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Introduction to Import/Export

When you install Office, the Setup Assistant will offer to import your data. The First Run Setup Wizard will also import your data. Usually the import works successfully, but when it fails, a force update might work. When that fails, you will need to export/import your data manually.s

Under File in the Menu Bar, Entourage has the option to Import | Export your data. Options to move your data.

  • You can import e-mail messages, contacts, and events into Entourage from other Mac applications such as Apple Mail and previous versions of Entourage.
    • Although you can sync Entourage with the Mac OS X iCal application so that events in Entourage show up in iCal, you cannot import information from iCal into Entourage.
  • You can export information from Entourage in several file formats, including an Entourage archive, an MBOX, and a tab-delimited text file.
    • An Entourage archive file (.rge) can contain e-mail messages, contacts, events, notes, tasks, and project files. You can use an archive to back up your information or to transfer it to Entourage on another computer. An MBOX file contains a set of mail messages that you can import back into Entourage or into some other mail applications. A tab-delimited text file can contain contacts from an address book that you can import back into Entourage or into many other mail, spreadsheet, and database applications.

Cross Platform users can import their data, but MSFT does not make the process easy. PST files will need to be converted. Some data can only be imported via third party means. Options for cross platform users.

Move/transfer from another computer Moving your data from one machine to another is not usually done via the import/export method. How to move your existing Identity.

You may encounter problems when importing into Entourage mail from a non-English version. For example, Entourage looks for a folder named "Mail" while the French version of Netscape keeps the mails in a folder named "Courier". Renaming the folder makes it work.

Basics for Importing

Basics for Exporting


Basics for importing mail using Entourage Import

Click Import in the File menu. Follow the instructions in the Import Assistant.

You can import from an older version to a newer version. eg. OE to Entourage 2001, Entourage X, 2004 tor 2008.

You cannot import from a newer version to an older version. e.g. Entourage X to Entourage 2001, or Entourage 2008 to Entourage 2004 using Entourage.

You cannot import from the same version of Entourage. e.g. Entourage 2004 to Entourage 2004 or Entourage 2008 to Entourage 2008. You can use the MBOX method or the Export-Import Scripts to transfer mail from one identity to another.

Entourage 2008 import options:

How to help:

See Video
How to manually move your mail

Import older versions when Entourage 2008 fails or does not offer that option:

One good work around is to import using the Apple mail program. Then import into Entourage. Apple seems happy to import from anywhere including older applications like Outlook Express Classic.

Bacics for exporting your data:

Note: Different versions of Entourage offer different options. Entourage 2004 and 2008 have more options. Entourage X, 2001 users will not be able to use the export as Entourage archive file (.rge). The Entourage archive file gets all of your data.

To export data, select Export under File in the menu bar. See Video for more help.

1) Entourage can export your data as

  1. Text files, tab-delimited files (you can then export to Excel and create a .csv file.)
  2. Entourage archive (.rge) files (not in Entourage X, 2001)

2) You can drag files out as individual contacts, messages or folders (MBOX), notes, tasks, calendar events. (X, 2004, 2008)

3) You can use scripts to export your data. (X, 2004, 2008)

  1. Paul Berkowitz's shareware scripts $20 Export-Import gets everything
  2. Export folders scripts (these get subfolders too) (freeware)
  3. Exchange users can move their messages to folders "On my computer" using the AutoArchive script.

4) There are options used by PC users to bring their data over into Entourage, like IMAP accounts and online calendar options. Check out the options on the "Convert Mail from Windows to Mac" Page.

Alternatives to using Entourage Export:

Tips for a good transition...

  1. Clean up your old mail.
  2. Empty the Deleted Items folder
  3. Rebuild your database
  4. Backup before the import for safe keeping
  5. Do not delete old application before you are sure your data has transferred. If import fails, you can manually move over your data.
  6. If you are moving to a new computer, copy the data over. The importer does not like it on a secondary source.
  7. Don't use an alias as the source for import.

After the Import:

  1. Edit out duplicate messages and contacts. Duplicates: Removing or Creating
  2. Fix for dates and times of retrieval of IMAP. "Modify Date Received" and "Modify Date Sent"
  3. Make a backup. It's a good habit to start. Basic and Free Option: Create a task to remind you to backup your data on a regular basis. For a time-machine-like chronological backup see this tutorial on the Entourage Help Blog (free).
    1. See third party applications for other solutions.
  4. Before you enable Sync Services, be sure you have a backup. Select options carefully.
    1. Replace Entourage items with Sync Services items
    2. Replace Sync Services items with Entourage items
    3. Merge Entourage items with Sync Services items

      For help with choices see: Basics of how Sync Services Works