OL97: Managing a PST for Two Different Computers

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Outlook 97 does not provide for automatically synchronizing a Personal Folder file (.pst) between two different computers. However, this article suggests three workarounds.

More Information

Option 1: Use an Off-line Store (.ost) File

If you are running Microsoft Exchange Server as your mail service, the best way to synchronize data between two computers is to use an Off-line Store (.ost) file. This will allow for automatic synchronization between the data stored on the server and each computer using the server store.

For more information on using an off-line store, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

161725 OL97: What Are Offline Folders and How Do You Use Them?

Option 2: Copy the Personal Folder (.pst) File

You can use a Personal Folder (.pst) file and copy it from one computer to another. An issue with this technique is that a .pst file can become very large; it may be too large to copy to a diskette. In this event, you can use Windows Backup or another backup utility with the ability to write a file over multiple disks.

NOTE: When you can use the Briefcase utility included with Windows 95 to to synchronize the two computers, the .pst file is less than 1.44 megabytes (MB) in size. The Briefcase utility included with Windows 98 does not have this size limitation.

For more information on the Briefcase application, please see the following articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

142574 How to Install and Use Briefcase
130076 Briefcase Cannot Contain More Than 1.44 MB

Option 3: Copy only the Calendar, Contacts and Task Folders

A large .pst file is usually the result of e-mail stored in the Inbox Deleted Items and other mail store folders. You can share only your Calendar, Contacts, and Tasks, without sharing your mail folders by using the following procedure:

NOTE: Perform these steps on both computers intended to share the .pst information.

The operations described in the following steps require that you view the Folder List in Outlook by clicking Folder List on the View menu.

  1. Define a second .pst file.

    1. On the Tools menu click Services.
    2. Click Add and then click Personal Folders ,and then click OK.
    3. Type a unique name for the new .pst file such as, Shared.pst, and then click Open.
    4. Type a display name for the Personal Folder, such as, Shared Folders and click OK, and OK.
    5. Exit and Log Off Outlook.
  2. Copy your existing Calendar, Contact, and Task items to the new folders.

    1. Start Outlook.
    2. Right-click your old Calendar folder then click Copy Calendar.
    3. In the Copy Folder dialog box, click your Shared Folders and click OK.
    4. Repeat steps b and c above for both your Contacts and Tasks folders.
    You should now have Calendar, Contact, and Task folders in your new Shared Folders file. Verify that these new folders contain all the items in the old folders before going to the next step.

  3. Remove the contents of your old Calendar, Contacts, and Tasks folders.

    1. Click your old Calendar folder and in the Current View window, click Active Appointments.
    2. On the Edit menu, click Select All.
    3. Right-click the selected items and click Delete.
    4. Click your old Contacts folder.
    5. On the Edit menu, click Select All.
    6. Right-click the selected items and click Delete.
    7. Click your old Task folder.
    8. On the Edit menu, click Select All.
    9. Right-click the selected items and click Delete.
You should now have mail still being delivered to your original Personal Folder set while Calendar, Contacts, and Tasks are in your new Shared Folder set. This new Shared Folder set (Shared.pst) should be small enough to be conveniently copied to disk for transport between computers.


For information on Exporting .pst files, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

162206 OL97: Working With Personal Folders

Id. de artículo: 164407 - Última revisión: 01/19/2007 - Revisión: 1