First time setup / import from Outlook

If you already use Outlook and have email, calendar, contacts, or tasks that are important to you, then the next step is to import it into your currently empty Zimbra mailbox.

Once imported, this will become the “master copy” for all your devices (outlook on desktop, laptop, iphone/android/blackberry all stay in sync)

Zimbra pre-installation checklist

It is important to take the time to do this properly, or you may experience issues (missing email, duplicates, general hassle)!

  1. Installation checklist 
    1. Go to Control Panel > Mail and write down your existing account settings (username, POP/SMTP servers, options)
      1. Check to see if you have an Archive.PST file, if so make note of the path/filename.
      2. If multiple email profiles exist, write down which one is set for “Always use this Profile”.
      3. If you use IMAP (instead of POP3, or use POP with the “Leave messages on Server” option box checked) then great news! We can do a server-to-server sync of your email which is much faster and more reliable than importing a PST file.
    2. Log in to your existing webmail
      1. Make sure you can login Provide the username, password and web address for your existing email account.
      2. If there are emails in your existing webmail, then it means you have IMAP mail or the “Dont remove from server” option checked in your POP3 settings.
    3. Blackberry users
      1. make sure you can login to your Service Providers’ Blackberry portal: Telus | Rogers | Bell
      2. If you intend on syncing more than just email wirelessly (contacts/calendar/tasks), then you will need to sign up for Blackberry Enterprise Server.
        1. You can get mail and instead sync your contacts/calendar/tasks using a USB cable, for free.
  2. Make a Backup of your existing Outlook data
    1. Make a backup of your PST file
      1. Right-click on the Mailbox name (above Inbox in tree view, by default named Personal Folders) and choose Properties > Data File Properties > Advanced.
      2. Highlight the file path beside Filename, and hit Copy
      3. Paste into Start > Search, hit Enter
        1. this is where your PST is, make a copy of it
    1. You get best results if you EXPORT a fresh PST from your old Outlook. Don’t just make a copy of your existing PST, a fresh export helps clean up errors and can greatly reduce the file size.

    2. Make note of where you export your PST to, and name it with today’s date: “Outlook – june 24 2011.PST”

      1. If you use Rules in Outlook, you should export your Outlook Rules so you can import them later.
      2. Autocomplete history: this is the drop-down box that shows up as you start typing someone’s email address in the To: field when composing a New Email.
        1. If you use Outlook 2003 or 2007, your autocomplete history is stored in a .NK2 file.
        2. If you are upgrading from Outlook 2003 or 2007 to Outlook 2010 (or later), you can rename the old .NK2 file to the same name as your Zimbra profile, and it will automatically import it into your “Suggested Contacts”
      3. Backup your email signature, if applicable.
      4. Ideally copy these files onto an external hard drive or burn to a DVD.
    3. Clean up your email account. Go crazy, since (if you followed these steps in order) you already have a backup.
      1. Compact your PST.
      2. Delete/archive large attachments, this GREATLY reduces import time and is easy to do with Outlooks built-in tools.
        1. You can optionally keep emails, but remove the attachment.
      3. Archive email older than 2 years.
        1. We know you want to keep your mail forever – and you can!  By creating a Archive PST file, you can still access all your old email.  Doing this also greatly reduces the startup time of Outlook.
      4. Export another copy of your PST, the “cleaned up” version.
    4. Make sure Outlook has all Service Packs/hotfixes installed from Windows Update.


Import your old Outlook data into Zimbra

Since Outlook stores everything in a single file called a PST, Zimbra has a tool that will import everything from that PST file into your account in Zimbra:

  1. Close Outlook
    1. Download and run the Zimbra Outlook PST importer (Download From client area)
      1. If you get an error when it starts, try running the program as an Administrator.
    2. When Zimbra Outlook PST Import wizard appears, click Next and fill in:
      • Hostname:
      •  check Use Secure Connection
      • Username: [user]
      • Password: [pass]
    3. Click Next
      1. Browse to the location of your CLEAN, EXPORTED PST file (review above pre-installation checklist), click Next
      2. Uncheck Convert meetings organized by me from my old address to my new address, click Next
      3. Generally you should uncheck/not imoport “Junk Mail” and “Deleted Items”
      4. If you have a large PST file (>2GB), you should import the most current year first.
        1. You can import older emails on “round 2”, the importer will skip existing emails.  This can get someone up and running quicker, allowing you to import older email during evenings, weekends, etc.
    4. Click OK – don’t worry if the progress bar doesn’t look right, this might happen but your import is working!
      1. Do not start Outlook during the PST import. 
      2. You can use Zimbra Webmail to read/write email while the import is running (and you can’t open Outlook)
        1. You can see how much mail has been sucessfully imported at the top left of the Webmail Inbox, which displays your total Mailbox Size.
      3. If the import fails or you are missing items,  (or you are accidentally disconnected, etc.) just repeat the above steps and make sure teh “Ignore importing previous items” the next time you run the wizard.

    Some Notes / Troubleshooting

    • If you have an image in your Email Signature and the image disappears, it is because Zimbra by default tries to sync your email signature but doesnt support images.
      • To fix: Go to Zimbra tab > Advanced > uncheck the “Sync Signatures” option.  Re-insert your image in your signature, and it will work from there on.
    • If you get duplicates, use a tool like ODIR or Accurate Outlook Duplicate Remover to remove them
    • Sometimes it works well to open your Zimbra account in Outlook, then connect to (a copy of) your PST and use the Move command to import mail from your PST to your Zimbra account. Put all sub-folders into a single folder, then do a Move on that folder. This ensures if the copy is interrupted, you can continue where you left off.


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