Regedit.exe). Note that you should make a backup copy of the registry files (System.dat and User.dat) before you edit the registry.

To Export the Categories Key

  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. Type, regedit in the Open box and click OK.
  3. Click to select the following registry subkey:

  4. Click the Categories folder and on the Registry menu click Export Registry File.
  5. Select a location for the file such as the Desktop or a diskette; type a name for the file such as "Categories" and click Save.
You can now distribute the file to other users. To update the registry on another computer, double-click the <file name>.reg file and the new categories will replace the Categories list in Outlook.

CAUTION: This procedure will overlay the existing Master Categories List on the receiving computer. Any changes made to that file will be lost.

NOTE: It is possible for your records to contain user-defined Categories that are not stored in the Windows registry. To ensure they are in the registry, you must add them to the Master Category List.

To Add User-defined Categories to the Master Category List

  1. On the Edit menu for the Inbox folder, click Categories.
  2. In the Categories dialog box, click Master Category List.
  3. In the New Category box, type the name of a new category and click Add.
  4. Click OK twice.


For more information about how to restore the default Master Category List in Outlook, click Microsoft Outlook Help on the Help menu, type "Reset the Master Category List" in the Office Assistant or the Answer Wizard, and then click Search to view the topic.


Article ID: 197342 - Last Review: October 26, 2013 - Revision: 4.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Outlook 2000 Standard Edition
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